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 logitudinal studies in the area of effective naming and sythesized the research findings into a set of concrete and practical steps for small business owners.
We've summarized our findings and have identified essentail 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 for your new business.
Listed below are the 12 steps you'll need to follow to create a winning 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
Your new company has a variety of stakeholders or claimants whose perspectives and views you’ll want to receive. Consider soliciting input on business names from these stakeholders: Employees, Senior Executive Team, Key Stockholders, Board of Directors, Community Leaders, Vendors, Suppliers and other relevant stakeholders.
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
Spiritual Sounding Names
Unique Business 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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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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Article by John William Geranios, Ph.D.