A) What are the goals of this post
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B) What are the potential questions that readers may have?
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C) Who are the 32 contributors to this post?
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Ask experienced business or company owners, and they will tell you that starting a business can be tasking and would require continuous positive tweaks, from the business onset, to build it into a successful brand. And one of these early and probably the most important tweaks, according to some of these folks, is picking the right company name.
But why should so much emphasis be placed on a company name, something that seems so insignificant? Well, the reason isn’t far-fetched, if one ask around, as the same advice abounds every: because your brand name is the cornerstone of your business, and as such should comprise the following attributes:
a) The business names should sell the brand identity
b) The catchy business name should be easy to remember
c) The business name should be easily pronounceable
d) The company name should be easy to spell
e) The business name should endure for a long time
f) The brand name should be unique
g) The business name should appeal to the target audience
f) The company name should be search engine friendly by using the right keyword(s)
g) The business name should be paired with suitable extension, preferably a .com
Given the above attributes, which should comprise a great business name, some people still make these common mistakes when generating their business names:
a) They get many people involved when generating a business name
b) They create a hybrid name by, for example, merging an adjective with a noun
c) They use plain words that don’t stand out from the crowd, for example, like general motors
d) They limit their brands by assigning a geographic name to their businesses, for example, Newyorkdelivery
e) They use common names like, for example, apex
f) They have business names that sound like one has to do a puzzle to figure out what the brand is all about.
g) They Intentional misspell the brand name while still retaining its meaning.
h) They pick the wrong name and refuse to change it
Now that we know, in summary, most of the dos and don’ts when choosing a great business name, it may seem almost impossible for one to easily incorporate all of these parameters to practically come up with a winning business name. However, that is not the case as a couple of major ideas have been put forward to help with picking the right start-up name.
A) One of these ideas is to solicit the help of a very few good mixes of people who can give you great ideas for a company name, but that is if they can set aside their egos and agree on a common business name.
Even at that, as indicated by the first common mistake that most people make when generating a business name, it has been recommended not to get many people involved because one stands the risk alienating some of the people, in your network or group, especially if their ideas are not chosen.
B) Another method that can aid in generating a great business name is the use of the right professional branding agency, which, according to many testimonies, does work. However, going this route could set you back a couple of bucks, but at least, one will be getting some quality service that comes with a great company name.
C) The third method is the use of a business name generator tool. The tool comes recommended in some quarters because it is easily accessible and easy to use while providing many options for a business name. And in addition to these, it could help to overcome most of the mistakes that are made when picking a brand name. Some have even said that it could also help inspire a business name idea based on the brand name options that the tool generates.
Another major advantage of using some great business name generator tools, according to some folks, is that it saves you the headache of having to check if a domain name is available as it does it for you.
These glowing attributes, however, does not imply flawlessness for the business name generator tool. Using the tool could come with disadvantages such as providing the same brand name list to everyone searching for a business within referenced keyword(s). And, in addition to the above, the business names generated could be generic as they may not be tailored to one’s exact needs.
D) To overcome all of the shortcomings associated with the above-listed methods, many folks have suggested using a combination of more than one of these methods to get the right business name.
This post, given all the methods mentioned and their associated advantages and disadvantages, will focus primarily in detail on the business name generator tool, so as to better understand how effective the tool is for generating or inspiring great catchy business names.
This guide will also examine parameters that should be factored in before and when generating a business name. And this is in addition to getting a general idea of how frequently people still make some of the previously listed common mistakes associated with generating business names.
This post will accomplish these objectives from the contributions, below, made by 32 diverse people from different business backgrounds. Their contributions will be discussed in 4 major overlapping groups:
A) Factors that should be considered before naming a business,
B) Factors that should be considered when naming a business,
C) Why the use of a business name generator tool is encouraged in certain quarters, and
D) Why some folks do not lean positively towards the use of the business name generator tool.
By the way, as you read, it is recommended that you pay attention to opinions that repeat themselves as they could be emphasizing important points that should never be overlooked.
