How to find the perfect business name
By TRISOFT team
Choosing a name is one of the earliest and most important decisions when trying to start a business. It means more than just words put together and an umbrella under which you can do what you are most interested in, namely perform your activity and gain a profit. The name actually represents you and your goals, your aspirations, the chosen domain of your enterprise, and maybe, eventually, your world-famous brand.
The right one
Although it’s not something you’re stuck with forever — you can change your company’s name or attempt a rebranding at any time — it would be best if you choose from the get-go a name that you are proud of, which defines you and which you can maintain for a long period of time. It may seem easy at first, but there are traps and obstacles you may never have considered, and which others have found out the hard way, by running into great legal trouble or simply not appealing to the public.
Let’s review a few ”rules” we have discovered to be useful.
1. Send the right message
While there are many rules and suggestions when trying to come up with an interesting, novel, funny or catchy name, the first and foremost principle that it must observe is to focus on and describe the message you want to send to the world. It should be short, thus easy to become brandable and be remembered by customers. It can even be an invented word, just make sure it’s not too lengthy, unintelligible and difficult to pronounce. Also, you might want to do a Google search and make sure the word doesn’t mean something offensive in another language, because you can never know what clients might walk through your door and get the wrong idea from what’s written on the storefront.
2. Personal and memorable
A popular name should tell the audience something about the brand, maybe trigger a memory or an image that will make it personal and memorable, withstand the test of time, move people in some way, perhaps by making them smile or shocking them in a positive way (“How come I never thought of that?”). A good business name should make your clients remember you with ease, since that could mean free publicity, or it could help you and future employees remember why you’re doing what you’re doing.
3. Keep it simple
There are specialized naming companies which charge a lot of money for finding a name that’s unique, fashionable, industry-wise, unforgettable and isn’t trademarked. But if you’re starting a small business, you might have other priorities and a budget that doesn’t allow you to spend a hefty amount on a name. However, you could try coming up with your own options: form acronyms by using the first letter of certain words that express your perspective and goals (AOL, BBC) ; mash up two or more words that are meaningful for you or your business (the name Garmin is made up of Gary [Burrell] and Min [Kao], the company’s founders; the National Biscuit Company — Nabisco); get inspiration from mythology and literature (Nike; Pegasus; Starbucks); find the translation of a term you like or which defines you (Altavista — Spanish for “high view”; Daewoo — “great house” in Korean); if you have an uncommon and interesting name yourself (Boeing, Cadillac) or maybe a great nickname (Mercedes, Danone), use it; find a descriptive term or phrase that perfectly sums up your activity or interests (7–11 stores: they are open daily, from 7AM to 11PM); if all else fails, just open a dictionary and choose a random, yet striking word (like Apple, Twitter and Blizzard did).
4. Avoid cliches
The things you should really avoid when coming up with a brand name are common words with a modified spelling (Flickr is a good example, since everyone always searches for it as Flicker and most people are absolutely convinced it’s the actual spelling of the brand name), finding something that resembles a competitor’s name or a very famous brand title, terms that limit future development and changes (if you name your company Awesome Clothes, it might be difficult in the future to let people know that you’ve also expanded to shoes, purses or mobile phones), names that are difficult to pronounce, inside jokes that only a chosen few will understand, as well as flat, dull, uninspired titles.
5. Make sure it’s not taken
After you’ve settled on a word or a combination of terms, you must make sure that it’s not already used by someone else. Just to be on the safe side, you should come up with a short list of options and then run them through search engines or the national registry of companies. Also, try finding the .com domain that you might need after creating your company, for a website or an online store. However, don’t be discouraged if it’s already taken and don’t jump to the option of .org or .biz, but rather consider the idea of adding another word. After all, the cosmetics company Bliss couldn’t find its own domain and had to go with BlissWorld.com, whereas Tesla’s Internet page is TeslaMotors.com for the same reason. Apart from a website, you also need social media handles that will help you promote and advertise your business — check all outlets for availability: your name has to be consistent on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, etc., otherwise clients might not be able to follow you.
Not too fast
It is highly unlikely that you will come up with the right name at the snap of your fingers. It takes time and brainstorming, exchanging opinions with family members, friends and colleagues, researching databases and using search engines and other tools to help you make a good choice, but in the end, you must remember that the company name should have more to do with potential than personal preferences. While you may like how something sounds and it has been an idea lingering in your head for a long time, it might not be the best one for your business and activity. Consult other people too and, even if you choose to stick with your option, you will at least do so aware of every pro and con.
At TRISOFT, we believe in powerful names for our business, in names that would carry on the hard, enthusiastic work our partners and employees are doing every single day. TRISOFT stands for a great team and for the concept of a united family. So when you choose the name of your company, think about what you want to share with the world and of what you want the world to think about you!