Tuesday, May 11, 2021
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How do you decide on a name when you want to start a business?

Naming is hard. I remember when we were launching our first venture, we really struggled with coming up with a memorable name. We ended up hosting a naming contest on one of the discussion forums and received few interesting suggestions from others.

So we thought, why not build a platform that allows entrepreneurs in a similar situation to host naming contests and tap into the creativity of other people? We launched squadhelp.com in 2011, but didn’t promote the platform much and let it grow organically. As more and more entrepreneurs started using theplatform, our community of “namers” started growing quite rapidly. We started investing more and more into the platform, and added several features such as a reputation system to “curate” top quality creative talent. We now have acommunity of 40,000+ creatives on our platform who have submitted more than 3.5Million names.

There is no shortcut to building great brands. You should take the time to write a brief about what you want the brand to stand for, who are your target customers and what are 2 or 3 aspects that differentiate youfrom others. Others have already postedsome really good points about how to come up with a great name. I would like to add few more suggestions for picking a good name, along with some examples of actual names submitted on our platform:

  • Suggestive: Think of names that don’t explicitly include keywords from your business but they evoke a positive experience to convey your brand’s promise. Examples from Squadhelp:
    • Kinetic Sweat (for a Fitness Studio)
    • Big Equation (Digital Agency)
    • ExFerno (Fire Protection business)
    • Hangar B (Innovation Hub)
    • Propel NY (Marketing agency)
    • GeniusDen (For Incubator, Coworkingspace)
    • Swoop (Name for a Drone Company)
  • Wordplay: Push the limits and play on words or phrases to make your brand stand out. This technique can result in some very distinctive and memorable brand names. Examples from Squadhelp:
    • Sole Mates (for a Sock brand)
    • Rentlemen (for a Men’s Clothing Rental Company)
    • HereOuiGo (for a Paris Relocation Company)
    • LettuceExperience (for a Vegan food restaurant)
    • Panic A Tax (for a Tax Consulting Firm)
    • The Marilyn on Monroe (for an Apartment complex on Monroe st)
    • GoodFillas (for a Mobile Food Truck)
    • InsightOut (for a Life Coach company)
  • Meaningful: If you want your customers to easily understand your brand’s purpose, choose words that correlate very closely to your product offering. Examples from Squadhelp:
    • Sleep Caster (Air Mattress Brand)
    • SkinInFocus (Skin Care Clinic)
    • ReadyBelly (Food Delivery Service)
    • SipTrip (Beer Tasting Tours)
    • ZeroGravity (For a Trampoline Park)
    • WattCutters (Website forEnergy Consultants)
    • Tasty Spoon(Personal Chef Company)

You have to be careful about picking names which aren’t easy to pronounce, easy to spell or are too “technical”. They might make sense to you as founders, but do they make sense to the customers who are hearing about it for the first time? Many people use Name Generators to come up with names. However, there is no good alternative to human involvement. If you use a platform like Squadhelp, you will have more than 100 creatives submit name ideas for your brand. However, it is extremely important to provide ongoing feedback to the creatives who are submitting ideas so that you get much more targeted results.

It is also important to check the legal issues such asTrademark availability. We hear from several businesses who were forced to change their names because they received a cease and desist letter due to a Trademark conflict. Our platform automatically checks Trademark availability as well as matching URL availability. However, you can also use other online resources or hire an experienced Trademark attorney who can assist with ensuring that your name is protected.

A name plays a significant role in a brand’s growth and perception.Whatever resource you decide to use, you should invest some time upfront to make sure you give your business the kind of name it deserves. It really can make all the difference in the world.

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