What should I consider when naming my Start-up?
Building a start-up is exhausting. There are so many things to do that you didn't even think of when starting out. Luckily finding a name won’t be one of those things, after reading this article. We will discuss several important tips to consider while naming your company.
First, we are going to look at what makes a great name, but besides finding a good name it also has to be practical. Because of this, we will explore if the name works in reality in the second part of the article.
Part I: 6 tips that make a great name
1) Easy to spell
When picking a name it is crucial that people can talk about the product, service or company you're naming. A study by Nielsen found that trust in "word of mouth" is the most trusted form of advertisement. 92% of people trust what their friends tell them.
If you have the resources best practices is to ask people with different mother tounges to spell it. The most spoken languages are Chinese, Spanish, English, Hindi, Arabic - this can be of good guidance. But at the end of the day, you have to know in what countries you want to operate and test for those.
2) Shorter is better
This is a no-brainer. If your name is short, it's easier to remember, and there will be fewer spelling errors. It also comes as an advantage for several designs. If your name is short it can be displayed bigger in many places, easily grabbing more attention.
3) Test if the name is memorable
To test if your name is memorable send it to a friend along with other names, tell them to read it twice. Ask him the next day which names he remembers. To ensure this practice makes sense, you have to be honest to yourself and only add names of similar quality. There's no advantage in cheating on this test. We're not in university anymore. Also, this can be a great way to pick a name out of several options.
4) Where is your company headed?
When taking a look at your companies future, it is important to pick a name according to that. If you are sure you'll stay in the segment you start operating in, it is okay to pick a descriptive name. For example "Delivery Hero" for the US delivery service. If you see your company expanding to other segments, I'd suggest you'll consider picking a brandable name like "uber" or "google". That will make it easier to brand new products and carry on the pre-existing trust in your name.
5) Test how people say the name
Even in a global pandemic and texting seeming to overtake talking in popularity, how your name sounds verbally is clearly important. People of different nations or even people of other backgrounds might pronounce your name differently. I would advise you to be cautious when considering a name that is said differently than most people would assume.
6) Get feedback on the name
The last step is to collect Feedback on your name choice. What will people in your future audience think of the name? Is it appealing? What do other founders think? Talking to someone who has already gotten their feet wet is always a good call.
Part II: Will your name work in the market?
Once you followed the previous 6 steps, you've should have found yourself an excellent name. But now we have to analyse the name on a different more practical note. Is it even available? Maybe it's already a protected trademark. To ensure you won't run into legal or operative issues along the way also make sure to take those steps.
1) Research the name
Open up your browser, head to Google and browse all you can find about the name. You can also download a VPN and search from the point of the countries you'll operate in. I've always used Tunnelbear for this task. It has many different countries available and 500MB of free data per month.
2) Check if the domain is available
Take the time to check if the domain is available. About that: it's totally fine if you buy domains with alternative TLDs to .com. We've already written an article about 10 reasons why .io and .co are growing in popularity and trust.
3) Translate to avoid blunders
Making huge mistakes in naming is something even big corporations aren't immune to. Take Ford, for example, they named one of their cars Pinto and marketed them in Brazil. What they didn’t notice, pinto is a slang term for "tiny penis". Make sure to avoid those blunders by searching for common translations in all languages you’ll address your audience in.
4) Trademark search
Lastly, you still have to do a trademark search. If you build a start-up and the name you have chosen is already a registered trademark, that's bad news. You'll have to start over. To check available trademarks, we use marcaria. With this tool, you can search every registered trademark globally and for specific countries. It's quite amazing, to say the least. Don't rush this process - if you're not careful in this step, you'll spend much more time and energy than you would have needed.
We hope this article could help you. Good luck with finding the right name. 🖊️
If you are interested in learning about what different categories of names exist to help you on your name search, you might be interested in this article about the 7 different types of company names.