Business Name Ideas, Tips and Traps

brand naming tips and traps
tips for naming a business

With our decades of combined experience we’ve learned a lot about business naming ideas, tips and traps.   With that in mind, our team thought we would dispel some of our wisdom.  We thought we’d present our knowledge through experiences of traps that we’ve fallen into, tips we wish we would have received ourselves, ideas that we wish we would have taken.

Starting a new business is exciting and you’re full of important ideas.  We know, we’ve been there before ourselves.  In fact, our team has decades of combined experience running, operating, and naming companies and products.

You have an interesting concept and now you need ideas for your business name.  Your brand name needs to be different,  and set your business apart from your competitors. To help you succeed you’ll need a name as solid as your concept. The right name will aid in the launch of your startup with the greatest propensity success.

It’s All About Business Naming Ideas

Entrepreneurs launching a business or brand commonly say there are three main areas in which they need the most ideas.  First most, entrepreneurs need ideas for their logo, followed by ideas for their website design feel.

Third and most importantly, entrepreneurs need great ideas for their company or brand name.  Our Brand Development Team has written this article with exactly that in mind.  This article will help you come up with name ideas for your business, brand, or company.

Here are our tried-and-true business naming tips to get you started on the right footing.  We’ve included some of the traps that could really take your startup off course.

tips for startup naming
tips for naming your startup

Business Tip: Your Brand Name is a Valuable Asset.

When you buy a  brand name, your purchase will be one of the most valuable.  So, when you buy a brand name you’re making a key investment.  You’ll want to select a cool company name that has staying power and high value.  And the best names are short, memorable, unique and  positioned to retain value in the years to come.

Tip: Make Sure to Pick a Company Name That You Can Legally Use. 

The greatest brand name is worthless if you can’t use it.

While you’re developing brand name ideas, it’s a good idea to check the availability of those names with the United States Patent and Trademark Office or USPTO for short.  If at some point after launching your brand, you find out that the name you’re using has already been Trademarked you may have to rebrand.

Every entrepreneur should know what “Classification of Goods and Services” their business or product will be competing in. Remember, just because someone is using the same name as you, if they under a different classification, you can both be using the same name.

No matter how much time you’ve spent or money you’ve laid down with a Brand Development company, if you can’t use the name you can’t use the name.  The Brandings Team always screens brand name ideas for usage before we recommend a name to a client, you should too.

Tip: Trending Technology Names. Consider a cool tech name that has heightened visibility and public interest. The coolest technology company names that have been trending through the Brandings network during the last 30 days Lyyric, Pyia, Smartetic, Numeryl, Mixry, Treading, NeoBod, Rivalty, Veriux, Oxcia, Podry, and Relaxings.

Does one of the cool technology names work your your tech startup?

Trap: Picking a Name That’s Not Your #1 Choice.

If you select a name that was your 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th (or yikes) 6th or lower choice, you are sacrificing something. Keep in mind that your name is the keystone of your startup. Don’t sacrifice the success of your business on a second-tier company name.

Tip: Don’t Be Different, Be Outstanding.

Any company can choose a name that’s different. Your goal should be to select an uber-cool company name that stands head-and-shoulders above your competitors.

Trap: Don’t Use Hyphens or Dashes in Your Domain Name.

Hyphens or dashes, as some people call them, should never be used in your brands domain name.  To begin with, your hyphenated domain is telling perspective clients that you couldn’t obtain the non-hyphened domain name.  And, domains that contain hyphens are, in general, cheaper than no-hyphen domains, therefore you’re telling clients you haven’t payed much for your domain; and what’s the unintentional message you’re sending there?

Next, hyphens are incredibly difficult to communicate and you’re quite likely sending your clients to the wrong site, and hopefully it’s not your completion.

Consider how your existing clients would tell their family or friends about where to find you online.  Does the hyphen go between the first and second word, or between the second and third word, or perhaps between each word?  Any way you look at it, hyphens add an exponential amount of confusion.

Trap: Harmonize Your Company Name With Your Strategic Objectives.

Many startups fail to align their name with the key strategic objectives of their firms. A great name communicates a core message in a flash of a second.

You know why your business is better than your competition, be it faster, more up to date, more reliable, better customer service, so consider telling your target market that, right in your startup’s name.

Tip: Keep an Eye on Your Naming “Signal.”

A great brand name or business name will signal a message to your visitor. The signal could be that you’re a cool company, an innovative firm, a cutting-edge enterprise or a trusted leader in your industry. Look to root elements in a name that signal your core strategic message.