These questions should help any reader maximize the information in this post.
A) What are the factors to consider before naming a business
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D) What are the common mistakes associated with generating a business name?
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E) Why do some people like to use business name generator tools?
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F) Why do some folks not fancy or are not interested in using business name generator tools?
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I) How were the objectives of this post accomplished?
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| Lucia Robles | Deborah Sweeney | Dave Rohrer | Ed Alexander | Josephine Caminos Oria | Evvan-Joi Croll | Linda Murray Bullard | James McGrath | Katie Ziskind | Jeff Neal | Claire Shaner | Tony Mariotti | Earl White | Dvorah Graeser | Joshua Zepess | Shel Horowitz | Kim Hawkins | Joe Bailey | Maciej Fita | William Taylor | Sean Matula | Julieanne O’Connor | Nick Galov | Anne-Héloïse Pagliardini | Kevin Lockett | Lucy Harris | Elna Cain | Sally M Fox | D.J. Billings | Carsten Schaefer | Lee McMillan | Fred Cooper |
The Factors To Consider Before Naming A Business
a) Who are you, as a brand, as a company, as a person?
b) Who are you serving?
c) What’s your brand?
The company name needs to be in alignment with who you are and how you and your team will communicate with your clients. It will also play a big role in who you attract for clients. It’s great when a lot can get packed into a name, but sometimes it doesn’t work out that way.
When we started our business we did not use a business name generator, we used our imagination. I actually never thought the name of our company would stick until it made no sense to change it.
If you plan on being in business for many years, with no end in sight, the name needs to be something that will help carry that longevity. I think the biggest mistake people make is overthinking the whole thing and/ or trying to pack too much into a business name.
2) Deborah Sweeney
Before you file to register a trademark for your business name, conduct a name search. There are several third-party companies that will help you search through currently registered and pending trademark applications to verify that the mark is unique before filing your application. Conducting this search ensures that you do not accidentally infringe on the name of another business that may already be in use.
* When naming your business, try to include relevant keywords. Simplicity is often key when naming a small business. Make it easy to pronounce, short, and memorable.
* It’s also a good idea, while you’re filing for a trademark for your business name, to incorporate or form an LLC for your company. Doing this provides the business with liability protection that separates and protects your personal and professional assets. It also provides tax savings and extends credibility to your small business, showing everyone that you’re legitimate with an Inc or LLC at the end of your business name.
3) Dave Rohrer
There are going to be a wide range of ways to approach this task and for good reason, which is that everyone is different. In other words, why you are starting a business, the business goals, and how you run the business will be at least slightly different from someone else’s.
But as for me, personally, all of my online and offline projects start with me researching if the domain and social profile names are available. From there, I move into the trademark and the legal questions around how to set up the business and if the name is in use.
4) Ed Alexander
Most often, your business name is the first point of contact between you and your customer. It and your logo are your most prominent branding tools and will be printed on just about everything. The right company name can be a boom to a business, just as the wrong name can spell disaster.
Because of its overall importance to the marketing and advertising of your business, startups should give some serious consideration to the company’s name upfront. Definitely account for the things like the length, spelling, connotation, and phonetics, as these will be important from a consumer’s point of view. Moreover, you’ll want to ensure pertinent URLs and social media handles for your chosen company name are also available.
However, there are important legal restrictions to consider when choosing the name of your business entity. The naming restrictions differ from state to state, so taking the time to familiarize yourself with these requirements beforehand, will save you time and frustration in the future. For example, in Florida where we practice, there are three primary legal requirements that your company name must meet:
a) Must include an Entity Designator (e.g. LLC, Inc. Corp.),
b) Cannot imply that the business entity is a different type of business entity,
c) Must be distinguishable on the record.
Keep in mind that here we are solely dealing with the official entity names. You separately may have to consider whether to make a fictitious name filing (also known as doing business as or d/b/a) for your business. If you do that, you must consider trademark and trade name issues.
