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A Guide To Naming Your Startup

April 21st, 2016 by

Naming your company can be a really difficult task!

Not all people agree on the importance of a name to a belonging: “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” , said William Shakespeare, famed English poet and playwright. All right, Shakespeare, I’m sure a rose would smell just as sweet, but would anyone really want a dozen ‘fingleboxits’ for Valentine’s Day?

Choosing the name for your startup may seem like a daunting task. It has to be catchy, memorable and descriptive. It must act as a meaningful placeholder for your entire company’s identity, encompassing all the many wonders that your business possesses. It has to be accessible, so as to not confuse consumers.

But you’re an entrepreneur. You have enough things to worry about before taking into account trivialities such as the name of your business. It doesn’t really matter all that much, does it?

You’re about to find out the answer to the question, “What’s in a name?”. Well, it’s more than you might think.

Choosing a name comes down to two sides of the same coin. You have to decide whether to go for a name that is very descriptive and immediately tells users what you offer, or one that is made up (and therefore meaningless in its own right), and let your brand’s function speak for itself.

Examples of the former include WeBuyAnyCar.com. I don’t have to spell it out for you – this company specializes in selling used cars, regardless of condition. However, on the other side of the spectrum, take one of the world’s greats: Google. This brand name comes from the word googol, which represents ten to the power of 100; that name was invented by the nine-year-old nephew of mathematician Edward Kasner. This has very little to do with it being an internet search engine; in this case, it was not the meaning behind the name, but rather the brand itself that was behind its success.

In order to make the choice between these two extremes, consider your industry. Are you a frontrunner in a new sector, or an up-and-comer in a marketplace that’s been around for a while? The fact of the matter is the more players there are in your space, the less chance you have to go for a literal name. If you are in a well-established field, choose a name that is catchy and fun, without being too trendy – you want to make sure your brand name has a long shelf life. On the other hand, if you are in a burgeoning market, you have more creative licence to explore; and if you’re really lucky, your company’s name could become the gold standard in your industry and become verbified – more on that here.

Choosing an obvious name above a made-up word has other benefits as well. Your SEO can be vastly improved if the stamp on the outside of your product – your company name – doubles as a keyword for search engines. With the previous example of WeBuyAnyCar.com, they have two very descriptive and important words in both the name of the company and the site address – “buy” and “car” – so they are sure to receive extra hits from search engines because of this. Had they opted for a made-up word, they would have had to use the WestHost Website SEO Guru to enhance their SEO further.

Lastly, make sure your moniker is memorable. While certain websites can get away with a straightforward site address such as dictionary.com, you may not be able to develop much of a company persona by using a literal word description. This is where company names that are purpose built have the upper hand: Twitter, Google, Pinterest, Instagram, to name just a few. These names are not only catchy and quick, but have become mainstays in the digital marketplace.

There are many decisions entrepreneurs have to make when it comes to starting a business, and choosing a name could be one of the most important. Make sure you give it due consideration, as it could be the difference between Roses R Us and Fingleboxits Ltd.

Once you decide on a winning name for your startup, the first step you must take is to snap up the corresponding domain name! Check if yours is available and register it today by clicking here.

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