Nike. Amazon. Starbucks. Each of these companies has a name that is instantly recognizable: when you hear one, you know exactly what they are and what they do. This isn’t just a coincidence.
While your business does have to give great services and products to your customers to be successful, you also need to find a name that defines your brand and helps customers remember it.
These large companies have had plenty of help along the way with MM, but each name was conceived early on before they had global recognition. If you’re starting a business, you need to think about your brand name as well. Here are a few tips to help you choose a memorable moniker.
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A Great Name is Short and Sweet
Think again about those brands mentioned early. Do you see a pattern? Each one is one word. If you can find that one word that defines your brand from the start, you are putting yourself and your business in a great position to succeed.
Nike invokes the swiftness of victory associated with an ancient Goddess. Amazon makes people think of the river of the same name, the largest on earth. Starbucks chose their moniker from a minor character in Moby Dick that invoked the romance of the high seas. Each one of these names tells a story in one word, one that also defines the businesses themselves.
For your brand, sit down and write all of the words that come to mind that you want your business to convey. If you sell flowers, you want people to think of words like fresh and beautiful. If you design web pages, words like innovative and responsive are nice.
And remember, you don’t have to limit yourself to just one word. If you find two or three that work, go for it. Just make your name reflective of your brand and memorable.
A Great Name is Meaningful
Another thing to consider is the story that your brand names tell to their customers. Today’s customers like it when companies dig a little deeper and try to make every aspect of their business a little more meaningful than just selling products and services.
In other words, you want your customers to “get it” when they hear your brand name, wherever they are. You want them to instantly understand what you offer, what your business philosophies are, and how you can make their life better. Your name shouldn’t just tell people what you sell, but why you sell it in the first place.
Now, admittedly, this is a tough thing to do. Many companies have tried and failed, or even resorted to renaming their company. In a perfect world, you want to get it right the first time to avoid mistakes that cost your company time and money. But sometimes, you just need to choose a name that you love and go with.
When All Else Fails, Make Up a Word
In today’s business world, nonsense words, or words that you will not find in any dictionary, have their place as well, and if you can think of one that describes your company, then maybe that’s the best route to take.
Twitter, GoDaddy, Skype, and Zillow are all examples of made-up words that are now world-defining brand names. Some of these are a combination of existing words, like “zillions” and “pillows” for Zillow, but most importantly, they follow the main rule of naming: they are short and they are memorable.
Never be afraid to play around and get creative with naming your brand. You may eventually stumble across the right word which may not even exist yet!
Do Your research
As with everything about your company, you need to make sure you are current on research in your market. Examine the names of your competitors and see if there are any trends among them that can give you insight and direction into your own name. If everyone is doing one thing, maybe you should think about going the other way to distinguish yourself in your market.
Brand analysis tools like chatmeter.com can give you important information on your brand name and those of your competitors to see how the public responds to them. You can do this before you even start, so you know what other companies, customers think and know what direction you should take with your own company.
Naming your brand can be tough, so make sure to give it time and do your research.
Collin Holmes, founded Chatmeter, Inc in 2009 and serves as Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Holmes is a graduate of the University of California, Riverside, and graduated with an MBA from San Diego State University.
Prior to Chatmeter, Mr. Holmes served as Vice President of Product Management and Director of Product Marketing for xAD, Inc. (LocalAdXchange) (also known as V-enable). Mr. Holmes comes with a couple of decades of overseeing and developing product roadmaps, business development, and managing the process of driving applications to market.