Giving your start-up a good name should be number one on your new business to-do list.
You really shouldn’t be doing anything else before you name your company. Everything depends on it, from your logo design to your future success.
Here are some tips for coming up with the right name for your start-up in order to get off on the right foot:
- Communicate what you’re selling
The name of your start-up needs to clearly communicate what your business is about.
It might be tempting to make up a word that’s not even in the dictionary, but for a start-up, even that fake word better be obvious to everyone what your business sells.
For example, even if you just landed here from Mars, you might guess that a company called Facebook is a website about people’s faces; identities; who they are.
Of course, models used face books for decades before. They were portfolio books that held clippings from the models’ previous work.
When Mark Zuckerberg and his buddies wanted a name for a website that would allow college students to post photos of them, Facebook, with the two words pushed together, would have been an obvious progression.
Wherever you stand on the great Facebook divide, you have to admit the name is near genius.
- Reflect company culture
Your start-up name also needs to be reflective of your company’s culture.
When you hear a name like Aunt Jemima or Mrs. Fields, you can assume that you’re going to get a product that reminds you of your grandmother’s cooking.
The same goes with a name like Victoria’s Secret. Most men – and women – understand that Victoria has a secret underneath her proper clothes. Victoria’s Secret definitely isn’t going to be a fabulous recipe for flapjacks.
One of the best, iconic start-up names was conceived by Daymond John.
When Daymond John came up with FuBu, he landed on a start-up name that perfectly embodied the company culture he created.
Fubu – for us, by us – is a brand built by an African American, for African Americans. And his target demographic got it, immediately. So much so that Daymond himself is now a famous and beloved multi-millionaire.
If you want to come up with something that might make you a millionaire, read “Five Tips on Naming Your Start-Up for Impact.”
- Easy to spell
Since you live in a world that is post-Internet, you need a name that people can easily type into their computer browser’s search field.
If you concocted some crazy, hip and trendy name that no one can spell, your target demographic is going to be frustrated when they try to spell your start-up name in 50 different variations and they still can’t find you.
Your start-up name has to be easy to spell.
Choose a word that is so common that everybody on the planet can spell it.
A perfect example is About.com. The name is simple, everyone can spell it, and it communicates what the site is about. About.
Keeping these things in mind, you should be able to come up with a short list of potential names for your start-up.
It’s harder than it looks, but once you land on the right one, you’ll know.
About the Author: Kate Supino is a small business owner who writes extensively about best business practices.