Insights from 20,000+ Naming and Branding Projects

9 Steps to Creating an Awesome Business Name: Part 9 – Audience Validation


Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing a series of posts outlining nine steps that will help you create the perfect name for your company, product, service, e-book, or app. This article is Part 9 of the series, focusing on validating your name with your target audience. Read Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 here.

Congratulations! You’ve reached the final stage of your naming journey. By now, you should have a solid understanding of your business and target customer that you used to craft a shortlist of awesome, memorable names. You’ve checked to make sure that the names on your shortlist are free of legal barriers and negative linguistic implications.

Now, there’s just one critical thing left to do – validate your name with your target audience! Remember those personas that you created in Step 2? It’s time to revisit them and make sure that your name of choice resonates with real people who are part of your target market. Here’s some simple tips for validating your name:

How to validate your name with your target audience

#1 Create your focus group

The first step in validating your name is finding real people who fit the description of the target personas that you created in step 2. Reach out to your friends, family, colleagues, or connections on social media to find people roughly with the same demographics as your target personas.

#2 Decide on a communication channel

Next, find a way to communicate with your focus group. If everyone is in the same location, consider meeting in a coffee shop or your office for a face-to-face discussion. If your group is scattered around the country, a Slack group, Google Hangouts meeting, or even a simple online poll will suffice.

#3 Present your name for feedback

Kick off your discussion by presenting them with your name and getting their initial thoughts on it. You may find it beneficial to not give them any background information about your company at first – after all, your actual customers will not know anything about your business or product when they first see your name.

If your group doesn’t know where to start, present them with a few leading questions. “What do you think a company with this name does?”, “what personality do you think the company has?”, or “what emotions do you feel when hearing this name?” are all good ways to kick it off.

#4 Dive deeper into your name

Once you get their initial impression of the name, it’s now time to dive deeper. Tell them about your product or service and see if they think the name is a good fit. Ask them if they would use your product and service with your chosen name, how much they are willing to pay for it, how often they would purchase it, if the name would stand out from competitor’s products/services – the list goes on!

It’s a unique opportunity to get genuine feedback from your target audience, so try to get as much information as you can out of your discussion or poll. You may also find when talking to your focus group that some of the demographics or interests you outlined in your target personas are incorrect – feel free to update as needed.

#5 Thank your group

Your focus group just did you a huge favor by providing invaluable insights into the mind of your target audience. Don’t forget to say thank you by buying lunch for the group, giving them free or discounted products, or sending gift cards.

Why should you validate your name?

On a basic level, getting audience validation is satisfying and encouraging. Once you know it’s not just you who likes your choice of name, you’ll be able to truly relax, knowing you’ve picked the perfect moniker that will help your brand grow and prosper. You can also launch your company with confidence that your name is truly the perfect fit to describe your company, brand, and product/service.

At the end of the day, a great name must align with your target audience. Naming is relative in this way. There are no universally great names because people’s preferences are subjective. After ensuring your right to use a name, audience validation may be the most important – and often overlooked – step in the naming process. Only when your name choice is backed by the right potential customers can you deem your naming hunt over.

You’ve made it! Congratulations on finding the perfect name to represent your company. Feel free to put your new name on documents and design that eye-catching logo. If, while reading this series, you had any additional questions about the naming process, feel free to contact the naming experts at Squadhelp – we’re happy to help!

About the author

Squadhelp Naming Experts
Insights from 20,000+ Naming and Branding Projects

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