Choosing the best name for you company isn’t always easy. Over the years I have met with many people setting up new companies and I always advise them in the same way. There are 5 factors you should consider before choosing a name for your company.
Is the name of your company memorable? Is it catchy? Does it roll off the tongue easily? If it doesn’t maybe you should reconsider the name you are selecting as your company brand name. Often new start-ups want to use technical names and I always advise against this.
Here’s an example. A client of mine is setting up a new painting company – Alpha Industrial Paint. He wanted to use a name that starts with an “A” because “A” comes first in an alphabetical listing. While this is a good idea, the name is too technical and honestly isn’t very memorable. After thinking on it a few days I suggested he use the name Alpha Paint Pros. My client can still take advantage of the alphabetical order of the listing; he gets to keep the name “Alpha” that he liked, while at the same time having a name that is a bit catchier and more memorable. Choose a name people can easily remember, it gives them a convenient way to identify with your brand.
I must admit my company name fails at the “Easy to communicate” factor. Although the name of the company is AriesGDIM, the GDIM is an acronym for Graphic Design & Internet Marketing; several people call me trying to actually pronounce the name. I laugh and then explain that the company name is Aries G. D. I. M. So I will advise you not to do what I did unless your acronym name can actually spell a word people can pronounce. If a company name is easy to pronounce it is also easy spell; this can be very beneficial when users are looking up your brand name in an Internet search or if they tell someone else about you. Names that are difficult to say are easily mispronounced, which increases the chances that it will be misspelled. A name that is hard to pronounce is easily forgotten. Make sure your brand name will be easy to communicate don’t increase your margin of error by making it too difficult for your users to say.
Can’t stress this one enough. Please check with your local secretary of state to ensure the name of your company is available. Next, if you plan to have a strong online influence, it is important to also make sure you can secure your brand domain name. You can easily look up your proposed business name at http://godaddy.com to see if your brand name is available in a .com. If not, you can take the .co, .net, or .biz but most users will by default automatically look for the .com, therefore, if possible try to find a name that will be available with a .com extension. This makes it easier for your users to find you.
Many people like to stick to a name and brand type that is comfortable, stiff, dignified, and safe. If you want your brand name to stand out you have to step out of the box and do something different. In order to be innovative you have to be original which means you can’t be a follower. Standing out means you have to abandon the norms of society and venture out in a new direction. This factor is probably the most important if you want to have a successful brand name. Your brand name should be fresh, creative, and uncommon. Yes this can be scary but if you aren’t willing to step out and be different you are killing your brand before it ever gets off the ground. Be Unique!
5. Keep It Short
A name that is short, simple and straight to the point resonates in the mind of users better than one that is too long. My company name was Aries Graphic Design and people always misspelled it and said it wrong. To me it was simple but I realized that this is just a reality… people get stuff wrong, therefore it is up to you to reduce the margin of error by making your brand name a short one. Now my brand name is AriesGDIM, it is one word, straight to the point and memorable. Other examples of successful one-word or short brand names are: Gucci, Levi’s, Coach, Caterpillar, MGM, Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, Lexus, Apple, Microsoft….. I can go on and on. The shorter the name the easier it is to remember.
Choosing a brand name for your company is not an easy task. Following steps above will definitely point you in the right direction. Now it’s time to get to work.
I love collaboration and would love for you to share your ideas for choosing the best brand name for a new or existing company. I’m sure I’ve left out something…. Feel free to share your ideas or questions.
Aries – Graphic Design & Internet Marketing / AriesGDIM Tami Highbaugh-Abdullah Creative Marketing Director 317.345.4182 AriesGDIM.com / AriesGraphicDesign.com @ariesgdim – Twitter AriesGDIM Facebook Google+ AriesGDIM
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