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How to pick the perfect name for your startup

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Whether your business name arrives in a flash of inspiration or after a lengthy branding exercise, it’s important to get it right. You want a name that is memorable, piques interest and tells people something essential about you and how you differ from your competitors.

Unfortunately some startups choose names that don’t work as well as they should. Their company name may be unoriginal, confusing or difficult to remember—definitely the wrong impression if you’re giving your elevator speech or pitching a potential investor.

Remember, your company name isn’t just a name; it’s the foundation of your brand. Spend the time now, so you don’t regret your decision once you’ve launched your business. Rebranding is expensive!

Here are a few tips to help you come up with the perfect name for your startup:

Make it memorable

Start by thinking about what impressions you want people to make when they think about your brand. Think about your company’s vision and unique value proposition.

Then do a little research into your competitors. How are they positioning their brand with the company names they’ve chosen? What sets your business apart—a niche product, service or buyer? Is there a word or image that describes the place where your company’s vision and target demographic intersect that differs from any other brand?

Now brainstorm a list of words that describe what you want people to feel when they think about your company. Aim for short and sweet like Nike, Lush or In just one word these companies have created an association with speed, luxury and money—an important element of what each of these brands represent.

  • Do consider how you can reflect what sets your company apart from the competition.
  • Don’t choose a name that simply describes what you do. You’ll end up with something generic like Cars 4 Sale that doesn’t really tell your customers who you are.
  • Do avoid acronyms or strange spellings that make it difficult for people to remember you or find you online.
  • Don’t worry about domain availability. Everyone wants an, but a temporary domain name is fine when you’re starting out.
  • Do rank a list of five or six contenders based on feedback from others and which idea you find the most exciting. Choose the one that has the greatest potential for building a memorable brand.

It takes time to come up with the perfect company name, but follow these tips and you’ll be well on your way to finding a name that truly represents your business.


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