Tip: A Quality Domain Name is an Investment.

Just like stocks, bonds, real estate and precious metals, premium domain names are an investment. As is true with all investments, you’ll want to choose wisely. Look for the characteristics in a name that will stand the test of time.

We like to equate domain names to real estate in that there’s only so many waterfront properties.

  • AllGolden
  • AnyBerry

Trap: Many Cheap Domain Names are Cheap for a Reason.

There’s a big difference between a cheap domain name and a discounted domain name. It’s nearly impossible to build a sustainable business around a cheap domain name. The marketplace is flooded with low quality domain names – all essentially worthless. Your key to success is to find a high quality domain at a discounted price. Now that’s a value!

Tip: Name vs. Brand.

Your company name is the centerpiece of the brand you’ll be building. The right name coupled with your logo and other visual elements together with the goods/services you produce, serve to distinguish your company from your competitors.

Trap: Be Mindful of Global Translation.

If you’re doing business internationally, you’ll want a name that doesn’t have an offensive meaning in another language. The case of the Chevrolet Nova is a classic example of a naming blunder. In Spanish, the name translates to “doesn’t go.”

Trap: Use a Company Name Generator That Creates Available Names.

There are a lot of business name generators with algorithms that construct cool company names. Just be sure that the names that are being generated are 100% available and ready-to-use. Some name generators create catchy business names that have already been registered. Don’t waste your time – you only want to generate names that you can actually use. To learn more, and use a brand name generator that actually produces available company names follow the link: Company Name Generator.

business naming tips and traps
tips and traps for business naming

Tip: Consider a Bold Name Choice for Your Tech Company.

Bold name choices for your IT Tech Company must encapsulate the vision of your firm in a single word or couple of words. Look to innovative tech company namescutting-edge sounding tech namesintelligent sounding tech names or a bold tech name to tell people that you’re just that, innovative, bold and cutting edge.

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.

Tip: Don’t Overpay for a Domain Name.

A little bit or research can go a long way to ensuring you get best value for your money. DomainTools, DNWire and Domaining are great resources to find out domain sales history, domain price trends and comparable domain name sales. So search, shop and compare to make sure you’re getting the best bargain. (We’re also pretty confident that once you’ve done your homework, you won’t find a better value than at Brandings®.)

Trap: Make Sure Your Name is Really Available.

A common mistake that entrepreneurs make is choosing a name that they can’t use. Trademark issues, corporate registrations, global competition and the finite number of dot-com domain names available make the process more challenging than ever. Be sure that you check availability of your name choice before you launch your startup. Learn More About Available Names

Tip: Created Creative Company Names Rock.

A “created” company name is a purely invented, new, and completely fabricated new word or name.  While these new created names won’t be found in the dictionary, they sure sound like they should (and maybe at some point) will be.

The right creative team, like the one here at Brandings, can transform simple letters into a beautiful new name or word.  These newly created creative names can be designed to evoke specific emotions and/or feelings.

For example, these names can be created to specifically to grab attention, or they can be designed to sound futuristic, or even with a sense of history or longevity.   

Not only can these newly created names grab attention for your new startup but, because they don’t mean anything, they’re incredibly flexible.  That means, as your startup grows, your created name will grow along with you.  These names aren’t limiting in scope or even language. 

Follow this link to see just some of the available, newly created, creative startup names.

Sometimes the “hot” and trending brand names, the ones that are getting a lot of attention, are trending for a reason.

Our tip is this, consider picking a business name that’s on-trend and getting lots of interest, then piggyback on to that attention.

Let’s face it, sometimes we just don’t see something that others do.  And, we can’t be expected to be knowledgeable about all market fulgurations and whatever huge social influencers are up to, at all times.

However, we can keep a broader eye on market movements and trends by watching “hot” or “on-trend” names and interest. 

By picking a hot or on-trend name, you can launch your startup into this uptick or groundswell.  Basically, you’ll be launching into this wave of interest, in the hope of grabbing some for your new startup business.

Check out the hot and/or on-trend business names here at Brandings.

fresh ideas for startup naming
traps to avoid when naming a business

Trap: Cut Once. Measure Twice.

Before you launch your new venture, ever entrepreneur will want to make sure that their well positioned for success. Slow down, temper your zeal and make sure to take the time to structure a “blueprint” for your new startup.

The time you spend planning at the very beginning of your startup could well mean the difference between success and failure.

Keeping that in mind our Startup Team has pulled together this great resource to help you start planning: Business Plan Template.

