Choosing the perfect name for your startup can often have a significant impact on the success of your company – a successful company starts with successful branding and marketing campaigns. In addition to keeping you from connecting with your target market, selecting the wrong name can lead to huge legal challenges and business problems. However, a clear, memorable business name can be especially helpful to your overall branding and marketing efforts.
1. Keep it as simple as possible
The first step in naming your startup is to avoid difficult names – like ones that are hard to spell or remember. For example, you don’t want prospective customers to confuse your business with a competitor – which can be especially easy to do online. Furthermore, you don’t want to have to constantly correct misspelled versions of your company’s name either.
That’s why you should try to keep it simple.
2. Don’t pick a name that could potentially limit your company’s growth
While you want to keep your startup’s name simple, you don’t want to make the mistake of selecting too narrow of a name that could limit the growth of your business in the future. For example, what if Jeff Bezos had his startup “eBooks” instead of Amazon? It would have been much tougher for him to have moved beyond selling books online – significantly limiting the growth and success of his business.
In other words, you don’t want to limit your company to a specific product, service, or region.
3. Choose a startup name that conveys meaning for your brand
The best business names convey something positive and meaningful about their brand. Ideally, your name should be something that prospective customers can immediately get what your company is about. While “meaningless” names can sometimes become popular if they are catchy, they make branding a lot more expensive and challenging.
4. Conduct in-depth online research to see if anyone else is using the name
Once you find a good name for your startup, you will want to see if anyone else uses it. Chances are, it probably is being used. While that’s not necessarily a deal-breaker, it might be enough to give you pause. For example, you want to ensure that customers won’t potentially confuse your business with another business using the same name. That might come down to how good of a job you think you can do of branding your company.
Furthermore, you want to make sure the name isn’t already trademarked – which means you can’t legally use it. You can do a quick trademark search by visiting the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office website.
5. Make sure that you can get the “.com” domain name for your startup
Finally, when it comes to selecting a good name for your business, you want to make sure that you can get the “.com” domain name extension. In addition to making your company look more professional online, it will be easier for your customers to remember your web address. However, if the “.com” domain name is not available, seriously consider changing the name to something else that is available. Don’t try to register another domain name extension like “.net,” “.org,” or “.biz.” It can hurt your branding and marketing efforts much harder.
In short, when it comes to naming your startup, keep it simple. However, avoid picking something too narrow that will limit your business to a particular product or service. Ideally, your name should convey some type of meaning for your brand. Once you have a name in mind, see if anyone else is using it, and whether you can register a “.com” domain name extension for it.