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Cool Company Naming Tips

Our experts share insights on naming, branding and starting a new venture.

Tip: Consider a Bold Name Choice for Your Tech Company. Good name choices you’re your technology or professional service business encapsulate the vision of your firm in a single word. Look to names that convey innovation, cutting-edge, intelligence or your company’s bold approach to meeting customer needs and wants.

Trap: Avoid Names That Try Too Hard. Puns usually fall short as good company names. You want a name that’s clever – but not too clever. There is a fine line between engaging your audience and trying too hard. What you may think is witty may well turn off potential customers.

Tip: Check the History of Your Domain Name. You don’t want to build your company on a domain that has been flagged by search engines for abuse, fraud or other unseemly activity. The previous domain history can linger in cyberspace for some time and may affect the search results for your new business. The solution is easy. Just enter the domain name into the top search engines -- Bing.com, Google.com, Ask.com, DuckDuckGo.com -- to learn of any negative history.

Trap: Avoid Including Too Many Members on Your Name Decision Team. It’s important to have a few key individuals on your name selection team to give insight and perspective on your naming options. But a word of caution! While it’s great to solicit input from a myriad of stakeholders, resist the temptation to include every stakeholder onto the final decision team. Innovative names are bound to rub some member the wrong way. So with a large decision team, you are likely to end up with a lackluster, boring name choice that offended no one -- but also excited no one.

More Naming Tips & Traps

Check back regularly for new start-up tips and traps to be avoided.

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How to Find a Great Company Name -- Free Report
a great name

The Secret to Finding a Really Great Company -- Free Report!

We all know a great company name when we see it and when we hear it. That delicious, perfect sounding name that just rolls off your tongue. Something about the company name just sounds right. Look at these examples ... Netflix ®, Nest ®, Apple ®, Tesla ®, GoPro ®, Google ®, eBay ®.

It's true -- world-class companies start with world-class names. Fortune 500 companies have teams of brand professionals to help them develop the perfect identity.

Now Brandings provides start-ups with the branding expertise that levels the playing field with big league corporations. We know how tough it is to start a new business. You want to start with every advantage ... and that all begins with a powerful company name.

The naming experts at Brandings share their insights on how to name a company and what to look for when choosing a new company name.

We'll share the "must-know" factors that make a company name great and will provide a free name evaluation tool that will help you select the perfect name.

How To Name Your Company

11 "Must-Know" Factors in Naming Your Start-Up

There are a few central elements that separate a "good" company name from a truly "great" company name. It comes down to the length, texture, spelling, visual design, linguistic value, characters, global application, getting an "exact-match" dot-com domain, usage rights and growth potential.

1. Company Name Length Matters.

When choosing a new name for a business, length matters. In most cases, a successful name for a business, product or service is short in length – usually fewer than 11 characters.

The longer the name, the greater the propensity for confusion, mix-ups and misspellings. And because all growth-driven firms must have an active on-line web presence, a typo or misspelling in a name by a customer will likely send that buyer to a competitor’s website.

2. Texture of the Name.

This is the “art” side in the creation of a winning company name. The name selected should roll off the tongue and have a pleasing sound and texture.

The best names for a new company are clear when vocalized and easy to pronounce.

3. Spelling of the Company Name.

A good company name is easy to spell. A great name is really easy to spell. Ideally, the perfect name should have only one spelling option, in short there should be only one way to spell the name.

For example, consider the pharmaceutical company name Pfizer. While the name is short in length, it is somewhat complicated to spell. The more alternatives there are in the spelling of a prospective company name, the more likely a firm is to confuse or lose customers.

4. Visual Logo Design.

The elements of visual design include size, typestyle, color, layout and other graphic elements.

A good company name has a visual design that is congruent with the overall strategy of the firm. Design considerations should be undertaken in conjunction with company name creation.

5. Linguistic Value.

In our global marketplace English has emerged as the clear language of choice for global business.

The dot-com domain extension also emerged as the domain extension of global business. The best names for a company therefore should be in English and contain all ASCII characters.

6. Alphabetic Characters.

When creating a solid name for a new business, the selection should not contain hyphens. Numbers can be used, but be sure to consider the context carefully. (There are a few isolated cases where hyphens and numbers can be effectively.)

Hyphens and other characters like !@#$%^&*()+{} pose challenges and require careful design to avoid consumer confusion.

7. Market Suitability.

A company name can be developed for industry specific application or could have broad application to multiple industries. For example, the name “OnlySinks” has a very specific (self-evident) industry application, whereas the name “PrimeFresh” describes attributes that can be applied to variety of industries (e.g. grocery, produce, meat, floral, agriculture).

Depending on the strategic goals and objectives of the firm an industry specific name or a broad application name may serve as a good choice for the enterprise.

8. Global Considerations.

For firms involved – or hope to be involved -- in international commerce, it is important to consider the universality of a name. The best names for a global business should have a universal appeal and be culturally non-offensive. When General Motors launched the Nova it failed to consider that “no va” in Spanish translates “doesn’t go” -- clearly posing a challenge when entering the automobile market in Latin America.

9. Dot-Com Domain Name Procurement.

Simply put, growing firms must own the dot-com domain name. While there is value in other domain extensions, the clear Top Level Domain (TLD) extension is dot-com. The company name and the domain name must be identical. This is a key consideration when choosing a company name.

10. Usage issues and Name Availability.

One of the biggest challenges facing company naming professionals is the issue of availability. We have initially created tens of thousands of great names for companies over the years only to find that the name can’t be used. These names are never present to our clients and are not included in our on-line inventory catalog.

With over 50 million businesses started each year, there is a very high likelihood that a name choice is in use somewhere around the world. At Brandings, all names have been “prescreened” and are available immediately.

11. Growth Potential and Expandability

When creating a company name it is important to consider the degree to which a name can be expanded or is narrow in scope. The name should allow for growth and change in a marketplace and other industry changes. The best names for a company may be secure with the goal of significant expansion while others may be highly specialized and targeted.

Get the Full Report and Evaluation Worksheet Now!

How To Name Your Company


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