Even the most powerful of business empires start with nothing but a raw idea and a vague plan for execution. The road is long and bumpy from the first rough draft to an executive chair, but with a lot of hard work and a bit of wits, nothing is unachievable. As always with epic feats, beginnings are especially hard and troublesome for aspiring businessmen, yet the most difficult of startup conundrums you’ll experience is coming up with a unique, alluring and catchy name for your project. Here are a couple of tips to alleviate your creative struggles in coming up with creative business names.
1. Describe Your Vision and Objectives
If lingering on a standstill from the very beginning, start off by revising your initial business idea. Choosing a startup name is a process that will help you simultaneously shape up your foundations and crystalize your objectives, which is why you should never rush it. There is a number of equally important factors to consider here, from your vision and mission statement, your unique contribution to the market and the innovativeness that will allow you to stand out from the crowd, to your target audience and long-term business plan.
All of these elements should be easily readable from your name, and it’s crucial to spend some time thinking about them, analysing them and making sure they are perfectly understandable, as well as realizable. To get into action, try writing a number of keywords that clearly reflect the overall concept of your future business.
2. Play With Morphology
Once you have a list of words explaining your vision, expertise and goal, the time is about right to start playing with them. Even if morphology wasn’t your favourite subject back in your school days, its simple tricks will help you liberate your inner linguist. What you’ll need to do is to find a stem or a root word, if that seems easier for you, of every term you’ve penned down and then brainstorm as many different words from them as you can.
You’re entering a quite elaborate game of words here, so be sure to use spreadsheets and organize them well in thematic groups. Wherever the game takes you, don’t forget to write everything down to avoid the risk of abandoning an ingenious idea in the process.
Broaden Your Association’s Net
To keep the creative juices flowing, consult the thesaurus for synonyms and widen your list with an additional one that will include a number of possible associations for each initial word. If your business is in the healthcare niche, for instance, focus on words that trigger the idea of wellness in the audience’s mind, such as “wellbeing”, “fitness” or “vigor”.
Combine those associations with words that describe your vision and play with compound words forged along the way. Precision Nutrition, for example, is a health blog name that promises prowess in a field while referring to a specific healthcare branch that this blog specializes in. Additionally, it is a nice example of accessibility and memorability.
Blend, Add and Permute
While generating a list of compound words, feel free to use foreign terms (the well-known Spanish word “casa” in Casahop), experiment with prefixes and suffixes (suffix –ify in Spotify or Shopify), get creative with portmanteaus (Pinterest as a blend of words “pin” and “interest”) or even deliberately misspell the word (Reddit from “read it”).
With a bit of brave innovativeness and wits, morphology is an endless playground for crafting the most memorable business name in the niche.
3. Follow the Rules
There is a number of clear, but aggravating rules in the art of name forging that you will need to follow in order to make the best out of your brainstorming sessions. Even if you’ve already narrowed down your list to a couple of winners, make sure to review all of them individually and see which one is most fit to become quotable.
Catchiness: The whole point of reducing your business statement to just one word is to make it easy to notice and remember. Long, vague and overly abstract terms that none of your customers will be able to understand are less likely to allure new clients and make them recommend you to their friends. Additionally, this rule requires your name to be quite easy to pronounce, which is another key factor to consider.
Researchability: Whatever the niche, your business will most certainly have its online presentation, which is why its name’s accessibility through internet search engines is just as important of a factor as any other. Just like unchallenging pronunciation is crucial for spreading the word of your business, spelling is a key element that makes your chosen name effortless to find.
Availability: Before settling down for the name you consider perfect for your startup, don’t forget to do some research and check if it already exists on the market, even in a similar form. The name is the first indicator for brandability, and it should be unique and unrepeatable, just like your business needs to be original and innovative in order to beat the competition. Furthermore, some names and even words are actually forbidden to use in public domain, so remember to look up a list of sensitive words on the web before unintentionally using one.
Double-Check Your Invention: However brilliant they might sound, some names actually look way worse when written down (or vice versa), and if you’re not careful enough, your business may become a subject of viral mockery. For that reason, verify that the word used is not offensive in some contexts or cultures.
4. Ask For a Second Opinion
Even if you’re certain that your chosen name flawlessly reflects your business and entices the interest of your audience, asking for feedback is never redundant. Ultimately, you are doing it all to intrigue and excite your customers, which is why their choice always matters more than your own.
Consider consulting with your friends and business partners, or create a public customer poll and share it on your personal social media accounts. The name is a representation of your business vision and efforts, and being a delicate matter that will follow you around through the course of your career, it’s certainly not one to be egoistic and stubborn about.
5. Get Legal
Once the name is ready for publishing, you can finally start a process of registering your business. The protocol itself may depend on the type, niche and the legal structure you choose, but for any startup out there, legal permits and licences are required.
If you decide on protecting your business name from further use, you’ll need to have it trademarked after registering the business. From out there, you can start exploring your business’ domain name, which can be an alteration of your registered one or a somewhat different variant of the same.
If still uncertain, surf the web for a quick blast of inspiration. Currently, the market is flooded with ingeniously crafted business names that suggest brandability – by following the example of those and taking your word game up a notch, the catchy, intriguing and original name for your business may be a bit easier to find.