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You may have a few million-dollar ideas, but you’ll need the perfect name before you can bring them to life. One major hang-up for entrepreneurs is finding a name for a business or product that’s catchy enough to stay relevant. If you’re having trouble, don’t worry. We have a few tips for finding a name that’s sure to stick.

Choosing a Name for a Product or Business

The first step in the process is the hardest. You need to pick a name that’s attention-grabbing yet timeless. To do this, you need to find a creative twist for your idea. We encourage you to go wild with names, but keep them simple to understand and make sure they have room to grow.

Finding a Creative Twist

The key to finding a name for a product or business is to find a creative twist on your service. For example, Google got its name from the googolplex, a word that represent the number one followed by one hundred zeros. What could be a better name for a search engine that displays millions of results? – even if you only look at the first page.

The best way to find a creative twist is to think about what your product or business provides for customers. What makes your product unique? Is there a word that encapsulates what you offer?

Have an old-fashioned brainstorming session. Make sure to write out a few options and see which ones roll off the tongue. It’s best to trust your gut here. If it doesn’t elicit any oohs from your team, go back to the drawing board.  

Embracing Simplicity

During your brainstorming session, you should give a heavy weight to the names that are creative but simple. Is it simple to pronounce? Is it easy to spell? Ask the person who relies a little too much on Grammarly to give it a try. Make sure the name you select is engaging, but not at the expense of simplicity.

The most successful brands have short names that evoke a visual. Think about brands like Nike or Apple. You get a clear image of their name and logo when you say them–and then you get the urge to spend this month’s budget on your wish list.  

A Name that Grows with Your Business

The next principle is easily the most overlooked. Amazon, the online powerhouse, is the perfect example. When Jeff Bezos founded the company, he didn’t select a name for his business limited to books, even though it was an online bookstore.

Amazon instead got its name from the longest river in the world because Bezos wanted to become one of the world’s largest online retailers. This name gave the company plenty of room to grow in the future, and we’re convinced that they’ll succeed one day at world domination.

Checking Availability

Now that you have a few names to work with, you need to see which ones are available. There’s nothing more frustrating than seeing that your web handle is taken by a millennial who only posts selfies and food pics.

When naming a business or product, you’ll need to:

  • Check existing trademarks against your list of names
  • Make sure domain names are available
  • Find out if those names are available for social media

A simple Google search will tell you if the name is already being used by a competing product or service. But it’s equally important to avoid names that already have a strong Google presence because they’re the name of a popular movie, song, or screen character. If you decide to name your business selling charcoal Charizard, you’ll never get found online. (That’s a Pokémon character, btw.)

This step will reduce your list of names, but a handful will remain. The easiest way to choose from the lingering names is to try them out–although we wish there was some way to have them fight to the death.

Try it On For Size

Trying your names on for size is easier than ever in the digital age. Try a few slogans to pair with each name and see which ones truly stand out.

After you have some favorites, you can create logos and mockups. Mockups help you see the name on a website, publication, or merchandise. If you don’t have the skillset for this step, there’s probably a company with talented, creative designers and strategists that can help you out.

BadCat offers branding services like logo creation, color selection, and branding guidelines. Contact us to find the perfect name for your brand or product.