Okay, let’s not sugarcoat it: Coming up with a unique business/brand name can be pretty difficult task. In a world where a thousand people can have the same idea and broadcast them over the Internet, it can be a challenge to come up a catchy name that isn’t already taken. It’s even more challenging to create something that is supposed to be memorable and long-lasting, as every iconic business should be able to outlast the constantly evolving trends out there in the world.
Don’t worry; there’s no need to fear! Although the task may be a hard one at times, it is definitely not impossible. According to Merriam-Webster, there are over 1 million words in the English vocabulary alone. When you think about it, that’s a lot of options to choose from! Once your business’ ideology is set in stone (product/service, target demographic, mission & vision, etc.), you will be well prepared to choose the perfect name. So, if you’re a business owner with the goal of creating a super-spectacular business name, try following these five tips:
Think Outside the Box
Reading this at surface value, it’s a pretty obvious point; you want your business name to be unique for a couple of reasons:
- You want to distinguish yourself from a different business/brand
- You’re looking to direct your customers to the correct organization
- You don’t want to get caught up in any legal issues that may occur down the line
The idea of thinking outside of the box has a much deeper meaning to it. The name you choose to call your business plays a very decisive role in the position of your brand in the market you’re centered in. Good branding makes your business stand out from all other companies that have similar products or services. Modern branding helps the company look cutting edge, innovative and fresh. Instead of explaining your business to people, a good brand can convey your company’s values, purpose, and tone at a moment’s glance. If your name is unique, people will automatically gravitate toward your business.
Take the extra step to research words that correlate to your business values, services, and beliefs. For example, Uber’s name is a derivation of the German word that means “all above the rest”. You can tell how they chose their company name to directly correlate with their mission of becoming the number one ridesharing company in the world.
Skip the Clichés
In a world where we are dominated by trends that come and go at the drop of a dime, it is easy to define a brand based on the current fads. In the business world, this does more harm than good in the long run. When coming up with an iconic business name, you should do your best to avoid things that we commonly see.
Some common cliches include:
- Placing an “i” at the beginning of the name (ex: iTech Place)
- Changing the spelling of a word and/or replacing different letters (ex: Kazual Kafe)
- Putting your business service in your name: (ChowDown All-You-Can-Eat Buffet)
Keep in mind that these are not rules that are indefinitely set in stone; sometimes the inclusion of any of these “cliches’ is acceptable. If that were the case, we would be breaking the second rule! Remember that it all depends on the context of your business/brand. If it makes sense in the grand scheme of things, go for it!
Make it easy for everyone to pronounce
This is a very important thing to remember when coming up with a strong brand name. Ideally, you want your business to have a name that is simple to read and say by the vast majority of the public. It should roll off the tongue in a way that just seems natural. We will talk more about phonetics in the next tip.
As always, there are exceptions to this rule. Luxury brands are a prime example of businesses that can get away with having complex, sophisticated names. Once again, context matters: many brands such as Gucci, Prada, and Balenciaga were names of famous designers throughout the 1900s. When customers buy from these businesses, they are connecting with the rich culture of those grand designers.
Keep the Syllables Short and Sweet
I strongly believe that this is the hidden gem for the creation of iconic business names in the 21st century. If possible, you should aim for one to three syllables, with two being the sweet spot. There are many examples to back this up, such as:
- Apple (ap-ple)
- Facebook (face-book)
- Google (goo-gle)
- Uber (u-ber)
- Pepsi (pep-si)
- Tesla (tes-la)
- Visa (vi-sa)
- Disney (dis-ney)
- Walmart (Wal-mart)
- Nike (nik-e)
- eBay (e-bay)
- Twitter (twit-ter)
- McDonalds (mc-don-alds)
- Mastercard (mast-er-card)
- Microsoft (mi-cro-soft)
And the list goes on and on! By keeping your brand title short and sweet, you position your business to be more popular and well-represented in the long run.
Put It to the Test
Now that you’ve created a business name, you must put it through the blender! Do not be afraid to repeat it out loud to see if it sticks; say it in a full sentence; write it on a single sheet of paper; ask your family or friends what they think about it. One of the things I noticed is that repetition is good for finding out if things work or not. By finding ways to iterate your new brand name, you give it a chance to live and breathe its first breath.
There are many methods you can use to come up with a name for your business. When it comes to naming your business, at the end of the day, it is what you make of it. While using these five tips will help you stand out from the crowd, it isn’t the final factor when coming up with a great business name. Finding the right name for your brand does not mean meeting a universal standard; it means finding what perfectly reflects you, your business, what you offer, and how you want to leave your mark on the world.