Tip: Choose an Exciting Name That Works for You.

Pick a company name that not only clearly defines your brand but, excites people.

Entrepreneurs need a business name that grabs attention and creates excitement.  Excited people are more likely to check out your business and what you’re offering.

One of the best ways to create this kind of excitement is by having an exciting business name.  The first introduction you’ll likely have to your potential customers is with your business name. That means, if you want to excite your customer, it’s here at your first introduction, with an exciting name.  

People who find your name exciting, will ultimately want to learn more. They’ll want to know what your business does and/or sells. 

While most entrepreneurs believe that their name is simply meant to represent their brand or company, their missing a great marketing opportunity. 

Your brand name can be used as a marketing tool to excite your target market, generate interest in your new venture, and ultimately get people to buy your products or services.

Trap: Startup Myopia.

Don’t be myopic in your scope when launching your startup.  We understand that when you’re an entrepreneur ready to launch your business, you have a lot going on.  There are a million decisions made every day and you have to keep up with everything.

With everything you have going on, don’t overlook the importance of your startup name. Too many entrepreneurs are simply concerned about the launch of their business, getting it off and running. This means that these entrepreneurs often rush to pick a name that’s just “ok.”

You must remember that you’re building a going concern for long term sustainability. That means, you must think 5, 10, even 20 years into the future. Your company name shouldn’t just meet your positioning objectives for today, but should keep growth options open in the future.

Tip: Measurable Startup Goals.

If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. You’ll want to have clearly defined goals for every functional area of your startup. From these goals you can set specific and measurable performance objectives.

Tip: Invented Names Rock.

kygeo - created brand name

Created brand names rock.

A “created” startup name is a name that’s purely invented and/or developed. While these created names are not specifically dictionary words, and have no “meaning,” if strategically constructed, they can evoke powerful emotions. 

The emotions evoked by created names, in-turn will then by associated or linked to your brand.

Moreover, many of these names are based on real “words” or have Greek or Latin roots.  For example, the “geo” in Kygeo, is based on the Greek for earth. 

Successful brand names are created brand names!

Tip: Set Measurable Startup Goals.

If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. You’ll want to have clearly defined goals for every functional area of your startup. From these goals you can set specific and measurable performance objectives.

Trap: Fail to Plan.

Before you launch your new venture, you’ll want to make sure that you’re positioned for success. Temper your zeal and take time to structure a “blueprint” for your new company. The time you spend planning at the very beginning of your startup could well mean the difference between success and failure. Here’s a great resource to help you plan: Business Plan Template.

Tip: A Quality Domain Name is an Investment.

Just like stocks, bonds, real estate and precious metals, a premium domain name is a worthy investment for any entrepreneur.

As is true with any investments, you’ll want to do your research and make a wise choice.  Look for characteristics in the domains which will help them keep or increase their value over time.

For example, you want to look for the domain to be dot-com, keep your eye on length of the name (shorter is better), and how the domain is pronounced or sounds out loud. Other concepts to keep in mind, is if the name is interesting, if the domain can be used in foreign countries, and wouldn’t be limiting in scope.

Trap: Many Cheap Domain Names are Cheap for a Reason.

Our experts have found, there’s a big difference between a cheap domain name and a discounted domain name.

It’s nearly impossible to build a sustainable business around a cheap domain name. The marketplace is flooded with low quality domain names – all essentially worthless. The key to success for any entrepreneur is to find a high quality domain at a good or discounted price. Look for value!

the shorter the company name the easier to remember

Tip: Power in a 5-Letter Invented Company Name.

There is tremendous strength in a short, clear and evocative company name. The research shows, the shorter the company name, the easier it is to remember.

Short names pack a powerful punch not only because they are easy to remember but, they grab attention. At the end of the day, that’s exactly what company names are meant to do!

See if a five letter created business name could work for your business. Take a peek at our cool selection of 5-Letter Invented Names.

Business Naming Ideas Tips Traps: Stay Away from “Copycat” Names.

Stay Away from “Copycat” Names.

We get it, you’re not a brand naming expert, you’re an expert in your field.  And, you need some brand naming inspiration for your new startup.

You’re well acquainted with your industry and you’re seen a few names there that you like.  It seams only natural then, to create a name based on those preexisting brands. 

Afterall, they probably paid big bucks for someone to name their business, you can just do something similar and save yourself some money, right?

New entrepreneurs are overly excited to launch their startup and get working.  Unfortunately, they’re often not spending enough time on naming their brand or business. 

