There is more to a great name than it’s just being memorable. A great name needs to offer the right foundation for a company to build upon. It also has to be available. Here are some steps that might help in naming your startup:
Focus on your brand, not business
Before brainstorming name ideas, write down some aspects that are unique to your brand. Many startups make the mistake of explaining their features or business in the name. This leads to boring and dull names. For example, if you write:
“We are opening a high-end seafood restaurant in Everett, Washington.”Your name ideas will likely have these undertones: High-end = classic name Everett = local restaurant and location themes This may - but likely will not - fit your vision. If you write “We are opening a unique, hip, seafood restaurant. The decor will be minimalist. The food will be top-notch, but the ambiance will be more casual.” Your name ideas will likely have undertones that more accurately represent your Brand: Unique, hip = fresh, unique, and modern name Minimalist decor = straightforward name
Know the danger zones
Single English words Power words -- like force, united, omni, icon Symbolic words - like bridge, spring, sage, rocket But just because you can’t use one stand-alone word doesn’t mean you can’t combine these words into something original. Types of names that have been attached to powerful brands have included: Transmutations -- Zappos, Zumba This and that -- Haute and Bold, Crate & Barrel Compounds -- SnapChat, WordPress Visual Story -- Ice Mountain, Red Bull Blends -- Groupon, Instagram
While compounds and transmutations are great, you should say the words out loud to make sure they stay within the following three guidelines:
Is the name easy to say? It should roll off the tongue, rather than twist it. Is the name easy to hear? Consumers should be able to hear your brand name, then quickly tap it into Google to find you. Is the name easy to spell? Simple misspellings such as Flickr, Xero and Lyft are much easier to trademark, but if they are hard to spell, problems could result.
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