Worst Naming Practices: What to Avoid When Naming Your Business
Your business name establishes the tone for the future of your brand. A name affects everything from your future marketing, brands and the tone of your overall business. A solid startup name should make a point of connection between your business and your target demographic. Additionally, it needs to describe who you are and what beliefs and values you represent.
Just as a strong name can benefit your brand, a poor name can cause disaster for a startup. There are so many naming faux-pas out there that entrepreneurs should avoid because they can slow your business growth. Find out more about what these naming mistakes are and why you should avoid them as you start on the process of naming your business.
Remember that the most important rule when coming up with a business name is that it needs to be easy for your audience to say, spell, and remember.
If you need help with your name try applying the “crowded bar theory” to your startup name. If you were telling a friend at a crowded bar all about your new business, would they understand the name of your brand easily? A great example of this would be a restaurant named Sam and Ella’s. In a crowded bar this name may accidentally sound like the word salmonella, which is equal parts undesirable and unappealing. A naming mistake like this could ruin your brand.
While it is always smart to select a name that is informative and tells the audience about what your business offers, overly-descriptive names tend to be boring.
An effective name needs to hold a small amount of suspense without being too vague or mysterious. Get creative when coming up with potential brand names.
Looking at startup names from the past few decades reveals certain naming trends. An example is that during the mid 2000s many startup names lacked vowels like Tumblr, Twttr and Flickr. In the last ten years, names with –ify suffixes like Spotify, Gamify, and Coworkify became an extremely popular naming fad for new businesses.
Although it can occasionally be a smart idea to take advantage of new name trends to get your creative juices flowing, you should remember that there are consequences for choosing a fad name. Trendy names can feel dated and like a product of their time. If you use a naming trend too late, your startup could possibly fall a few steps behind the competition in the fast-paced world of businesses and startups. Try brainstorming business names using this list to give yourself a better idea of how you can use some different types and trends for your startup name in a helpful and thoughtful way.
The longer your brand name is, the more confusing and forgettable it will be for your target demographic. Try to cut down your ideas by taking out any unnecessary descriptors, articles, and suffixes of your name to make it shorter. If you still have not discovered a business name that has an available URL, try checking the internet for domains for sale--you might discover that the perfect name does, in fact, come with a perfect URL.
Although naming your business can be a challenge, the effort that you dedicate to the naming process will result in an effective, captivating name that attracts your target audience. Following some of the basic guidelines outlined above that describe what to avoid instead of only what to do can help you open up your creative flow and find the perfect name very quickly.
Grant Polachek is the Director of Marketing at Inc 500 company Squadhelp.com, the worlds #1 naming platform, with nearly 20,000 customers from the smallest startups across the globe to the largest corporations including Nestle, Philips, Hilton, Pepsi, and AutoNation. Get inspired by exploring these winning ideas for business names.
Author // Grant Polachek