How to Name a Startup Business Perfectly (With Expert Tips)
March 7, 2023
11 mins read
Have you ever thought that the startup you are founding now could become a part of your identity for the rest of your life? People will always associate the name of the startup with your name.
Not only that, the right name can help your business stand out from the competition, while a wrong choice can make the startup journey difficult before it even gets off the ground. Therefore, naming your startup can be one of the most important decisions you make as an entrepreneur.
In this article, we will discuss how to name a startup, what aspects to consider, and some tips to avoid mistakes when naming your startup business.
Importance of a Good Startup Name
Names have lifelong cultural and psychological effects, so it’s crucial to get them right the first time.
Whether you’re creating your startup’s first name, this will set the manner and culture for your company for years to come.
Here is why your start-up name is important:
- Your startup’s name is the first thing potential clients and investors will notice.
- A memorable company name sets you out from the competitors and creates a position in the market.
- A unique name defines your brand, its growth, and its impression.
- The startup name reflects what products you sell as well as the overall goal of your brand.
- Serves as the foundation for an influential image of your startup.
How to Name a Startup in 6 Steps?
Step 1: Understand Your Brand
Before even considering your brand name, you need to understand your brand. Brands are not just the products they sell; they are an accumulation of functional and emotional aspects, including values, customers, market, and even competitors.
Defining brand values, mission, and vision is the first thing you need to do, and it involves identifying what your startup stands for, the problems it aims to solve, and how it will make a difference in the near and the far future. This information will assist in shaping the naming process by providing context for the name and verifying that it aligns with the startup’s purpose.
Defining the target audience is also crucial, as the name must resonate with the individuals you wish to attract. You must comprehend their preferences, beliefs, and expectations in order to come up with an engaging name.
Lastly, analyzing the competition can help you identify naming trends in your market and prevent you from selecting a name that is too similar to that of an existing company. It is essential to design a brand name that sticks out and is unique. By comprehending your brand, you can build a moniker that conveys its core and resonates with your target market.
Step 2: Explore Multiple Tech Naming Strategies
The next to give your company a memorable name is to find different naming strategies that are gonna help you to make a list of a few alternative names. There are various strategies for brand names. Some of them are shown below with examples.
These types of names are very representative of the ideals and principles of the founders. For example, the founder Adolf “Adi” Dassler’s name was abbreviated to “adi” to form the name “Adidas.” Or the name “TESLA” was chosen to honor Nikola Tesla, an electrical engineer and inventor.
Company names that accurately describe their services are called descriptive names. It’s evident to everyone what “The Home Depot” and “American Airlines” do.
Acronyms are abbreviations of extensive descriptive or eponymous names. “Slack” is an acronym for “Searchable Log of All Conversation and Knowledge.” “Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation” changed its name to “HSBC” so that it could do business all over the world.
These names are formed of dictionary terms that reflect aspects of the brand or service. “Uber” is taken right out of the dictionary, which means an outstanding example that works really well with a big, ambitious company such as Uber. Composite names, such as “Facebook,” are formed by joining two words, whereas made-up names, such as “Instagram,” are formed by merging the phrases “instant” and “telegram” into a single word.
Arbitrary names have no obvious relationship to the description, category, or meaning behind a brand. Think “Apple,” “Blackberry,” “Camel,” or “Shell”. Such names have the potential to stand out in a market, but they are meaningless until they become well-known.
Words in a brand’s name serve as symbols that consumers will associate with the product. The Amazon River and the “Amazon” Online Marketplace are the two biggest waterways in the world. “Red Bull” is associated with a drink with bull-like qualities such as power and confidence.
Abstract names have no inherent meaning; instead, they use the power of phonetics to develop truly memorable brand names. The word “Rolex” was onomatopoeic, resembling the sound of a watch being. “Kodak” was from the letter K, the favorite letter of Gorge Eastman (founder).
Some of these types of names are inspired by the brand’s country of origin; other businesses use words from other languages. Samsung, for instance, translates to “three stars” in Korean. The Mandarin word for “Hulu” has two distinct meanings “the holder of priceless things” and “interactive recording,” both of which are fundamental to the Hulu experience. Play well” translates to “Lego” in Danish.
An attempt to give character to a common term or secure a URL by misspelling One of the best examples is the “Google” misspelling of “googol,” the mathematical term. Brands like Flickr and Tumblr can also be included in this category.
Other Cool Names
It’s worth a shot to rhyme, just like TechDeck and StubHub do. The use of alliteration in modern naming is pretty popular—TikTok and PayPal, for example.
Now that you have a good base of strategies for company naming techniques, it’s time to start brainstorming about your tech startup.
Step 3: Brainstorm Until You Have A ‘top 5 – 10’
Well, now you have an idea of the common naming strategies. It’s time to start thinking and be imaginative. The name should inspire the company’s literature, design, advertising, and positioning and be associated with the vision, so finding the best fits and making a top 10 list won’t be easy. You may segment the whole brainstorming process into a few tasks.
Task 1: Team Up
Start by teaming up with your co-founders. Also, your CTO, CMO (if hired)
This group of people knows your vision very well, and their suggestions & views will be helpful while selecting your startup name. Get opinions from trustworthy advisers, friends, and family. Inspire everyone to come up with potential names.
Task 2: Word Research
List brand and industry-related terminology. Check for synonyms and antonyms. You can use naming toolkits – Thesaurus, rhyming dictionary, or Onym naming guide, etc. Also, online company name generators are handy, for example, BusinessNameGenerator, NameMesh, Namelix, Naminum, Wordoid, Shopify Business Name Generator, etc.