Finally, if you plan to form the business entity outside of your home state (e.g. in Delaware), you will have to abide by the entity naming restrictions in both states.
5) Josephine Caminos Oria
Choosing a business name is the second critical step in the business planning process. Not only should you pick a company name that reflects your brand identity, but you also need to ensure it is properly registered and protected for the long term. You should also give a thought to whether it’s web-ready. Is the domain name even available? Some factors to consider when naming your business include:
A) How will your company name look—on the web, as part of a logo, on social media?
B) What connotations does it evoke?—is your company name too corporate or not corporate enough? Does it reflect your business philosophy and culture? Does it appeal to your market?
C) Is it unique?—pick a brand name that hasn’t been claimed by others, online or offline. A quick web search and domain name search will alert you to any existing use.
D) Check for trademarks because trademark infringement can carry a high cost for your business. Before you commit to a company name, use the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) to see if any mark has already been registered or applied for that is similar to your mark and used on related products or for related services. If your search yields a mark that you think might conflict with your mark, you should then check its status to see if the application or registration is still live, since any dead mark cannot be used to block a new application.
E) If you intend to incorporate, check to see if the name is available—if you intend to incorporate your business, you’ll need to check with PENN File—Pennsylvania’s online business document filing system—to check whether your intended company name has already been claimed and is in use. If you find a business operating under your proposed name, you may still be able to use it, provided your business and the existing business offer different goods/services or are located in different regions.
Startups should always perform a thorough trademark search prior to committing to a company name. Trademark infringement can carry a high cost for your business. As the owner of a culinary incubator business in Pittsburgh, PA, I have seen this firsthand.
One of the original members of our kitchen share program received a cease and desist letter, also known as infringement letter or demand letter sent to an individual or business to halt purportedly unlawful activity (cease) and not take it up again later (desist), in its second year in business.
The letter was signed by a company who had a common-law trademark on the same company name that our member had built his brand around. He had, unfortunately, not performed a thorough trademark search prior to committing to his company name, and slapping it all over his website, packaging, and food truck.
So, after successfully branding his product for more than two years, this member was forced to go back to the drawing board and rebrand his company—from the name to the logo to the packaging. While he successfully persevered, these are the type of hiccups you hope to avoid as they will set you back in time and capital.
6) Evvan-Joi Croll
To date, we haven’t spent any advertising dollars yet we continue to attract clients. I attribute this to having a business name that clearly states our unique value proposition and the services we offer.
I recommend creating a company name that allows people to quickly identify if your services are for them then backing that up with a beautiful website and amazing service or products. My second piece of advice is to get positive customer feedback on your website as soon as possible. This builds an essential layer of trust between the consumer and your unknown brand or company.
7) Linda Murray Bullard
Business owners should consider whether that name is already in use in their state. Duplication is not allowed if a business was previously registered with the Secretary of State office.
Also, names should be generic, but clearly state what the business offers. Company names with numbers or an A as the first letter appear higher in listing than other names when listed alphabetically.
We had a bunch of business name ideas but the main problem we ran into was the availability of a good domain name. In order to fix that, we started smushing together words to come up with something new. We ended up with *Yo*ur *R*eal *E*state *Evo*lution and boom – we had Yoreevo.
The best part of making up a company name is you can get everything – domain name, social media handles, trademark, etc – without any problems or cost. It also helps with search engine optimization.
9) Katie Ziskind
When you are generating a business name, you should consider some facts like whether your business is going to be local. If the business is, then you may want to use your town or city name in the title of your business. For example, “Springfield Counseling,” so that when people google this, your business website will come up on google ideally. But this should be avoided if you’re making an e-commerce business.
When you pick a business name, you can also use your own name, “Ziskind Counseling.” However, this can make it hard to scale, grow, and expand beyond you doing all the work as the owner. By the way, you want a short name that is easy to pronounce and in a font that is easy to read. You also want less than seven syllables in your business name.
