07.09.2022 08:24

Business Naming Practices You Should Avoid When Branding your Startup

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Many entrepreneurs don’t realize that their startup name creates the tone for all of your future social media marketing and branding efforts. In addition to great brand storytelling and the choice of a brand color palette generator, a name should create a connection between your startup and your audience. Not only should it connect you to your audience but it should also accurately reflect who your business is and what values and beliefs you want to represent.

Just like how an effective name can create success for your brand, a weak name can significantly stunt your growth. Choosing the right business name is an essential branding component of your new business or startup. There are a variety of naming faux-pas that can damage the potential of your business growth. Find out more about what these naming mistakes are and why you need to prevent them as you start the process of naming your business.

Challenging Names

The most vital rules for you as an entrepreneur when naming your startup is that your brand name must be simple to pronounce, easy to spell, and impossible to forget.

If your target audience has difficulty saying your startup name aloud, it’s pretty likely that they will stop saying your name completely. Although it may seem creative and out of the box to intentionally misspell a name, you will actually cause more confusion than interest. It is very common for an intentionally misspelled name to cause more misunderstanding than buzz.

If you’re having a tough time deciding if your name is confusing or not, try applying the “crowded bar theory” to your potential brand name. Consider this, if you were at a jam-packed and loud bar with a friend and you told them the name of your business, would they hear it correctly? For example, a cafe named Sam and Ella’s may accidentally sound like the word salmonella in when heard in a loud bar. This type of understanding makes the name sound unattractive and unpleasant and could alienate potential customers. By applying the crowded bar theory, you will be able to tell if your startup name is easily understood.

If you really want to growth hack your startup, you will need a name that is simple for your potential customers to say and spell because they are easier to remember. You will be able to grow your business if your loyal customers act as agents of your brand when they share your startup name with your friends and family. Picking an easy, understandable name streamlines the referral process.

Uninteresting Names

Even though having a startup name that explains to your customers what your company is all about and the products or services that you offer, names that are too specific and boring will fail to capture the attention of your target audience.

A great example of a name that is too descriptive is Certified Workplace Notebook Products LLC. Even though descriptive names can help your target demographic get a better sense of the purpose of your company, descriptive names don’t stand out in a crowd and can cause your business to fall behind the competition. When your name lacks pizzazz and interest, people will assume that your business is also wishy-washy and boring. Lackluster names these are outdated and will fail to perform well in this modern business market because it will not be able to attract interest in potential customers.

A successful name for your startup won’t give everything away about our business and will be able to give your audience a little bit of suspense. Avoiding an overly descriptive name will force you to be creative. A good name will make your audience want to learn more about what you do and the values you have.

Stylish Names

Sometimes, it can be attractive to an entrepreneur to use a naming fad or trend when trying to come up with the perfect brand name. The problem with this strategy is using a name trend for your business is that you risk your name feeling dated.

Although it can occasionally be a smart strategy to jump on a naming trend to make you get more creative when brainstorming, many people forget about the consequences of name fads. Names that are based on a trend really feel like a product of their time, and if you utilize a fad when it’s too late, your startup might feel dated and could fall behind in the world of business. Do you need help brainstorming business names? Try checking out this comprehensive list to give yourself a good idea of how you can utilize various name trends and fads trends to help you find the perfect name for your business.

Lengthy Names

Stylish Brand Name BrandingNames that are too long present numerous challenges when it comes time for you to start thinking about digital marketing. When names are too long it can actually act as an automatic turn-off a variety of your potential clients because lengthy names come with even longer URLs. When coming up with your name be sure that you think ahead to any social media handles you may want in the future. Some social media handles are limited to a specific amount of characters and they are often very limited. For example, Twitter handles cut off at just 15 characters, so make sure that your startup name work with length limitations not only for social media but also URLs.

In addition, when your name gets too long it often becomes too confusing to your target customers and is very easy to forget. Try to cut down your name ideas by taking out any additional descriptors, articles, and suffixes from your startup name. If you still cannot find a business name that comes with an available URL, try surfing the web to find some available domains for sale. Who knows, you just may find that the ideal startup name also comes with a perfect URL.

Make Room For Pivots

No matter how profitable your business idea appears to be, only a small percentage of startups survive beyond their first few years. As an entrepreneur, you are often required to make a call on pivoting your business from one offering to another. But while your product or service may change, you do not have to let all the work you put into building a brand go in vain. Pick a name that can survive a change in business offering.

Twitter is a good example of a startup whose business name survived a massive pivot. What started as an SMS based service to let users broadcast messages to a group is today one of the most popular social broadcasting platforms. The business plan changed; yet the brand name stayed.

So how do you apply this advice to your own business? To start with, come up with a name that is not centered around your product, but instead on the general industry or function. For instance, if you run an iPhone repairing company, make sure that the name of your business does not have to change in future if iPhones go out of popular use. A name like 'Repair Geeks' allows you to pivot or expand your business into multiple categories in future.

Not Getting Audience Feedback

Audience Feedback Users Customers LetterboxOnce you have created an amazing list of your top potential brand names, many entrepreneurs make the mistake of not bringing in outside opinions. Getting some opinions from your target audience is crucial because they are the demographic that you want to sell your products or service to and their opinion of your name matters the most.

Make sure that when you ask your target audience questions you give them enough context to make an informed decision on which name will fit best for your specific business. Have your target audience pause and slow them down so they can consider the questions you’re asking and your potential name rooted in the context of your brand.

Asking the Wrong Questions

The most concerning mistake you could make when going through the audience testing process is asking the wrong names such as, “Which one of these names do you like?” This question is too vague and open-ended and doesn’t force your audience to think about your name in the context of your business.

Here are a few examples of what your questions might look like:

• Which one of these purse apps are you most interested in learning more about? 
• Which one of these frozen meal brands are you most likely to try?

These questions are effective because they force your target demographic to pause and think about your brand in an explicit context. 
You can also ask certain questions that are based on your value proposition.

For example:

• Which one of these names would be the best fit for a furniture company that embodies the youth and fun of millennials with a touch of sophistication and charm?
• Which of these bookshop names do you feel most embodies respect and trust?

When asking your target audience name questions, make sure the names that you show them aren’t too similar. If the two names are too alike such as “Nomo” and “Nomot” will skew your test results. However, if you had only offered one of those names the people who preferred “Nomo” they may have actually have voted for “Nomot” best out of your list of names.

Failing to Check the Success of Your Name Beforehand

Finally, the last name mistakes you could make is not analyzing the results of your audience testing. It makes very little sense to go through the entire audience testing process only to ignore the results. You should look at the results to help inform you as to which of your potential name choices will be the most successful for your startup.

Analyzing your data from the process may give you the type of reality check that you need to make your brand name even more effective and successful. In addition, the results of the audience tests can aid you when you choose a business name for your startup. When you get feedback, you can decide which of the names is the strongest choice to go forward with.

How to make the most of these business naming practices?

Choosing the right business name is important for your startup branding. Despite naming your startup feeling like a challenge at the beginning, the amount of effort that you put into it will produce a solid, interesting name that captures the attention of your target demographic.

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