You’ve got a great idea, and it’s time to get it off the ground. But what are you going to name it? You’ve gone back and forth on a few names, but none of them have stuck. Truth is, naming your business is hard. It feels permanent and determinate — like naming your child. Let us help.
Priorities First, Words Second
First, figure out your priorities. Are you building a product and brand? Or is this more of a consultancy? Are you personally the foundation or is this bigger than you?
Once you have that answered, nail down what you or your product does. What’s your mission? More importantly, what do you want people to feel? Do you want clever or straightforward? A short or long name? (For what it’s worth, short and to the point is always better).
Words, words, words
You could use a variety of techniques for your name. Consultancy? Your first or last name would work. A product? Simple verbs and nouns are magic.
DNSimple takes domain name services (DNS) and makes them simple to do. Sched helps organizers and attendees schedule and manage every last detail of their events. A quip is a quick, witty remark, and Quip creates productivity tools to make work easier and faster. You get the idea.
Alliteration and portmanteaus (combined words & meanings) also make memorable names. For portmanteaus, think: Accenture – Accent on the Future, Amtrak – American track, or Wikipedia – wiki encyclopedia.
Still stuck? Sleep on it. A fresh perspective does wonders. And don’t get too many opinions from friends/family/neighbors – too many cooks and all that.
We need a startup for this. Let’s create a company that makes subscription chef boxes for Mexican food.
Our company teaches people to cook authentic Mexican food at home. We send the customer the ingredients. They get the thrill of accomplishment, along with some dope dinners. Our vibe is cute and clever, and we want a short, memorable name. This is a good place for a portmanteau. We’ll call our brand Caseadillas. (Really. Someone please make this.)
Before you get any further, do a quick check to make sure it’s not trademarked. If you’re in the US, check for trademarks here: http://tmsearch.uspto.gov.
If it is trademarked… well, that sucks. Back to the drawing board. If it’s not, time to look for domains and social handles.
Which domain is right?
Using a domain search tool, like domainr.com, type in your name and check for availability. We’re past the days of .com, .net., and .org. There’s no reason to settle for an okay domain. You can use anything from .associates to .zero. They’re often more memorable than traditional .com hacks.
While you’re exploring, consider which domains apply to your brand. Many domain names look clever and fun, but they won’t fit what you’re doing. Caseadilla.ninja sounds cool, but it’s not on point for our brand. Don’t pick a domain just because your inner 13-year-old thinks it’s awesome.
After doing some research, we’ve decided on caseadilla.club. It’s alliterative, memorable, and to the point.
You can also abbreviate, or explore alternate domains if you have a common word as your company name.
Before you get too excited about your domain, check that the cost is within your budget. .club runs in the $25/year range, but some premium domains can climb into the thousands. (Please, don’t ever pay thousands of dollars for a domain. We’ll help you find a better one.)
A note: There are some less agreeable domains too, like .sucks, .gripe, .wtf, and .fail. If you’re worried about someone making a mock account, buy these up. They can be expensive, but worth it if you have a potentially controversial product.
You’ve got your name, you bought your domain; it’s time to check on social media handles. You’ll want to have the same handle across all platforms. So, identify the first few platforms you’ll be active on.
For now, let’s look at Twitter and Instagram. Caseadilla and Caseadillas are taken on both platforms. This is where you might be tempted to add a number. Don’t. Caseadillas2018 isn’t memorable, and reads like a bad email address from 1999.
Instead, go back to your domain. What did you choose? Since we landed on .club, it’s an easy switch to CaseadillaClub, which is available on both platforms.
You can also use an abbreviation here – but avoid alternate spellings. You don’t want to confuse your users.
Even if you don’t plan to use a certain platform, it’s a good idea to register your name there so no one can take it and pretend to be you.
Your company name is the ultimate reflection of you and your business. It’s something you’ll grow into for years to come. It’s the most personal aspect of your brand — the first point of contact. Choose something you love that aligns with your vision, and your clients will love it too.
If you need more advice, drop us a line. We’d love to help.
Accomplice specializes in creating consumer experiences for today’s brands – from digital to physical spaces. Visit our website to learn more about the Accomplice team.