The name is important, but the process to come up with a unique name can easily distract you. For example, it took us nearly 50 hours to come up with “crowdSPRING” – time that would have been better spent focusing on developing the core business.
If you don’t have time too invest in coming up with a great name for your new company, you can leverage crowdSPRING’s community of more than 87,000 creatives to come up with your company name or a product name.
Whether you work on your own to come up with a name or leverage crowdSPRING’s community, let me offer 10 useful tips that should guide this process:
1. What do you want your company name to convey?
Your company name is an important part of your company’s identity. The name will appear on your business cards, letterhead, website, promotional materials, products, and pretty much everywhere in print to identify your company or your company’s products and/or services.
Service oriented businesses should consider whether it will be easy for their prospective customers to recognize what services the business provides, based on the name of the company (example: Friendly Dog Walkers or Bright Accounting). This is especially important early in the life of your new company, when your brand is not well established and people don’t know who you or your company are.
Businesses located in rural areas and serving rural communities may want to project a smaller, hometown feel with their name. However, businesses planning to focus on bigger markets or bigger customers might want to project a larger, more corporate image with their name.
2. Brainstorm to identify name possibilities.
Start by thinking about words that describe your industry or the products/services you plan to offer. Think about words that describe your competitors and words that describe the differences between your products and services and those of your competitors. Consider too words that describe the benefits of using your products or services. Finally, think about words (and phrases) that evoke the feelings you want your customers to feel when they see your company name.
Tip: while brainstorming, look up Greek and Latin translations of your words – you might find new ideas from doing that exercise. Look at foreign words too (we spent some time with a Swahili dictionary looking for strong names).
3. Short, simple, and easy to write and remember is best (and consider acronyms of the name).
Obscure business names are often difficult to write and even more difficult to remember. This is a problem because for most startups and small businesses, word-of-mouth advertising is the most successful form of marketing. If your customers can’t remember your name or can’t spell it for others, it will make it difficult for them to help promote your business.
Think about the names of companies you admire. They typically have a few things in common: their names are short, simple, easy to write and easy to remember. (Examples: Apple, Google, Virgin, Southwest).
While it might be tempting (some startups think it’s cool to do), avoid using a “K” in place of a “Q” or a “Ph” in place of an “F” when coming up with your company name. Such letter substitutions makes spelling the name very difficult and will only cause confusion.
Also, don’t forget to consider the acronym of your company name (an acronym is composed of the first letter of each word in a phrase). You might not use an acronym, but your customers might refer to your business by an acronym. A name such as Apple Support Services can result in an unfavorable acronym – ASS.