10) Jeff Neal
Your business name needs to be flexible because you never know what way you’re going to pivot down the road. If your name only focuses on the product/service you think you’re offering now, then you’ll be locked into the product/service through the duration. Ambiguous names that don’t reflect on their product/service, are more open, and build better brands.
11) Claire Shaner
Some things that we considered as we developed a business name were how easy it was to say, how well it matched with our product, and how unique it was. If the company name isn’t easy to say or spell, you’ll run into trouble getting it to stick in people’s minds. If it doesn’t match the product, people will be confused about what you sell or do. If the company name isn’t unique (if other businesses have similar names, or worse, if it’s already trademarked) you won’t be able to stick out from the crowd.
In addition to these factors, pick a business name that matches the tone of your business. If your company will be fun and casual, pick a name that matches. If it will be more formal, the company name should be formal.
Brainstorm with friends and associates for ideas. Once you have an idea, run it past others to see how they will spell it or what they think of when they hear it.
12) Tony Mariotti
As a founder of a few different businesses over the years, I’ve always tried to include at least one keyword in the business name so that website visitors – clearly and immediately – know what industry we serve.
What’s more, my businesses and domains are an exact match so that it easy to remember. I’ve never understood (and this happens a lot in real estate for some reason) why people don’t match their company name to their URL!
Consider the current and potential scope of your business for product offerings and geographic markets. A narrow and specific business name gives the advantage of creating clarity. However, the narrow approach might not be flexible enough to work for different industry-related services in the
B) Available Domain.
One reason we selected our business name is the domain had not yet been taken. If competitors already own a domain name with the business name your consideration that matches or is very close to your business), that could cause confusion among customers when they look up the business online.
For example, us at KISSPatent, the KISS refers to the “Keep It Simple Stupid” principle that states that systems work best if they are kept simple rather than made complicated, which is our ultimate goal to make the intellectual property uncomplicated and accessible to everyone. And the patent, well, that just speaks for itself.
Fortunately, there are great business name generator tools out there that use a collaborative scoring algorithm and machine learning to find the perfect name for your business, website, app, company, etc.
What’s in a name? Honestly, not much. Consider some of the most successful companies that use everything from personal names, to made-up names, to boring names. It’s really about what they do and how they do it (at least perceived), once they are known.
With that said, a great business name in today’s market of 5.9 million firms in the U.S. can help you at least get noticed and turn a head or two. I don’t use business name generators because I am a name generator (just a quirky talent I’ve developed).
A good company name describes what you do, but a great name will make someone die of curiosity if they don’t find out what you do. The risk of a good business name is that people will put their own judgment on whatever it is they *think *the business does. A good company name gives just enough information for them to make a wrong decision and justifies them tossing the business card in the trash.
A great company name doesn’t give quite enough information to make a preemptive judgment. It creates a curiosity that compels a person to inquire further. It is at this point that a full 20-30 second description, created properly, can not only describe the business but call a person to take action – like setting up an appointment, getting on a mailing list, or just permission for a follow-up call (a secret to never making a cold call again).
This is to say nothing about the excitement that a great company name can generate, both internally to the business and externally to its audience.
16) Shel Horowitz
All the way back in 2000, my 5th book, Grassroots Marketing, outlined eight factors in naming a business: A) Alphabetical placement; B) tone; C) personalization; D) descriptiveness; E) cleverness; F) expandability; G) trademarkability; H) Internet domain availability. The book goes into detail on each, helping business owners think about which factors will be important for their particular business.
It’s fine to start with a business name generator, but then examine its suggestions for making sense under as many of those eight criteria as possible.
Why A Business Name Generator Tool Is Useful
17) Kim Hawkins
While a business name generator tool might be useful in getting your creative juices flowing, there are several important factors that should be considered when coming up with a good business name for your new business.
The business name should be catchy and easy to remember. As an e-commerce business, it was important for us to include certain keywords in our company name that people were searching for on Google. When we started out in our industry, the. keywords wholesale and event were important, so we kept it simple with “Events Wholesale.” If you are an online business, it is also helpful to have your business name in your url and to keep your url short.
