This is a guest post submitted by Grant Polachek. He is the head of branding for Squadhelp, 3X Inc 5000 startup and disruptive naming agency. Squadhelp has reviewed over 1 million names and curated a collection of the best available names on the web today. We are the world’s leading crowdsource naming platform, supporting clients from early-stage startups to Fortune 500 companies.
According to various studies, we’re exposed to between 4000 and 10,000 ads a day.
Well, unless it’s a crappy ad, it’ll probably include a brand name. In other words, we see a lot of brand names. Everyone is. And that means standing out among that massive crowd is tough!
But I’ve got good news – I’m a naming expert. And with over 30,000 naming projects under our belt at Squadhelp, we can help you find a perfect name for your new business – and the theme you choose for your new site.
Three Steps to Finding That Perfect Brand Name Your Startup Needs
Know Everything About Your Brand
Naming is essential, but it shouldn’t be your first step. If you plan on starting your business with a brand name, you’re beginning wrong. You must first understand your brand’s core values to create the perfect name. This goes for website themes, too.
You must infuse your branding strategy with these core values, including the name.
Are you reliable and respected?
Modern and exciting?
Sustainable and conscientious?
If you don’t know the answers, it’s time to return to the drawing board and get to know your business better.
Your goal is to ensure your brand is engaging, entertaining, relatable, personal, and comprehensive yet concise.
Also, ensure it speaks to your audience and conveys your brand’s values. You want to create something that resonates with your target customers and connects them to your brand.
Examples of Businesses With Excellent Brand Names
- Apple: Apple is a timeless and classic name that perfectly evokes ideas of the fruit of knowledge, which connotes simplicity and innovation.
- Google: Google has an incredible branding story behind it; securing its identity as the “go-to” source for web-based information makes it instantly recognisable in any market space. Plus, who can resist such fun wordplay?
- Nike: As we all know, the name Nike comes from Greek mythology, specifically, the goddess of victory, which serves as a powerful reminder of what sports or activities one might associate with their brand and, ultimately, how they want customers to feel.
- Coca-Cola: The two words combine beautifully; “coke” is synonymous with refreshment, while “cola” leaves people feeling nostalgic about simpler times when life was less frantic and households were built around gathering around a big bottle of Coke after work or school.
Combining these words smoothly communicates positive emotions without appearing overly corporate or sterile.
- McDonald’s: Aside from being much easier (and quicker!) to say than its full company name (McDonald’s Corporation), McDonald’s gets bonus points for tying into more traditional values like hospitality & family experience elements through its iconic golden arches logo design too!
Interestingly enough, this logo design originally served double duty as an ad campaign in road navigation at the time!
- Amazon derives its power primarily from association with strength; it conjures images of vastness and nearly limitless potential thanks to its namesake, the Amazon river.
Start Chucking Ideas About
This is the fun bit.
Put your brand values on a whiteboard, and work with your team, business partner, or friends. You can play games – how about getting some scrabble tiles involved?
Or you can keep things professional and try out various words from industry slang, crack out a thesaurus, or experiment with visual names. You can also use the Squadhelp name generator to craft exciting ideas for your business.
At this stage, there are good ideas. Even if you end up with 56 potential names, that’s fine. The next step will be to sort it out.
That’s shortlisting your names!
You’re matching names up with that brand identity you know so well, including your tone.
Keeping a few wild cards in the shortlist before the next step is fine; testing might surprise you.
Test the Names You’ve Found
Along with a synthesis between your brand values and tone (your vibe, if you want to put it like that), brand name recall is one of the main things to consider when naming your business, as mentioned in the intro.
Testing your name can help ensure that your name aligns with your brand tone and is easy to remember.
That doesn’t have to mean paying for audience testing – though, do that if you can afford it!
You can also run it by colleagues, friends, and strangers at the bar.
One test you can perform is the ‘crowded bar’ test. And the test is pretty simple. If you tell someone your newly created brand name in a noisy place, would they remember it the next day?
If they do, the name could be the right one. But don’t jump in just yet because you must perform other simple checks before using the name. These checks include the following:
- Checking if the name is easily brandable
- Check if it aligns with your brand’s identity
- Check if it’s got an offensive meaning in another language
- Getting a premium domain name
- Checking if the name is trademarkable
Naming is tough. I won’t deny that. But using these three steps, you should be able to get a great name, or at least a collection of unique names, pretty quickly.
A weak, generic name can ruin your business, but a name that isn’t perfect but is good can work well as long as your branding, product, and delivery work together to deliver a good customer experience.
With the proper research and creativity, you can create a unique, memorable name that resonates with your audience and stands out from the competition. It’s essential to consider the various elements of a robust name and to find the right balance between being creative and staying true to your brand’s identity.