Coining a Name for Your Startup – The Dilemma and The Approach

on September 28 | in Business | by | with No Comments

As an entrepreneur or an owner of a startup, the process of coming up with a name for your organization is the first on the to-do list of “how to build an organization”—and probably the most exciting aspect of one’s entrepreneurial journey.

At least, that’s what I’ve learnt during my experience as a business consultant.

Owners tend to take great interest whenever I sit with them to help them coin a name for their startup. And to be honest, their excitement and interest is justified.

After all, a great business name is the first step to building an iconic brand.

However, this does not mean that the process should become a distraction for you, deviating your focus away from actually doing something valuable.

It’s Not a Game of Scrabble

So, when I see my clients investing hours, days and even weeks in the process, I always quote to them the wise words of Jason Cohen:

“It’s more effective to do something valuable, than to hope a logo or a name will say it for you.”

Here, I am not undermining the importance of a great business name; it’s the hours and days that business owners tend to attribute to the process – where my reservation lies.

This is not a game of scrabble!

Coining a Name for Your Startup – An Easy and Effective Approach

This begs the question:

How to come up with a great name for your startup without investing too much time in the process?

Come Up with Few Ideas

First, come up with few ideas for your business name and jot them down.

  • Your business name could be named after a place. Just look at the examples of Adobe and Apple.
  • Your business name could be the acronym of the services that you will be delivering. For instance, IBM stands for International Business Machines.
  • Your business name could be an adaptation of an existing word – for which dictionary would serve to be of great help. For example, Twitter is an adaptation of the word “Twitch”.

Name Scoring

Once you have shortlisted some names, it’s time to select the best one. You can do that by scoring each of the shortlisted names on the following criteria:

  • Is the name already taken?
  • Is the name simple enough to remember and pronounce?
  • Does the name convey a broad context? So that, if tomorrow, you need to scale your business and add new services to your existing portfolio, you won’t have to change it.
  • Is the shortlisted business name, 12-characters or less? Because all the world’s top 25 brands have a name that is 12 characters or less.
  • Does the name resonate with the service or product that you will be delivering?

Choose the shortlisted name that scores highest on the above listed criteria. If you need to optimize it further, feel free to do it.

And remember, it’s highly likely that you may not like the name at first, even it fulfills all the above criteria. But with time, it will grow on you.

Starting Your Entrepreneurial Journey?

As a business consultant, having 25 years of experience of working with world-class brands, my blog resources cater to entrepreneurs like you, and can help you get started with valuable and actionable advice. From setting up your startup to expanding your business on a global scale, my blog has you covered.

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