Insights from 19,000+ Naming and Branding Projects

The Simple, Powerful Checklist for Creating the Perfect Name For Your Business

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When you’re tackling the naming process, you may be overwhelmed by the amount of advice that’s out there. Everyone has their idea about what a business or brand name should accomplish. You’ll find articles providing you with more tips and tricks than you know what to do with, and they may conflict with each other. It’s easy to see why people are overwhelmed when trying to create a great name for their company.

Without proper guidance, it’s hard to know whether the shortlisted names on your list are brilliant strokes of genius or completely unappealing.

To help you out, we’ve put together a simple checklist to allow you to choose the name for your startup, product, e-book, app, or just about anything else, with confidence.

When crafting a name, it’s important to CARE:

Contextual:  

Good brand names have context and give context. They set a foundation for a brand to be built on, which means they support several key aspects of the brand and set the right tone for it.

If your brand is supposed to come across as serious and trustworthy, then a name that uses a pun is probably not the best fit.

Does your name make sense with your brand and positioning? A name’s potential impact can be determined by placing it in context. View your name through the filter of your brand, positioning, and mission to judge its power.

Appealing:  

Is your name pleasant to see and hear? Many times, in a quest to be unique or edgy, companies will select a name that is challenging to pronounce, awkward to spell or write, or lacks appeal with the target market.

An appealing name will outperform an unappealing name by up to 33% on the stock market.

Consumers should like how your name looks and sounds. If they do, it’s much more likely that they’ll want to learn more about your business and talk to friends about your brand.

“Brio,” an apparel brand name from the Squadhelp Community, is a perfect example of a simple, appealing name. It is short, memorable, and uses a real word as a catchy brand.

Remarkable:

What gets people talking? Something that’s one of a kind. Make your name uniquely yours. We’re not saying it has to be something crazy, but it should not be a name that any business in your space could claim for their own.

A great name sticks in a customer’s head, making it easier to share. This propels the business forward to contributes to success.

Is your name memorable, and does it start conversations?

Today’s average consumer is constantly bombarded by companies and products vying for their attention and business. It is important to stand out from the competition the way Apple did with their business name when facing companies such as IBM and HP.

A remarkable brand name impacts the success of a brand.

Evocative:

Is your name emotional, experiential, descriptive, elegant, or witty? Either way, a name should inspire a potent response from your target audience. It could bring up an idea in someone’s mind that’s relevant to your brand messaging, or it could elicit an appropriate emotional reaction.

“IronFlame,” a marketing agency named by Squadhelp, demonstrates the power an evocative brand name holds. This name creates an intriguing visual with interesting connotations of dependability, vigor, and energy.

The best business names resonate meaningfully with the targeted audience and evoke a strong response, whether it is through a story, a visual, an emotion, or more.

Caring is Sharing (Your Brand!)

Creating a name based on the CARE principles may contribute to your company’s success in the future. Choosing a powerful, memorable name that resonates with your target audience and elicits emotions will put you at a distinct advantage compared to your competitors.

Unfortunately, many companies don’t follow the CARE framework when naming their businesses. In our analysis of thousands of names, we found that unsuccessful names fit into one of four categories.

Avoid these DONTs:

Difficult:

Is your name hard to spell or pronounce?A brand name that is hard to pronounce likely won’t be at the top of consumers’ minds when it comes time for the referral.

You want your customers to be able to remember your name in the moment to refer it to their family and friends.

Names that are difficult to spell can cause long-term digital marketing problems.

When someone hears your name, they should be able to spell it, passing the crowded bar test. This will make it easier for people to share your business with others.

Obscure:

Can your name only be understood by a few people? Don’t go for an obscure name that only a handful of your target audience will be able to recall quickly.

Vague, personal symbols or metaphors may not be the best way to go if you have a business that needs to appeal to a large number of people.

While a small number of your customers may appreciate an obscure name that only they understand, the rest will be confused and move on.

Neutral:

Is your name too safe or too boring? While you don’t want to choose an obscure or difficult name, you also don’t want to overcorrect and select a name that simply doesn’t excite consumers.

A bland name is harder to remember than an evocative, captivating name. It might even be so similar to the industry standard that people get confused and find another business to work with.

A dull name means that you won’t stand out in a sea of competitors, putting you at a disadvantage from the start.

Taken:

Is your name trademarked, or is the URL already taken?

Choosing a name that is already trademarked will not only negate your aim of being unique, but may also cause legal trouble down the road.

Another important aspect of naming is to ensure that you can get a URL for your name. Even if you don’t require an exact match .com and are open to catch domain phrases, it is important to find the right URL.

Falling in love with a name and then finding out you can’t use it is a difficult experience if you haven’t emotionally prepared yourself for URL or Trademark Conflict.

Conclusion

The naming process doesn’t have to be something scary or daunting. Coming up with a business name is key to setting your brand up for success.

Be sure to CARE about your name by keeping it contextual, appealing, remarkable, and evocative.

While creating a name for your business, remember to also keep the naming DONTs in mind – a difficult, obscure, neutral, or taken name may undermine all the hard work you put into creating your product or service.

About the author

Squadhelp Naming Experts
Insights from 19,000+ Naming and Branding Projects

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