Among the many factors, you have to decide on when entering the ever-evolving world of startups is a company name. As a graphic designer, I constantly see clients who have picked long, ambiguous, or complicated company names which make branding design and logo design challenging for me and hard to interpret for their customers. Read on for my tips on how to choose a great company name with enormous branding potential.
1. Keep It Short and Sweet
Looking at some of the biggest companies out there today; Apple, Tesla, Uber, and Twitter, among others, one thing they all have in common is a short, bi-syllabic name. Coincidence? I think not. By creating a one or two-word name for your company, you increase the chance that your customers and potential customers will remember it. Selecting a short name for your new business can be challenging but also creates the potential for a cleaner, more evocative, brand-specific logo design. The easier it is for others to remember your company’s name and design, the easier it is to grow your business. Mo’money, mo’money, mo’money!
2. Be Creative, But Don’t Over Do It
While you may be privy to the inside joke your company name contains, others may not get it. It’s kind of like the business world equivalent of your hidden-meaning-Halloween costume: you don’t want to have to explain “what” you are. A great company name can be *descriptive of your business (we’ll get back to this one), inspires confidence in prospective clients, and has the potential for excellent logo design.
3. Check the Domain and Trademark Availability
You may come up with a perfect name for your company, but if it’s an already registered trademark, you’re kind of out of luck. Similarly, you have to think about a domain name and the implications there. Ideally, you’ll end up with an easy to remember company-based domain ending in the standard and prized .com, or .co, .ca, etc if your business is based in, or targets markets in those specific locales. By keeping your name short and sweet, it’s a lot easier to have a memorable domain name. (See item #1)
4. Don’t Be Generic (*Sort of…)
A generic company name could certainly make branding design easier on the graphic designer’s end but a descriptive business name is great if you or your company is targeting local customers and clients. Example, The Great Gluten-Free Toronto Donut Company. The downside of locking in a descriptive business name is when your business expands beyond your original product offering and/or the market evolves. What if The Great Gluten-Free Toronto Donut Company goes international and gluten-free is no longer trendy or an issue because our new alien friends generously gave us a healthier alternative. So many times I see companies that choose their business name based on their address and then they move location. Remember Apple use to be Apple Computers and take a look at them now. So proud of the little startup.
5. Check Google
For the love of… Do a quick Google search for your carefully brainstormed list of potential company names. What comes up? Are the results congruent with what you want potential clients to think of when they search for you on the internet? A name that appears innocuous on your end could easily produce search results you don’t want to be associated with. Because you’re doing your intensive research check out Unfortunate Meanings in Other Languages. So funny…
By taking the time to produce a creative, descriptive or not too descriptive company name which is easily searchable, you’ll increase the chance of growing your business, having a killer logo design and making Mo’ Money, Mo’ Money, Mo’ Money and giving you peace of mind in the here and future now.
By taking the time to produce a creative, descriptive or not too descriptive company name which is easily searchable, you’ll increase the chance of growing your business, having a killer Brand Identity Design and making Mo’ Money, Mo’ Money, Mo’ Money and giving you peace of mind in the here and future now.