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How To Choose The Perfect Name For Your Start-Up

While deciding on your startup name, many things should be kept in mind. The name of your company will be its identity. Brands like Colgate, Xerox, Maggi, and Coca-Cola have such a stronghold that we consider them synonymous with the product. Hardly anyone asks for ‘instant noodles’ anymore. Instead, we go to buy Maggi. Such strong coherence between the name and product should be the aim of any start-up.

The following are the most practical tips to help you arrive at your start-up’s best possible name.

Emphasis On Core Ideas

You should know in which direction your brand name should lead your customers. A beginner might believe that the name of a company should be descriptive. This is the first mistake you can make. A descriptive brand name often is unoriginal and stale. It lacks appeal.

Instead, focus on what the core ideas of your start-up are. What’ environment’ are you selling to your customer? Do you want them to associate your brand with sophistication, luxury, high-end, and chic? Are you want them to associate it with youthful, innovative, value for money, every-day use? Your start-up’s name should sell the vibe, not the product.

Easy To Spell And Pronounce

A lot many times, convoluted and intricate names seem to stand out and look too polished. But what would be the use of such a name if no one can spell it? How many times do we skip or replace certain words because we are unsure how to spell or pronounce them? As a start-up, that’s the last thing you’d want.

Before settling in on a name for your brand, try speaking it out loud many times. Sometimes what looks good on paper doesn’t have a similar feel when using it. It may also sound inappropriate at times. Some of the best and renowned brands have short and easy-to-pronounce names – Nike, Puma, Dior, Nestle, etc.

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Stand Out

Instead of zeroing on one name, always keep two or three back-ups that you like equally. Check out what are the brand names for similar products. Avoid using common day-to-day words for your brand. Also, avoid using words that might sound similar to existing brands. If you will name your Salon’ Styling by XYZ’, it is extremely likely to slip out of your customer’s mind. At the end of the day, your customer shouldn’t be wondering if your company’s name was this or that. It shouldn’t feel awkward for them to use your brand-name while referring to it.

Go the extra mile and cross-check the meaning and pronunciation of the name in different languages. Sometimes a simple word may have a different connotation in a different language. Avoid using culture-specific words and slang.

Not Get Specific

Many companies’ big blunder is that they name their brand specifically for a single product (usually with which they begin their start-up). As the company grows and expands, the brand name stops having coherence with the products or services the company offers. Many companies then rename their brand and lose a lot of consumers and credibility.

All this can be avoided entirely by not pinning a product/service-specific name. Many times, start-ups are named in regards to a specific location. Again, as the start-up expands, and so does its outlets, the geographical location will be redundant and awkward.

For example, your start-up sells jute bags, and you name it ‘Jute Bags of Kolkata.’ What will you do when your company branches out to other products? When outlets open up in different parts of the country or world? Imagine a loyal customer buys a new product (flip-flops) from this brand. On being asked, ‘where did you get this from?’, won’t it be too awkward for them to reply ‘Jute Bags of Kolkata’? This is the kind of situation you must avoid.

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Another example, Dyson company rose to fame for its vacuum cleaners. Their products were so well received that every household owned a ‘Dyson’ instead of a vacuum cleaner. Over the years, they branched into hair care and other verticals. Their brand name helped them sell out the newer products. Now, imagine if the owner had named it something specific to vacuum cleaners. Would they have been able to expand their business?

Audience Testing

There are a lot of methods to test your brand name. You can take a survey. You can set up a pop-up shop of your product and gauge people’s reactions. Feedback forms are very beneficial. Involve as many people as you can in this creative brainstorming process. You’ll surely reach your ‘Eureka!’ moment.

Available Domain Name

As mentioned before in the list, keep two-three equally creative options to name your brand. Online presence is significant for any brand to create noise and sell well. With millions of websites coming up each year, a lot of domain names are already taken.

If you come up with a single name for your company whose domain name might be taken, you’ll run into a wall. Instead, check the available domain names and try to name your brand per it. Also, check social media handles for your company’s name. It is always best to maintain uniformity across websites, email ID, and social media. You’ll have to work in tandem with these.

Read Also: How to create an effective business plan for your startup?

Check Trademark

A final but crucial step is to check if you can trademark the name for your company. Having a unique and creative name cannot waive off the need to trademark it. Your hard work will be of no use if you come to realize another company with the same name already owns the trademark. In India, you can search for your company’s logo and name in Trademark Registry India. Each country has its registry available online.

Deciding upon a name is a long-drawn process, but the outcome will be sure-shot amazing if you keep in mind the above points. All that be left to do would be: filing an application, examination, publication, and finally, the registration certificate of your trademark. Voila! Your brand name would be established in a full-proof way.


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Karuna Abhinandini
Karuna Abhinandini
Karuna is finishing her undergraduation in English Honours. Reading keeps her afloat and writing keeps her sailing. Dancing is a hobby she can't survive without. Extremely fascinated by Psychology, it is one subject she is always going out of the way to study.

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