As we touched on recently in our lighthearted post Funniest Business Names Ever, finding a name for your new startup business is far from being an easy task.
And it gets even more complicated when there are a few founders, with differing opinions and ideas on what sounds good. The thing is there are not necessarily any hard and fast rules to naming your business. However, we thought today we would highlight a few of the main tips of things to consider when choosing a name as well as details of some platforms that will help generate names for you.
Brainstorm some Keywords
Make a list of some of the keywords that represent and relate directly to your business. Then look at a thesaurus – check out some synonyms. Your keywords could be descriptive, immediately telling what your business does or it could be a phrase – like stumbleupon . It could simply be a hint at what your business is about rather than telling everything it is about. Remember though, the more generic your keyword is however, the less likely that your domain name will be available.
Think of Misspelled words.
The last few years has seen a steady rise in the number of startups with misspelled names or with randomly removed vowels. Popular examples of this include flickr, digg, scribd.
This has been both due to the fact that the real desired name has already been registered and the domain name has gone, but also due to it being the “trendy” thing to do. The danger though with following a trend too closely is that it could date your company or brand. Think carefully before going down this route. For some businesses it may be fine to be creative with the name like this but for others, a more traditional and shall we say timeless name may be more appropriate.
Say it out Loud.
Don’t get solely carried away by seeing what it looks like on paper. Make sure that it is easy to pronounce. Test it out by saying it to other people – see how easy they seem to grasp it. Can they say it easily and do they seem to remember it. If you are continually having to explain how to pronounce it or remind them of what it is, chances are it’s the wrong name.
Try and Avoid Punctuation.
This is certainly not always possible and may be the only way you can actually get the name you really want. However, you should remember that when most people are typing a name into a search engine, they rarely remember the punctuations – the hyphens, the underscores, whatever. So, if at all possible, think of a name without them.
Check out the Social Networks.
Whilst once upon a time, search engine optimisaton was the only thing that mattered for marketing your business online, the ever-growing power of the social networks has meant that having your name registered there has become increasingly important. Chances are if your desired business name has already been registered, its’ social network equivalents, Twitter, Facebook etc will have been too .
In a previous post, ( Top Free Online Tools for Startups – click here to read more ) we’ve referred to NameChk, an excellent tool for searching if your chosen name is available across a plethora of social networking and bookmarking sites. Click here to try it out.
If you still need a helping hand when coming up with your startup name, then why not try out some of these sites which can help generate a name for you.
This platform not only helps you search and find available domain names. It also lets you create naming contests to get name ideas, feedback and ratings. Click here for more details.
As well as a name generating feature, this site also lets you combine your chosen “keyword” with some frequently used beginnings and endings. Try it out for yourself here.
This innovative site does not just check domain name availability, it focuses on helping you brainstorm, even referring to itself as“ a patient brainstorming partner.” Start your brainstorming by clicking here.
Hopefully these tips and suggested sites may be of some help to those of you who are currently struggling with that all-important naming task.
We’d love though to hear how some of you have come up with the names for your startups or other tips that you feel may help others trying to do just that. Feel free to let us know via the comments section below.