You should combine the results of the generator tool with ideas from an online thesaurus, as well as an Internet search on glossaries of terms. From all of the options you gather, you can be able to pick out the most suitable for your business.
When generating a business name and starting a business as a whole, consider:
A) your target audience: what do they find most appealing in the product you wish to sell, and how can you bring that out in your business name and business?
B) the terms most often used in your line of business- your business name, and business should be able to capture these terms so that potential customers can easily identify with your business.
*Bottom Line:* A business name generator tool can be of use when naming your business but should be used in conjunction with other effective name sources that include online thesaurus. Your target audience and the most commonly used industry terms are major considerations when one is looking to name their business.
19) Maciej Fita
Absolutely, a business name generator tool is effective at generating great catchy names. Especially the ones that use an AI component. Getting your company name on round 1 is very important. I’ve spoken to many business owners over the years that didn’t think it through on the first go and had to change it later on which can often be a nightmare.
And what should be factored in when a generating a business name and starting a business as a whole?
You want to try and think about future goals for the business. A good example is a local service-based business that uses the location in the name and URL. It really locks you into that area. If you expand the business to other towns or states it can sometimes be problematic.
20) William Taylor
A business name generator tool might be effective at generating catchy business names, but you cannot solely rely on it to come up with a name that truly reflects your brand image and personality.
The company name you choose should mirror your business mission and vision. It should be easy to remember and pronounce. Avoid unusual spellings.
*Bottom Line: *Choose a business name that reflects your brand image, personality, mission, and vision.
21) Sean Matula
Yes, while a business name generator may be effective and give you a catchy name it fails to address the larger picture. Due diligence is needed from the beginning to ensure any company name used is not protected and is available through social media channels.
With my clients, I recommend completing a business plan first and creating a basic brand look and feel before ever contemplating a business name. Once this is done it will often change the direction they were initially headed and result in a more organic and better fitting company name.
Once this is accomplished I then preform U.S. trademark and copyright searches, state LLC name filing search to ensure no current conflicts. If there are none I then use online tools to crosscheck variations of the company name across all major social media sites. If none are taken it is then that naming can begin.
Many people do not realize the importance of having a business name that is easy to remember, spell and is universal across all social media that they plan to establish a brand on.
22) Julieanne O’Connor
A business name generator tool can be effective to spark new ideas but should not be solely depended on for creating a company name. There’s nothing quite as valuable as trusting in good old-fashioned intuition when it comes to ingenious names.
Give your imagination permission and space to come up with a company name that resonates with you as well as your customers or clients. Ultimately you will have to brand your name regardless of what you come up with, so why not embrace the fun in generating it yourself.
Utilize generator tools for when you are stuck on a particular word that you feel needs to be in the name. It can be useful for offering synonyms or suggestions that might guide your final choice.
23) Nick Galov
There are various strategies for coming up with a business name. Artificial intelligence (AI) business name generators can be quite useful as they can provide one with lots of ideas in a second. However, some of these ideas can be very generic so you shouldn’t rely solely on business name generators.
I prefer drawing inspirations from online tools and combining these with my own ideas when I craft a unique business name. It’s important that the company name is catchy, clear and easy to remember. Also, people often come up with a name without thinking of the visual identity. Once you brainstorm for a company name, try thinking of the logo as well. If you have a name that is too long, you may have more difficulty coming up with a logo.
Just focus on having any idea, including bad ones, and then make them better after. Also, the synonyms section on Thesaurus is your best friend when brainstorming for company names!
The main things you should consider when brainstorming for a business name is the essence of the company: what do you do, what do you stand for… The company name should convey this to some extent.
In a lot of ways, the business name is really the least important part of creating a business, (Donald Glover created his rap persona name Childish Gambino from a Wu-Tang Clan name generator!)
