How to find an epic name for your business – That’s guaranteed to work

Here’s how to guarantee an epic name for your business.
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The ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius, a bastion of wisdom for almost 1500 years, said that “If names are not correct, language is not in accordance with the truth of things.” Confucius’s traditionally cryptic portrayal of his insights has, counterintuitively, strengthened his own brand throughout the millennia – but here his meaning is clear: a bad name misleads everyone who runs into it!

And when it comes to generating business success, misleading your customers is a terrible start. An epic name for your business gives your customers instant signals about what your business does, but also what it means on a deeper level: its values, and its commitments.

Settling on the perfect name for your business is hard, but it’s worth the work. You’ll have a focal point for all future branding. Given that four out of five people forget branded content within 72 hours, we clearly can’t settle for a subpar name. Here’s how to guarantee an epic name for your business.

Understand Your Brand

Your business’s name is likely the first thing your customers will encounter. Your whole brand centres around it – so you can’t choose a name without understanding your brand.

So how do you want to portray yourself to your customers? Which values or characteristics do you want to emphasize in those first, crucial interactions? Figuring out your brand personality is the first step in any comprehensive naming process.

Take Zapp for example – a food delivery startup based out of London which has raised over $200 million in funding to date. Zapp’s punchy, memorable name signals to customers immediately that they’ll get their food, and fast. It’s a winning name for the sector they’ve entered, but it wouldn’t work for a luxury fashion start-up because it’s cheap, cheerful, and promises speed over quality.

Brainstorming For Names

A deeper understanding of your business’s brand, and the core values that connect to those of your customers, will help you every step of the way. With this knowledge, you can start the creative process of naming your business.

The brainstorming process is where you can let emotion and intuition in. Don’t be scared of allowing bad names to enter the mix, there are no wrong answers at this stage. Guided by your new understanding of your brand identity, create a long list of potential names that sum up who you are.

Struggling to come up with ideas? Try running naming competitions that crowdsource the process. The “wisdom of crowds” is a well-documented idea and can provide you with a selection of strong pre-approved naming options.

Validate Your Top Choices

The brainstorming process, inevitably, is marred by subjectivity and bias from those inside the organization. You have to validate your final naming ideas with outside objectivity.

Reach out to friends, family, and a social media audience for feedback on your shortlisted names – try to stay detached during this process, as your favoured name choice may not turn out to be the most commercially viable.

Check for potentially offensive or problematic meanings any names might contain, either through metaphor and euphemism in your own language or in translation to other languages – especially if you’re reaching out to an international market.

And lastly, ensure you have access to premium domains adjacent to your chosen name – a coherent brand identity requires a strong digital presence, and your website is a vital component of business success.

Final Thoughts

Finding a name for your business that is “in accordance with the truth of things” means delving deep into your business’s values, identity, and core beliefs – and finding ways of connecting these with your customers’ own lifestyles. Don’t get confused – get Confucian.




About the author

Grant Polachek

Grant Polachek is the head of branding for Squadhelp.com, 3X Inc 5000 startup and disruptive naming agency. Squadhelp has reviewed more than 1 million names and curated a collection of the best available names on the web today. We are also the world's leading crowdsource naming platform, supporting clients from early-stage startups to Fortune 500 companies.

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