By Owen Fay . Posted on November 14, 2022

Choosing a company name is an important decision for any business owner. Before any branding or marketing happens the company needs to create and choose a brand name. The name you choose will be used on your website, ads, social media, and anywhere else you market or promote your business.

It’s important to choose a name that is powerful, communicates your brand message, and is easy to remember and pronounce. In this article, we will cover the steps and best practices for choosing a company name that will grow with your organization and create a powerful brand identity.

Why you need to choose a great company name

A great company name is important because it can help you stand out from the competition. A name that differentiates your business can help attract customers and grow the business. When your name attracts customers and gets them to learn more about your great products or services you are more likely to turn users into loyal customers.

A company name is also the foundation of your brand identity. A strong brand identity will help with all of your marketing efforts, attracting more customers, and showing users that you can add value to their lives. A strong brand identity can help create trust with the user, create a professional brand, and even help you attract investors and stakeholders.

Overall, a great brand name can be used to build a successful brand, it can help to gain a customer base, reach the target audience, and eventually increase sales for your business.

How To Choose A Company Name: 10 Tips For Success

1. Keep it simple

A company name should be easy to pronounce, spell, and remember. It should be short and to the point, without unnecessary words. Think of the most successful company names like Apple, Amazon, or Visa. These are all one-word, simple, and easy to remember. Keeping your name simple will help attract the most customers.

2. Avoid using abbreviations

While abbreviations may save you time and space, they can also be confusing and difficult for customers to remember. Simple language that users can identify and understand is proven to be more successful than abbreviations.

3. Make it unique

Your company name should be distinguishable from other businesses in your industry. If it’s too similar, customers may get confused and go to your competitor instead. Something unique that also fits in your industry will differentiate your company from others and help users remember you.

4. Consider your target market

When choosing a name, think about who your target market is and what they might respond to. A name that appeals to one group of people may not appeal to another. It is important to consider your industry, and the type of customers you target, and find a name that will resonate with these groups.

5. Avoid using inside jokes

While you may think your inside joke is hilarious, chances are it will go over the heads of most of your potential customers. Save the jokes for your company picnic. Keeping your name unique but understandable is a great way to create a strong brand.

6. Steer clear of controversial topics

You don’t want your company name to be associated with anything that could be considered offensive or polarizing. Avoid hot-button topics like politics, religion, and sex.

7. Make sure the domain is available

In today’s digital world, it’s vital to have a website. Before you settle on a name, do a quick check to see if the domain name is available. You want the brand name to be exactly what your domain name is, for example, if your name is Apple your domain should be apple.com.

8. Consider your growth

When choosing a name, think about where you see your company in the future. If you plan on expanding into new markets or product lines, make sure your name doesn’t limit you. Don’t make the name too specific to avoid a rebrand down the road.

9. Test

Once you’ve done some research and narrowed down your options, you need to test your brand name to make sure it will resonate with the target audience. Using a platform like Poll the People you can get feedback from your target market in minutes, without blowing your budget. The easy-to-use tools, ready-to-go templates, and robust results dashboard give you everything you need to find your company name with valuable user insights.

10. Use the feedback and choose a name

Once you run a company name test with Poll the People, you will get qualitative and quantitative feedback that helps you determine which name is the best fit for your company. Dive into the results, identify the winner, and choose a name that you and your users love.

 

What to test for?

Relevance

You should put your company name through a relevance test. This test will help you determine if your company name is relevant to your business. If it isn’t, then you should consider changing it.

To do the relevance test, answer the following questions:

  • What does your company do?
  • What are your company’s values?
  • What is your target market?
  • What are your company’s unique selling points?

Once you’ve answered these questions, take a look at your company name and see if it’s relevant to your business.

Pronunciation

The next test you should put your company name through is the pronunciation test. This test will determine if your company name is easy to pronounce and if your target users can understand your name.

To do the pronunciation test, answer the following questions:

  • How do you pronounce your company name?
  • Is it easy to pronounce?
  • Do people often mispronounce it?
  • Are there any alternative pronunciations?

Answer the questions and determine whether to change the name or not. The feedback from your test will tell you if the users understand the name and can easily pronounce or spell it.

Recall

You might also want to test your name for recall. This test will help you determine if your company name is easy to remember. A name that is easy to remember will stick in the minds of the target audience.

Answer the following questions for the memory test.

  • Is your company name easy to remember?
  • Do people often forget it?
  • Is it easy to spell?
  • Are there any alternative spellings?

Search Engine Test

You should also see if your name appears in search results. This test will determine if your company name is easy to find on the internet. If it isn’t, then you should consider changing it. While your name might not appear on SERPs, you might find other businesses or competitors that appear for your name. If this happens it might be hard for your business to rank on Google once you go live.

Test against the competition

This test will help determine if your company name is too similar to your competition. You don’t want your company to be confused with the competition, making sure your company can be differentiated is important to creating a strong brand identity.

To test against the competition answer the following questions:

  • Who is your competition?
  • What are their company names?
  • Is your company name and their name too similar?
  • How can you differentiate yourself from the competition?

Domain Name Test

The domain test will determine if the company name is available as a domain name. If it isn’t, you might need to consider different company names or different types of domains.

  • Is your company name available as a domain name?
  • If not, are there any alternative domain names available?
  • What is the extension of the domain name (e.g., .com, .net, .org)?

What To Avoid When Choosing A Company Name

When you are testing your company name there are a few important things to avoid. 

  • Don’t use a name that is difficult to pronounce or spell.
  • Find the happy medium for the length of your brand name. Don’t make it too long or too short.
  • Avoid choosing a name that can be confused with the competition.
  • Choosing a name that isn’t relevant to your industry or communicates something you don’t offer.
  • Launching with a name that can be seen as controversial.
  • Don’t use a name that is too generic or that could be used for any business.

Bonus Tips

  1. Decide on the purpose or mission of your company.
  2. Choose a name that reflects your company’s purpose or mission.
  3. Make sure the name is available as a domain name and trademark.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the most important factors to consider when choosing a company name?

There are a few key factors to consider when choosing a company name. The name should be easy to spell, make sure it isn’t similar to other companies in your industry, and ensure it conveys the message you want to communicate about your business.

How can I come up with a good company name?

There are a few ways to come up with a good company name. You can brainstorm with friends or colleagues, use a word generator tool, or look for inspiration in nature or other businesses. Once you have a list of potential names, sign up for Poll the People and test your name with a panel of real users in minutes.

What should I avoid when choosing a company name?

There are a few things to avoid when choosing a company name.  Avoid names that are too similar to other companies, names that are difficult to spell or pronounce, and names that convey a negative message about your business.

Conclusion

If you’re starting a company, you want to choose a name that reflects the image you want to project and the type of business you’re in. We’ve highlighted some tips that you can use to choose the perfect name for your company.

Once you have a list of potential company names or have one you think will work for your company, sign up for Poll the People and test your name. You will get real user feedback that will help you choose a name that you and your user love.

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