When you’re trying to come up with a name for your start-up, you will find that some people may tell you not to bother about your business name. They believe that there isn’t any tangible value to a name, that names are just embellishments and not worth spending time and resources on. However, research actually shows that that modest, catchy names outperform uninteresting names on the stock market by 33%.
Rather than paying attention the direct monetary significance a cool company name can bring your business, consider the contrary. How a weak brand name can cheapen and harm your business’s presence in the market? Let’s look at the possibilities.
A Poor Name Won’t Set a Solid Brand Foundation
In today’s aggressive market, first impressions matter more than ever before. Often, your brand name is the primary thing a potential shopper will hear about your start-up. You brand contains everything from your name, mission, logo and values. It encompasses who you are, and should all be rooted in the name.
If your name isn’t durable enough, it will not be able to carry the weight of your brand and will prevent future growth. If people hear your name and don’t know what your brand is about, they will find another business that’s easier to understand. The brand name needs to elicit questions about the brand while capturing the attention of your audience. It should capture who you are and who your business will be in the future.
The name is essentially the character of your company. If it isn’t solid, it will not be able to carry your brand forward and help you achieve success.
A Poor Name Cannot Capture an Audience
Your business name is the first connection for you and your target market. A worthy name sets up a question or a narrative, so that your customer gets an idea of who you are as a company, and wants to learn more about you.
Therefore, your name should summarize your values. It should also be interesting enough that your customers are curious. Some of the greatest names offer a story to customers. When they hear the name, they are fascinated.
A great example of a captivating business name that paints a picture while explaining the values of the company is the investing app, Robinhood. Robinhood takes a very different approach to investing by allowing users to learn to invest in the stock market without a charge. The story behind the name Robinhood is one of the outlaw who stole from the rich to give to the poor who was beloved by his whole town. The app uses this narrative to embody the values of fairness and accessibility.
If your business name is too plain, weak, or confusing, it won’t capture your audience abd your brand will lose sales.
If you have any few business name ideas, try testing them with an impartial audience. This will give you a better idea of what names work well with your target audience and which names perform inadequately.
A Poor Name Won’t Drives Referrals and Traffic
As previously mentioned, strong names create a connection, which leads to referrals from customers. As any business owner knows, referrals drive business and they primarily work through clients or customers sharing the of a business name.
Let’s say you are creating a luxury organic soap brand. Your specific soap uses royal nectar from Willamette Valley bees. Super Special Bee Soap is the name you choose. There are quite a few problems with this business name idea. It is lengthy, boring, does not imply luxury, and it is not very memorable. It does not enthrall the audience and draw them in, either. A name like Royal Bee or Nectar Valley would perform better because they are short, unforgettable, and exemplify prestige.
Stronger names are more likely to drive the referrals that your business needs for success. Fans of your lotion brand might have difficulty remembering or saying Super Special Bee Lotion, or, worse, they might find it too awkward of a name to share with friends and family. Business name suggestions that are hard to say or easy to mishear do not generate referrals. Additionally, long names like this are difficult as well in terms of domain purposes.
A solid brand name should set your business up for success and future growth. Make sure that your name is easy to share and easily pronounceable, otherwise, you may lose out on sales and referrals.
Fail to Capture Audiences
Your audience is probably lost in the vast availability of options available in today’s competitive market. You may be offering unique services, but without a unique name that interests your audience, you may lose out on clients. If your name does not pique their attention straight away, they will move on without looking into the options your business offers. This will ultimately cause you to lose probable revenue sources.
A name should create connection and offer your specific market something to grasp on to. Part of the reason Apple is such a popular business name is that everybody has experience with fruit and more specifically, apples. It is one of the most basic, available fruits, and it is a tangible, common object. Naming a tech company after a fruit is fascinating, so the name captivates the audience’s attention.
As innovative as your start-up may be, if you don’t have a way to interest your audience from the get-go, you risk losing out on revenue. Even if your business name snags your business just a few extra people, it’s worth investing in.
Drive Audiences Away
As much as your name must captivate your audience, you must also make sure it does not cause you to lose customers. Difficult, unclear, or offensive names may drive away a large portion of your customer base. Avoid cringey or embarrassing company name ideas as they will send the wrong message and give your customers a bad impression.
A salon called Curl Up & Dye is a descriptive name and punny, but it may send the wrong message about the quality of the salon. The name relies on the audience’s sense of humor, but the business will lose potential clients that do not find the brand’s witty name amusing.
Offensive names are even riskier than witty names. If your name is even unintentionally offensive to a segment of the population, you risk not only losing possible sales from that group, but also from people who support them.
If you want to avoid this problem then audience testing is a great way to make sure that your name isn’t offensive and does well with a specific target demographic.
A Forgettable Name = A Forgettable Brand
Even if a customer strives to remember your name, if it is plain or too complicated to say and spell, they probably will not remember it even though they wanted to. When your target audience cannot remember your name, they won’t share it with friends and family and you lose out on potential sales.
A great example of a forgettable name is when Jeff Bezos created an online book store called Cadabra, Earth’s largest bookstore. It was supposed to be a condensed version of the magic word “abracadabra,” but Bezos found out that the name was not catchy enough. It was too tough for people to spell and comprehend, therefore, many people did not pick up on the reference to magic. Additionally, some people would hear “cadaver” instead of Cadabra when they were in a loud or crowded place. Finally, after brainstorming with his wife, Bezos decided to rename his company Amazon, and then the company really took off and saw explosive growth.
A memorable name makes for a memorable brand that your customers will be able to easily share. You can prevent your brand from failing to capture an audience by coming up with a catchy, memorable name.
A good name should have the ability to captivate and draw in a specific target audience that your business wants to attract. In addition, a solid name can also get your brand more referrals and make your business’s success much easier to obtain.
Even if you had a customer or client use your services or buy your products, if they can’t remember your brand name or if they find it too confusing to say out loud, they are going to be very unlikely to share it with their friends and family. Finally, you lose out on those sales because your business name was not strong enough to carry your brand into the future.
The bottom line is that referrals create business, and referrals work through solid business names. Spending your time and resources on coming up with a great business name is always worth it in the end because it will increase your profits down the line. Every small aspect of a start-up business adds up in the end, and if your name helps you get one extra piece of press coverage or a few more referrals from customers, it makes a huge difference financially.
Grant Polachek is the Director of Marketing at Inc 500 company Squadhelp.com, the worlds #1 naming platform, with nearly 20,000 customers from the smallest startups across the globe to the largest corporations including Nestle, Philips, Hilton, Pepsi, and AutoNation.
Learn from real practitioners not just trainers.