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How to Come Up With The Right Name For Your Start-Up

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How to Come Up With The Right Name For Your Start-Up

What’s in a name? According to Shakespeare, “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet”, but does that apply to companies?

Not really. Successful companies tend to have memorable, simple and effective names, and for good reasons. Names are the first thing people encounter when they are introduced to a company. They are interpreted as a symbol of the company’s underlying quality. They are also an essential tool to create a lasting impression.

All of this makes it important to find a name that serves your company well. Here are some tips on how to come up with a corporate identity that lasts.

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Come Up With A Name That Communicates Who You Are

Your name has to reflect what drives your business. For customers, names are important. When they purchase goods or services, they want to know that the company they are buying from is serious about what they do. That doesn’t mean picking a bland, boring name. But it does mean foregrounding what makes you special. So think about coming up with a name that reflects your core values, not just a flashy, catchy name that is easy to remember.

Stay Memorable With The Right Company Name

Having said that, it’s important to come up with a memorable name. Sometimes it seems that having a short, snappy name is the only reason start-ups exist. Everywhere you look, there are companies with names like “fuzzle”, “bangle” or “zoopla”. Short, punchy names work well, as does an element of strangeness. Anything that can burrow deep into the minds of site visitors and passers-by on the street will work well, so think about adding a quirky touch to your company name.

Take A Direct Approach for Straight-Forward Communication

For others, a more direct, straight-down-the-line approach could work wonders. If you work in a business like plumbing, home redesign, landscape gardening or pool cleaning, customers probably won’t be impressed by a quirky name. Instead, they might respond better to something concrete, simple and direct. Names like “Outstanding Gardens” may seem too basic, but they do get the message across. With a creative logo, the plainness of the name can actually create an impressive effect.

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Consider the Long-Term to Create a Brand That Lasts

Think about the medium to long-term as well. You want your company to be around for 5, 10, even 20 years, so coming up with a name that reflects where you want to be in the future is a fundamental key to success for your business. Some ways of wording names suit large, successful companies that reach out to richer clients. Others try to retain a homely feel (like Walmart) by stressing a family identity. Either way, pick a name that will sound sensible and catchy when success is in your grasp.

Make Your Company Name As User-Friendly as Possible

Think about how your name will be used by people as well. This is something that companies often forget about, but it’s fundamental. Good company names should roll off the tongue. They should be easy to say, and easy to spell. If people can’t spell your business properly, it can have a huge negative impact on your search ranking. If they can’t say it, they will be less likely to remember it.

Make your name as user-friendly as possible. Little things like that can have big dividends. In a world where voice search is becoming more crucial, making your name easy to pronounce can also be a big plus for search engine optimization.

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Go For a Localized Approach and Create Roots in Your Community

Another strategy is to go hyper-local and come up with a name that connects your company to the local history. If your town witnessed a crucial battle or it was the site of a world-changing invention, you could incorporate that heritage into your name. By anchoring your identity in the long-term history of a community, you can instantly gain credibility and the impression of having deep roots. That can go a long way towards creating trust among local customers, even if you are, in reality, nothing but a start-up.

Names Matter, So Don’t Rush Your Selection

Spend a little time brainstorming potential names. In fact, spend as much time as it takes to come up with something that ticks all the boxes. It should be short, simple, easy to remember and in some way reflect your core values. It might be a little quirky, it might be straight-forward, and it could be linked to the local community.

Time spent coming up with the right identity will be rewarded, and the last thing you need is an expensive rebrand a few years down the line. It might be simple, but there really is something in a name, and it takes some creativity to find the right one.

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Featured photo credit: istockphoto via istockphoto.com

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