These entrepreneurs simply look within their own industry for names that they like and base their own name on those liked names.  It’s quick and easy to develop a name like this but, there are huge consequences.

Our research and years of experience has found, that too often these “copycat” names don’t go on too success.  In fact, too often just the opposite occurs.

Basing your brand name on other names within your industry, only leads to a bland name with no distinction.  It’s exactly this type of copycat name that gets overlooked and lost within a jumble of the other similar names.

Moreover, customers get confused and become unsure of which brand they liked and which they didn’t.  Not to mention the fact that you’re opening yourself up to Trademark Infringement.  Two businesses with similar names operating within the same industry, is a recipe for a cease-and-desist letter.

This type of copycat name is a huge no-no, across every industry!

Tip: Make Sure to Pick a Company Name That You Can Legally Use.

The greatest brand name is worthless if you can’t use it.  One of the major business naming ideas, tips and traps is, if you can’t use the name, the name is useless.

While you’re developing brand name ideas, it’s a good idea to check the availability of those names with the United States Patent and Trademark Office or USPTO for short.

If at some point after launching your brand, you find out that the name you’re using has already been Trademarked you may have to rebrand. 

Every entrepreneur should know what “Classification of Goods and Services” their business or product will be competing in.  Remember, just because someone is using the same name as you, if they under a different classification, you can both be using the same name.

No matter how much time you’ve spent or money you’ve laid down with a Brand Development company, if you can’t use the name you can’t use the name.

The Brandings Team always screens brand name ideas for usage before we recommend a name to a client, you should too.

Tip: Choosing Your Dot-Com Domain.

Facebook owns Facebook.com. Sony owns Sony.com. Apple owns Apple.com. Google owns Google.com. Microsoft owns Microsoft.com.

Got it?

earn more money on dot-com domain names
businesses with dot-com domains make more money

The Dot-Com domain extension is the business domain name extension.  Like it or love it, it doesn’t matter it’s just the way it is. 

If launch your startup with anything other than the dot-com domain, you’ll just be sending your customers to the wrong place.  You could possibly even be sending people to your competition. 

Launching your startup on anything other than a dot-com domain, is a huge mistake.  Even if you don’t see an issue at first, you will eventually and will likely have to buy the domain later, which could be a costly prospect!

Learn how to find the right dot-com domain name for your business with this new article by our Team!

Trap: Failing to Ask for Help.

There’s a lot that goes into solid business name development. To create a name that’s cool, catchy and really stands out, you need an arsenal of quantitative and qualitative tools. You aren’t alone. Talk with an expert. Give our Brand Development Team a call at 1-800-852-8900 or shoot us an e-mail here. We’re here to help you find the “perfect-fit” name, domain and logo.

Tip: Pick a Logo That Fits.

Brand logo design is of the upmost importance for corporate identity, or helping your brand stand out from the completion. In fact, the right design will set your entire brand identity and help you on the road to success. 

A cohesive logo and brand name combination, will help differentiate your business from others within a crowded marketplace.  Furthermore, your logo can be used as a marketing device itself, even grab some much-needed attention for your new business at the time of your launch.

Every company name within the Brandings® catalog comes complete with an editable logo design. Our graphics team will work with you to develop a logo that perfectly fits your company personality.  Our team will change the color, font, image or layout streamlining your logo to your brand mission.

brand naming tips and traps

Trap: Don’t Overlook “Created” Names.

Some entrepreneurs exclude names that don’t have a direct relation to their business or describe the product offerings of their company. A created name transcends description and can evoke a quality that is at the core of your company or convey a feeling that well positions your firm in the mind of your audience. Find a Created Name

Research has also shown that overly descriptive business names or ones that literally describe your business or product can cause issues over time. A notable example, the International House of Pancakes changed it’s name to IHOP because they want to move away from just a breakfast business.

Tip: Don’t Just Take our Word for It.

While we may want to believe that we’re the “be-all and end-all” when it comes to Business Naming Ideas Tips and Traps but, as it turns out we’re not.  We’d really recommend you check out our friends at Inc. Magazine. 

There’s a somewhat recent article about business naming and what a good business name can do for you.  Check it out.

The last of our Business Naming Ideas Tips Traps is that Brandings Makes Find the Perfect Name:

We’re here to help you find the perfect name for your business. We’re friendly so simply call the Brandings® Brand Development Team today. You can reach us at 1-800-852-8900 (Toll Free USA), +1-702-803-6111 (Worldwide) or simply drop us an email here.

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