When you do come up with a name, you are better off coming up with a business name that is so unique, where you own the digital landscape. If you decide to use a business name generator, type in the niche or industry you are interested in or type in a company name you think sounds cool and see what happens.
Remember, it’s how good your product or service you have that will make an impact, not how cute your name sound.
Using a business name generator tool can be great at assisting the overall process. It can give you a whole bunch of ideas and variations that can really get your creativity flowing. This enables you to pick the company name that you like the best and that suits your business perfectly.
It can be difficult settling on your final name. It can be really helpful to get the opinions of family, friends and even strangers to see what will best suit your target market and be successful.
Remember to consider how your company name will be interpreted. You want everybody to know what the business is from the name alone. This allows you to have a strong branding so you are memorable and successful.
Many of these Business Name Generator tools use a keyword or business idea topic to generate thousands of potential business names for you. This might be all you need to come up with the perfect name for your business.
When choosing a business name, ensure that it’s easy to say and easy to spell. Above all, be memorable; many popular businesses have names that aren’t related to their brand or products. Businesses like Starbucks or Reebok have become synonymous with gourmet coffee and sneakers.
This idea also applies to your business as a whole – having a brand that is easy to spot out, easy to understand and is relatable can carry you a long way than one that is over complicated and difficult to explain.
A Business Name Generator Is Not My Cup Of Tea
28) Sally M Fox
Rather than use a business name generator tool, which doesn’t take into account your unique offering, your target audience, and your competitors, consider a copywriter who can filter your whole brand personality down into a nuanced and considered business name.
It’s essential to consider search engine optimization (SEO) when coming up with your business name. You’re more likely to rank highly on Google and thus generate more business if your company name includes the service you offer.
29) D.J. Billings
A tool to generate a catchy business name might be kind of fun, but letting someone (something) else decide anything for your business sounds really chancy. I believe that your business name should be very personal, it should be something you can talk about as part of your story.
It should also be created to appeal to your ideal market. If you spin a wheel and get something random like Zoopy Mittens, which might accidentally work for a knit shop but you’ll have a hard time getting customers as an accounting firm.
30) Carsten Schaefer
When generating your business name, forget about business name generator tools. The first thing to focus on is domain availability and whether you can buy a good .com domain to get started.
There are plenty of company names that haven’t been taken yet, but getting to them will take months of research, so I strongly suggest starting this alongside your market research and building the first MVP of your product.
When we were looking at our own company name, we first took a look at domain availability and SEO. In other words, we wanted to be sure that the brand would be easily discoverable through Google and other search engines.
31) Lee McMillan
We’ve tried a business name generator tool before launching our company, but we were very underwhelmed with the results. We then tried a naming contest but ran into problems because all of the URL’s were taken. Eventually, we named the company ourselves and overpaid for the URL just to be done with it.
In my opinion, like most entrepreneurs, we spent too much time worrying about getting the company name right. For almost all businesses, the name is not nearly as important as the founder thinks it is. This is only natural; starting a business is an extremely personal undertaking. All founders see their business as a reflection upon themselves, and so, of course, you want the company name to wow people.
However, in terms of the importance to the success of the company, getting the company name right is almost irrelevant. A business that truly solves a customer need can be named just about anything. Take Google, Zynga, One Kings Lane, Zillow, and dozens of others. These are truly awful names, and yet the companies are all wildly successful.
32) Fred Cooper
We did not use a business name generator tool but rather, thought of what we could use as a logo and name to develop our website around and decided a Compass with the points as links to various areas would make a great logo and allow for a number of services to be attached to each of the points.
With the compass logo and accompanying name (plus 2 others in reserve), we searched for (A) Arizona available (or already in use) LLC names related to Compass HR Consulting and (B) the availability of a Go-Daddy domain name and finding both were available, Compass HR Consulting was born.
We then worked with a website developer who utilized our concept of the points of a compass as links to areas of services. In a short while, we were presented with 4 variations of logo styles that when the winner was selected, development of the verbiage for the website could begin in earnest.
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