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Cool Company Naming Tips

Our experts share insights on naming, branding and starting a new venture.

Tip: Consider a Bold Name Choice for Your Tech Company. Good name choices you’re your technology or professional service business encapsulate the vision of your firm in a single word. Look to names that convey innovation, cutting-edge, intelligence or your company’s bold approach to meeting customer needs and wants.

Trap: Avoid Names That Try Too Hard. Puns usually fall short as good company names. You want a name that’s clever – but not too clever. There is a fine line between engaging your audience and trying too hard. What you may think is witty may well turn off potential customers.

Tip: Check the History of Your Domain Name. You don’t want to build your company on a domain that has been flagged by search engines for abuse, fraud or other unseemly activity. The previous domain history can linger in cyberspace for some time and may affect the search results for your new business. The solution is easy. Just enter the domain name into the top search engines -- Bing.com, Google.com, Ask.com, DuckDuckGo.com -- to learn of any negative history.

Trap: Avoid Including Too Many Members on Your Name Decision Team. It’s important to have a few key individuals on your name selection team to give insight and perspective on your naming options. But a word of caution! While it’s great to solicit input from a myriad of stakeholders, resist the temptation to include every stakeholder onto the final decision team. Innovative names are bound to rub some member the wrong way. So with a large decision team, you are likely to end up with a lackluster, boring name choice that offended no one -- but also excited no one.

More Naming Tips & Traps

Check back regularly for new start-up tips and traps to be avoided.

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How to Name a Business

How to Name a Business in 12 Easy Steps

Our company naming experts have undertaken one of the most expansive research undertakings to demystify business naming. We've conducted one of the largest longitudinal studies in the area of effective naming and synthesized the research findings into a set of concrete and practical steps for small business owners.

We've summarized our findings and have identified essential steps on how to name a new business. We will answer some of the most common questions on business naming and we will also share our years of experience, insider tips and other research to provide you with step-by-step naming help that will help you target a distinctive name for your firm.

Listed below are the 12 steps you'll need to follow to create a formidable business name.

Step 1: Select a Decision Team

When you start the entire process of choosing a brand new company name, we advise that you form a small decision making team. The smaller the team, the more easy it will be to make decisions. We have been involved in far too many new company naming projects that have been burdened with unwieldy decision teams. You will want input from diverse participants - just not on the decision team.

Step 2: Include Input From Your Key Stakeholders

There are a lot of people who have an interest in your new business. They have a "stake" in wanting you to succeed so it may be good idea to get their input in your name development process. Consider soliciting input on business names from your key stakeholder groups -- employees, family, senior executives, key stockholders, community leaders, vendors and other people you trust.

Each of these stakeholder groups has a unique perspective on the company. You might want to involve select stakeholders at the onset of the naming process to help guide your initial thinking and help in the creation process. They can also help narrow a list of potential new company names and assist in refining typefont, image, color and other visual elements.

Step 3: Create a Keyword List

You will want to create of list of the keywords that capture the essence of your company. Brainstorm as many keywords as you can. Dissect these keywords into their root elements. For example if one of your keywords is “excellence”, add the root “excel” to you keyword list.

Step 4: Search for Available Business Names Based on Each Keyword

Use the KEYWORD SEARCH function -- located at the top of this page. Enter each keyword into the search bar. All the available company names that contain the keyword will be displayed. Make a note of the names that could work for your business

Step 5: Determine Your Key Marketplaces

Think about all the industries and marketplaces that represent the activities of your business. Most companies are involved in businesses that span multiple industries. For example, if you provide “medical insurance support,” your business could be in the following industries: Insurance, Health Care, Office Support, Consulting, and Health Care Insurance.

Step 6: Search for Business Names Based on Industry

Take a look at the category list in the column to the left. Many of the categories have subcategories. Click on the category and subcategories that best capture your business. Business names suited to the industry will be displayed. You can get more information on each of these business names by clicking the “details” tab. Make a note of the business names that could work for your application.

Step 7: Consider Evocations

Think about the feelings that you would like your company to evoke. Do you want a name that is “fun,” “happy,” “safe,” or “cold”? Click on these links to find names that evoke an emotion or have a part a particular characteristic and make a note of the names that could work for your new venture:

Bright and Light Sounding Names    Catchy Company Names    Clever Business Names    Cool Company Names    Evocative Company Names    Fast and Urgent Sounding Names    Fresh and Frosty Sounding Names    Fun Business Names    Happy Sounding Names    Names for Luxury Goods & Services    Names that are Fun    Names that Contain a Color    Names that Contain a Shape    Names that end in "ING"    Names that say "Value"    Names that say "Savings"    Names that start with "UN"    Names with 3 and 4 Letters    Names With 5 Letters    Names With 6 Letters    Safe and Secure Sounding Names    Serious Business Names    Short Names    Spiritual Sounding Names    Unique Business Names    Whimsical Names   

Step 8: Consider Brandable Names

Consider an invented company name that is unique and highly brandable. Names like Google, Hulu and Twitter are all wholly invented company names. Click on these links to locate short and highly brandable names and make a note of the names that could work for your business.

3 & 4 Letter Business Names    5 Letter Company Names    6 Letter Company Names    One Word Names    Short Brandable Names   

Step 9: Review Possible Business Name List

Review the list of names that you’ve created that could work for you specific business application with your decision team. Don’t worry if the colors or logo design are not a perfect fit. The logo can be changed later by the Brandings design team at no additional cost.

Consider getting input from key stakeholders and involving them in the creative process. You might want to ask them what they like and dislike about each name, what each name makes them feel and to share the first words that come to mind when they hear the company name.

Step 10: Check Availability.

A great name is of little value if it is in use somewhere else. Here are a few free resources to check to see if your business name is available. As simple as it sounds, start by typing the company name into a search engine like Goggle, Yahoo or AltaVista. You would be surprised at the information you will find.

You can also take advantage of the free trademark search function the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) database at USPTO Search. It is super easy ... and it's free.

Step 11: Check to See if the Dot-Com Domain is Available.

The dot-com extension remains firmly the domain extension of choice for businesses desiring established credentials. Simply put, you will need to own the dot-com domain name. As a defensive measure we advise clients to secure the dot-org, dot-net and other relevant domain extensions only when they are acquired in addition to the dot-com domain extension. We also advise our international clients that as a defensive measure, to secure their country code extension (when available) and redirect prospects to their primary dot-com website. To see if the name is available, just type it into your menu bar. You can also check out the history of any domain name through the free whois.net or domaintools.com search function.

Step 12: Make Your Business Name Decision & Purchase

Now it’s time to evaluate all the input and make a decision. If you would like to get input from the naming specialists at Brandings, don’t hesitate to contact us at 1-800-852-8900 (Toll Free USA) +1-310-246-5100 (Worldwide) or simply click here to contact our office via e-mail: info@brandings.com

Company Naming Insider Tips & Tools -- Free Report!

Our naming experts share the 11 factors you need to know when selecting a name for your start-up. Learn what to do and how to avoid the most common naming mistakes. This is a "must-read" before you name your company. Get the full report now -- it's free!

How to Name Your Company

Do you have a business naming question?

We’re here to help answer your questions on how to name your business. Send your business naming question to our naming team. Click here: Q&A


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Author: John Geranios Ph.D.

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