How to Find the Perfect Name For Your New Business
When I come across a new business idea, my brain instantly starts coming up with potential names. I don't know if that's just me, but over the years I've found a lot of good advice to help tame this impulsive naming phenomenon.
Here's a guide on how to quickly and effectively, find the perfect name for your business.
Naming Best Practices
There are a number of rules you can use to filter out bad names and give you more confidence in the names you like.
Must Be Memorable
The entire point of naming your business, is so people can remember you.
This is a requirement really, but it's not as hard as some of the other rules. Names that are unique, relate to the mission of the business, and short enough to easily remember, often make great brand names.
Shouldn't Be Long
The perfect name would be as short and memorable as possible. The longer the name, the more people have to remember.
I keep most of my companies to a 2-word maximum. The fewer syllables, the easier it will be to say, spell, and remember.
If Google was instead called The Internet Search Company, people would have a harder time remembering, talking about, and ultimately referencing your company. Usually companies with longer names realize this, and rebrand with an acronym using their initials.
Here are a few that have done so:
- American Telephone and Telegraph (known as AT&T)
- The Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company (known as 3M)
- Bavarian Motor Works (known as BMW)
Easy to Pronounce
If you pick a name that is hard to pronounce, people simply wont say it. You'll suffer from less word of mouth.
When you're mentioned in a video or any piece of audio, people might not be capable of correctly spelling your name and finding you online.
You want people to be able to talk about your business without any friction.
Ideally, people over time will regularly talk about and use your brand's name, to the extent that it literally becomes a word.
I'll search that is
I'll Google that
I took a taxi home is now
I Ubered home
This isn't possible with a name that's hard to pronounce.
Don't Spend More Than a Day
Fantasizing about your future business is totally a good time. Don't get me wrong.
But if you're spending multiple days on this process and you don't even have a product yet, you absolutely should be prioritizing the actual product.
If your product is no good, then it does not matter what you call your business. It's going to fail even with the perfect name.
And you can always change your name later if you're not happy with your initial name.
Pick a name that meets these rules, make sure you can swipe the domain and relevant social media handles, and start working on your product. It's 100x more important.
So, in order to get this done quickly I've also added a list of helpful tools to speed up your brainstorming process.
Tools That Help With Naming
This is one of my favorite tools, and I don't think many people know about it.
You give it a list of prefixes and suffixes and it spits out every possible combination AND checks if the domain for that name is available.
This is my favorite tool and it speeds up the process so that I can quickly figure out not only what names might sound good, but also which ones I could even get a clean domain for.
Note: A "clean" domain isn't that big of a deal. There are so many TLDs today, people are getting used to not every website being a dot-com. You can easily grow a business with any domain.
There's nothing worse that starting a business, only to realize that you're using a name that someone else already owns.
And legal issues. You don't want to get sued for trademark or copyright infringement.
Luckily, you can search the United States Patent and Trademark Office anytime, from anywhere.
Here's the link to their trademark search engine.
Social Media Availability
It would take forever to try your new name on every social media platform, just to make sure it's available.
Luckily, we have namecheckr.
You can type in your potential business name and if will scan over 30 social media platforms AND all of most popular domain TLDs.
In short, you can try a few variations of a potential name and see if you can get a matching one on all of the platforms you are on.
Thesaurus & Synonyms
Most of the time, the first name I think of is likely also the first name someone else thought of - and the domain is taken.
When I'm having a really hard time finding available names, I usually resort to using a thesaurus to find synonyms for words that describe my product, offer, or general niche that my business operates in.
This is everything I consider when naming a new business or project. The big idea is to keep things short and memorable, and take advantage of tools that make the process easier.
Don't be afraid of using domains that aren't dot-com. One of my favorite domains ever is testsuite.io. I use it for my technical blog and the "io" TLD, at least in my opinion, makes it sound even more technical.
Other than that Dotomator is responsible for most of my other domains. For example, UserSurge, Downping, and Taskmade.
I hope I was able to help you out and provide some tools and guidance in picking your next name. I always think it's an exciting process (and definitely a great way to procrastinate on actually building the business).
You can follow me on Twitter for more stuff like this!