Task 3: Shortlisting
Expanding your list adds choices. Cross out irrelevant names. Ask yourself questions to eliminate names. For example, you can ask questions like:
- Is the name appropriate for the company?
- Is there any significance to the name?
- What are you trying to avoid while naming?
- Is this name memorable?
- Is the name simple to pronounce?
- Is it visually appealing?
- Is it supposed to be long or short?
- Do you want a genuine term or a made-up one?
One more thing, don’t forget to crosscheck with the naming rules from your local business bureau.
Take it slow and do research. Hopefully, after repeating these processes, you will end up with the final 5-10 names.
Step 4: Check for Probable Name Conflicts
With your top 5-10 names in hand, it’s time to do some in-depth research to make sure there won’t be any trademark, copyright, domain name, or cultural misunderstanding issues on the road. The extra effort you put in now might save your brand’s reputation in the future.
Why It’s Important To Do Trademark Research
If you use a name that belongs to another company without researching the trademark owner may launch a legal action in state or federal court for trademark infringement. Most trademark owners sue in federal court for infringement.
For details, you can visit the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)
How To Conduct Trademark Research
Inputting a potential company name into a search engine will reveal whether or not the name is already in use or confusingly similar to that of an existing company. Google each brand name using industry jargon. If your Google search returns companies that may confuse your consumers (similar industry or solution), you may have a trademark dispute.
Check USPTO.gov to see whether the name is available as a trademark or service mark. If you want to see if your proposed company name is available or too close to an existing company’s name, just type it into the search engine and see what comes up. Depending on the word’s popularity, this stage might be difficult but have patience.
Check review sites to verify that no one in your field has a similar name. Capterra or G2 are useful sites for B2B SaaS companies to check for similar company names. On each site, choose the product categories and check for contradictory names. This will also verify that you haven’t missed a possible trademark infringement conflict.
Why It’s Important To Do Domain Research
It’s important to remember that a domain name is more than simply an address for a website. It is a crucial component of every company’s identity. So take your time doing research on selecting the domain name for your startup.
How To Conduct Domain Research
Instant Domain Search, Domain NR, Dan.com, and GoDaddy offer domain research. Combining these sites can help you get accurate information. Gather a list of “available” or “for sale” domains when investigating and highlight the benefits. You can also use this list once you’ve settled on a name to verify that the domains you originally wanted are still available.
Why It’s Important To Do Cultural Research
If your business starts to grow and you become a multinational company but the name you used has bad connotations, this can be a PR disaster and can cause your company a fortune.
For another scenario, Even if you’re not a worldwide corporation, your customers undoubtedly speak various languages, and you can lose customers for a name that starts cultural conflicts.
So prepare beforehand; cultural research can help you pick a brand name that is suitable when your firm becomes a worldwide brand.
How To Conduct Cultural Research
When undertaking linguistic research, you can use a site like wordsafety.com to make sure the name you choose isn’t offensive in another language.
Conduct A Secretary of State Search
Why It’s Important To Do A Secretary Of State Search
If you want to register a corporation or LLC, check the Secretary of State’s database to be sure your proposed business name is unique.
If the proposed name is too similar to one that is already in use, the Secretary of State may deny the registration.
How To Conduct A Secretary Of State Search
The Secretary of State’s website also allows for searches of corporate entity names. Also, your corporation attorney will be able to assist you in this type of investigation.
Step 5: Put Logos Next To Your Best Choices.
After you research potential naming options, you might have the top 3 names. It’s time to create logos. We suggest you create a logo that represents your brand or three logos for all three alternatives.
Now put logos with each brand name, and see how those three alternative names look and feel with the logo.
Step 6: Make the Final Decision
Now it’s time to choose the name for your startup – try to pick the one that translates your big idea into emotion and represents your vision.
Remember, the name of your startup will represent your brand throughout its journey. So don’t rush and take your time to recheck everything is ok, especially the conflict part.
Tips to Avoid Mistakes When Naming Your Startup
Here are some tips to avoid mistakes that will make your name selection journey harder.
- Don’t pick a name that’s difficult to spell
- Make sure it’s easy to remember
- Avoid using lengthy names
- Choose a name that will not be restrictive as your startup grows.
- Be creative and stand out.
- Choose a name that is catchy and has psychology’s potential
- Try to get a well-known domain, such as .com
- Do not forget your logo
- Analyze social media profile
- Check that the name sounds excellent when spoken aloud.
- Choose a name with a significant story behind it.
- Visualize universally
- Request opinions on the name.
- Have patience and wait until you are happy.
I hope you liked our step-by-step guide on how to name a startup. Don’t forget to let us know the name you selected for your dream startup. If you are starting a startup, then you may need to figure out things like developer hiring, team structure, capital division, etc. The following articles would help you in that case.
How to do Market Research for Startups
How to Split Equity in a Startup
How to Hire Developers for a Startup
In-house Development vs Outsourcing
In case you are thinking of reducing costs in development, outsourcing software development might be an option. And here at Technext we provide quality startup services to help founders get rid of development headaches and achieve more with less.
Best of Luck!
Outsource Your Development Headache
Outsource your software development to experts. Enjoy top-notch results with faster delivery, better quality, and lower cost.
How to Name a Startup Business Perfectly (With Expert Tips)
Have you ever thought that the startup you are founding now could become a part of your identity for the…
How to Hire Developers for Startup (A Definitive Guide)
Have you ever wondered why most successful CEOs don’t start their own startup? That’s because starting a startup is like…
A Complete Guide to the Ideal Tech Startup Team Structure
A startup is only as strong as its team. Finding the right team structure for your tech startup is essential…