What’s in a Name? 8 things to bear in mind when naming your business. Part 1: First things first.

Elena Ouliankina September 7, 2017

You have a great idea, enough cash to get started and the determination to make your venture a success. But what should you name your new company?

Here are a few things to bear in mind when naming your new business.

1. Brand positioning

What do you want the name to communicate about your products or services? Is it entry-level or premium, mass market or exclusive? Depending on how you plan to position your products or services in the marketplace, your brand name should reinforce that positioning, e.g. the old-world craftsmanship of Häagen-Dazs, Best Buy’s promise of good value, or the premium quality implied by Godiva Chocolates.

2. Word meaning

What should your company’s name actually mean? Should the customers know right away what you offer, e.g. Nature’s Path Foods, or do you want them to remember a catchy name with no clear meaning like Lululemon?

There are dozens of ways to choose the right word or phrase. The name could reference action or results when using your product (Twitter), compare you to a traditional product (Canva, Pinterest), mock established businesses (Slack), merge two different words (Pinterest, Spotify), etc. etc.

But even the most eloquent or clever name won’t spare you the hard work of building brand awareness and getting your target audience to remember your company.

3. Logo design and social media

While a brand is much more than a logo, a logo-friendly name is very helpful. Bear in mind where and how your company name will appear. If you plan to use social media, fitting the company name into short social media handles is very helpful.

Brand positioning is a good place to start brainstorming your company’s name, but there are at least five other issues to consider. Read about them in Part 2: Practical matters.

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