Whether you're starting something brand new or putting a fresh spin on an existing company, there are many considerations that go along with naming a creative business. While a name is only one facet of your brand, the right name can go a long way in helping you stand out and attract the right type of clients.
I know that with all of the pressure and expectations of this name needing to be just right, it's hard to know where to begin. Don't worry, I'm here for you! This guide will walk you through the process of finding that new name with a free workbook to walk you through the process step-by-step!
You're looking for a name that will be the perfect fit—equal parts clever, catchy, relevant, and memorable. Before we dig in, I'd like to share a bit of insight I tell all of my branding clients. Even though the right logo can work wonders for your brand, it can't do everything. The same goes for the name of your business. Sure, you should check as many boxes as you can, but don't drive yourself nuts.
A name is only as powerful as the brand that holds it.
A name is only as powerful as the brand that holds it. And where your name falls short, that's where your products, services, branding, and marketing can step in to take your brand experience to the next level. Your brand is a cumulative experience, and the right name is one step in the right direction.
The Hunt is On
Now let's get you on track to coming up with an amazing name for your creative business! These steps will get you started. If you'd like a more in-depth guide, sign up for weekly branding insights and I'll send you my business naming workbook for free!
The whole point of branding is to set your business apart from others that do what you do. For that reason, you'll want to start by scoping out the other guys. Who is your competition and how do they handle their business names? Take notes on what's working in their names and what isn't. Remember—you can learn just as much (if not more) from other's mistakes as you can from their wins.
When it comes to this stage of the name game, it’s important to let your thoughts and ideas run wild. Don’t rule anything out—just take notes and let the ideas flow! Consider using your own name (if it has the right ring to it) and aligns with your growth plans. Try idea mapping, mix and match words, and make thesaurus.com your best friend (seriously, I use that site constantly).
Stay away from anything that sounds too generic, and be sure that any prospects match the desired tone of your brand. Remember that once you choose your business name, people will want to know the story behind it. If you can infuse meaning or personal significance into the name, it can create some really powerful engagement with your audience.
With all of those competitors and new ideas swimming around in your head, it's easy to get overwhelmed, confused, or too attached to the wrong idea. That's why it's essential to step away. Don't force it.
Reflect and take some time for yourself—to do something else. Stepping away will give you the space and time you need to clear your head. When you come back, you can review your ideas with a fresh perspective.
Once you've taken the time you need to let those ideas marinate, bring your notes back out and evaluate those ideas with a clear mind. I can tell you from experience that some names and ideas I originally thought were pure gold turned out to be pretty silly after a hot shower and a full night's sleep. Review your notes for any clunkers that may have slipped through the cracks.
Now that you've tossed out the duds, take a hard look at the finalists. Do a Google search to make sure those names aren't taken and that there aren't any problematic results that pop up. At this point, evaluate the name(s) that will check the most boxes, especially the ones that mean the most to you. Is it clever, catchy, relevant, and memorable? And if so, is the domain available?
5. Claim it!
Once you've narrowed your search down to your bright and shiny new name, don't waste any time. Scoop up that domain and the usernames on every social media platform you possibly can. Congratulations, your search is over! You've chosen your new name. Now it's time to invest in your branding so you can really dazzle the world and let that beauty shine!
Don't forget to sign up for weekly branding insights and to get my Business Naming Workbook (and other goodies) delivered straight to your inbox! Until next time, friends!