“Nothing in marketing can succeed unless the name is right. The best company, the best product, the best packaging, and the best marketing in the world won’t work if the name is wrong.” – Al Ries, Marketing Expert
Once your business idea is brewed and it is clear that you will follow the entrepreneurial path, there’s only one thing that can stop you from formally forming a company, making a visiting card, your website or setting up an office – The Business Name.
A name is important. It becomes your organisation’s identity. In some cases, it could represent the values. In some cases, it may represent your product’s quality. In today’s world, it really represents how visible and unique you are.
A few years or a decade ago, naming your company would’ve been the easiest thing to do. However, with social media being your numero uno place for marketing it is quite essential that your name be a standout and you get a unique domain name for the website as well. What better than your website being the first link displayed on Google when searched!
Here are seven steps for you to come up with a name –
1. List down all related words
If you are setting up an entity in the healthcare segment, your list of words could be care, nutrition, strength, health, wellness, power, muscle, lean, fit, and more. These words are your gateway to commencing the naming ceremony – the starting point.
2. Synonyms and meanings
A dictionary and thesaurus come in very handy here. Or simply Google. One by one check the synonyms and meanings of all the words you have penned down in step 1. Oftentimes, you will stumble upon an interesting sounding synonym which has a simple meaning and yet it is unique.
3. Combo it up
Don’t be afraid to combine two words to form a name. It can be a fun exercise. For example, if you were naming a gym – athlete + lean = athlean (Name’s already taken!). Veritus (Meaning Truth in Latin) + Horizon = Verizon. Nintendou breaks into Nin which means something along the lines of entrusted and ten-dou means heaven.
4. Words from other languages
Some simple words sound tremendously interesting in a different language. Try out French, German, Latin, Spanish etc. any language that uses English letters! For example, Sony comes from ‘Sonus’ which is a Latin word for ‘Sound’. Lego comes from the Danish language “leg godt” which means to play well.
Abbreviations can be amazing. The just get stuck on your tongue. The long form could be something boring but the acronym could sound very catchy. For example, PVR is actually a joint venture agreement between Priya Exhibitors Private Limited and Village Roadshow Limited. FCUK, although looks like a pun actually stands for French Connection UK. Many more examples like NASA, SHIELD (from Marvels!) etcetera
6. The Litmus Test – How unique is your name?
Let’s say you’ve narrowed 2 or 3 names, which one do you go for? How do you choose the final name? The ultimate test is to make sure the domain name is available by the same name. Always go for a .com. If .com is not available then go for the country-specific extension: .in being for us Indians.
What if both are not available and you really like the name? Is it a good idea to go for a different extension like .co.in or .biz or .tv or the likes. It’s gonna take some effort and good SEO to get your site to higher search results. Although difficult, it is not impossible. But I have evidence that with good SEO comes good results on Google search. Simplywall.st is a terrific example.
7. Should the name be related to the product?
Yes and no. It can be beneficial to have the name that conveys what the company is about. For example. The Coca Cola Company, Microsoft, Wealthharvest, etc. However, the world’s largest companies have names that are absolutely unrelated to what they do. For example, Google (Meaningless word!), Amazon (it’s a river), Apple (it’s a fruit), Blackberry (again!), etc. Although it can be argued that they are famous now so it doesn’t matter, however, they were small businesses at some point! So how you market and brand your company matters!