How to Pick the PERFECT Name for Your Business
In the early stages of building your brand, choosing a name is one of, if not *the* first commitment you’re gonna have to make. This can be both exciting and challenging.
The fact is: 7 out of 10 consumers make purchase decisions based on the brand name. So it’s pretty important that you get this right 🙃
Finding the *perfect* name can feel like a lot of pressure. That’s why some companies pay agencies thousands of dollars to land the right name for their corporation.
Unfortunately, startups and small businesses don’t always have that luxury. But that doesn’t mean you’re outta luck –
In this 4th video of our Brand Bootcamp series, I’m gonna help you land that perfect biz name all on your own. ✨
Be sure to download this FREE Workbook that will help you land that perfect biz name:
BRAND BOOTCAMP SERIES:
✨Video #1: How to grow your business in 2021
*Strategically Name Your Biz* Workbook: https://align-creative-minds.mykajabi.com/How-to-strategically-name-your-business
If the writer's block is real when it comes to naming your business, you're going to want to watch this video. These days, our lives are completely surrounded by brands. Band-aids, Kleenex, Uber, Apple, Zoom, Slack, and Oprah are all perfect examples of brand names that have become adopted in our everyday speech.
When you head to the grocery store, I bet you probably say, "I'm going over to Whole Foods," Or "I'm going to go grab something at Trader Joe's." And while yes, these are both grocery stores, the brand name itself sets apart the expectations for the user experience and the product. The fact is seven out of 10 consumers make purchase decisions based on the brand name. It's pretty important that you get this right.
In the early stages of building your business, choosing a name is going to be one of the first commitments you make. This can be both exciting and scary at the same time. Oftentimes agencies are paid thousands of dollars to come up with awesome names for big companies, and unfortunately startups and small businesses don't always have that luxury. But that doesn't mean that you're out of luck.
In this fourth video of our Brand Bootcamp series, I'm going to show you how to land that perfect business name all on your own. Before we get to that, if you're in the market for more design hacks that will make your marketing look great and help grow your business, don't forget to hit the subscribe and notify button, so you never miss a beat.
As for me, I'm Lesley, co-founder of Brand Therapy sessions. In my experience with building brands, when it comes to picking a name, you can take a couple of routes. In many cases, what could be more unique than choosing your own given name. Or on the other hand, you could choose a unique business name that strategically lets people know a little bit more about who you are or what you have to offer. If you're an entrepreneur, and you're considering using your own name, here are a couple of things for you to consider. If you'd like to follow along, I've created a naming guide with all of the tips I'm about to share in the link below this video. Take two seconds, hit pause, grab the workbook, and we'll dive right in.
The pros of using your own given name. First of all, it's about as straightforward and simple as things can get. It's going to be very clear for your clients who they'll be working with without any confusion. It's also going to save you quite a bit of time and not pulling your hair out, digging through a thesaurus. Another thing to keep in mind is that using your own given name is going to save you from having to introduce yourself by your brand name when doing in person networking or doing a presentation.
Another thing to consider is that when you use your own personal name, it creates an immediate sense of human connection. That's great because these days, corporations are not attractive to people anymore. People want to know about the person who is behind the business. Lastly, you'll be at the center of your business, meaning complete and consistent recognition for all of your hard work.
The cons of using your given name. You're at the center of your business. Yes, you heard me right. This is both a pro and a con. And for good reason. When you're out with friends or you're on vacation, do you always want to be a direct representation of your business? Or when you're on social media, and you're interacting with your friends and family, do you want to have to filter out certain aspects of your life for the sake of remaining on brand? For some people, it's really important to have an identity outside of their entrepreneurial journey. If that feels like you, this is probably not the best route for you to take.
Another thing to consider is that your name might not be that unique or it could change in the future. Speaking of future, lastly, and most importantly, it could limit your growth. As you add more team members and you try to delegate tasks, clients that expected to have a direct rapport with you are going to feel some resistance. That's why it's so important to plan ahead before you choose a suitable name for your business. You are going to have a super hard time selling your business if it bears your name. You might not be thinking about this today, but 25 years from now, when it's much bigger and much more successful, and you're ready to slow down from all of your hard work, this is going to be a huge challenge.
With that in mind, I'm curious. Comment below and let me know. Are you going to choose your own personal name, or are you going to come up with something new and unique for your biz?
Now that you've weighed out the pros and cons and figured out the best route suited for you, here are some tips to help make a strong name that is lasting and memorable. Tip number one. Pick a name that is short and simple. Long and confusing names can be difficult to remember. Typically the strongest names are four syllables at the most. After that, people start abbreviating in a way that could be detrimental or confusing for your brand.
Try saying your business name aloud. Gauge whether it's too hard or unnatural to pronounce. Tricky names can be both confusing and a burden for your clients. Admittedly, I'm still a little weary on how to properly pronounce these names, so we're going to move on to the next tip. Test it on other people and especially your ideal clients. It's super important to make sure your name sounds just as good to them as it does to you.
Find the story behind your name. A story gives your brand character and helps you stand out from the crowd. Seemingly abstract names like Pepsi, Panera, Google, and Adidas, actually all have great stories behind them. Connect with your brand promise. How do you want your clients to feel from your services? As an example, Air Bed and Breakfast rebranded in 2007 to Airbnb showed how the company really understood their promise with their audience. The central concept of belong gets to the company's true emotional appeal. Airbnb is not just about cheap accommodations, but also about staying in places that feel more like home with people who will become your friends.
Be evocative, not descriptive. Descriptive names like Yousendit are fine, especially when you're first starting out. A descriptive name can help your product get discovered in search results, but ultimately it could limit your business.
If you have taking over the world size ambitions, follow the Apple model. In a world of international business machines and emphasis on business machine, Microsoft and Apple's abstract names allowed them to move from computers to music players and phones without consumers even blinking an eye. It has brand extensibility. But Apple is not just a random name plucked from the dictionary or from the Apple tree. It evokes important symbols of human development. It's the fruit of the tree of knowledge in the Bible and the object that fell on Isaac Newton's head inspiring the theory of gravity.
Another fun little story. I'm pretty sure actually almost positive that Apple is at least a partial homage to Alan Turing, the inventor of the world's first electronic computer. The company denies it, but the coincidences are far too great. Turing committed suicide by biting into a poisonous apple. Of course they'd have to deny it because the logo would be insensitive to Alan. But I think it was meant to be an Easter egg for the geekiest of computer nerds. It had a personal significance for Steve Jobs from his days living on an apple orchard commune.
The next tip. Make sure your brand name is available. Make sure no one else owns it and make sure that the URL is available. A great place to start searching if your name is available is on godaddy.com. Also you'll want to make sure social media handles are available as well.
Next tip. Don't take criticism personally. There will most likely be people who don't like your brand name, and hearing this now is so much better than after you've paid to register your URL and your business name. Most importantly, don't choose a name that you don't like. Of course you want to pick a name that resonates with everyone, but at the end of the day, this is your business and you want to make sure you feel a strong connection to its name.
All right, now that you know all the pros and cons and the do's and don'ts when it comes to naming your business, it's time to put that pen to paper and nail your name. I'm a visual person. I've gone ahead and created a mind map that will help you brainstorm the name that is best suited for your business based on your internal brand. That brings us to the end of video four of the Brand Bootcamp series. If you like this video, please hit the subscribe and thumbs up button. Thanks for watching.