7 Questions To Ask Before Naming Your Startup

Choosing a name for your business or idea can be tricky. A good name is rarely obvious and can take some work to find. The right name can make your company the talk of the town. The wrong one can doom it to obscurity and failure. Here are seven things to consider when naming your startup.

1. Does it sound positive?

Your name should have a positive ring to it. Avoid anything that sounds negative. Your name should make people enthusiastic and optimistic about working with you or using your product or service.

2. Is it simple?

Stay away from difficult names. Your name should be easy to pronounce and spell. If they can't, they will soon forget it. Make sure your name is easy to say and spell correctly over the phone or in a loud area, for example. Shorter names are easier to remember than longer names. If you can, limit your name to two syllables. Examples are: Apple, Google, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr.

3. Is it unique?

You don't want to use a name that can easily be linked to an existing business, product or service. Especially if its one with a bad reputation. Use a name that makes people think of your business first.

4. Is it descriptive?

Your name shouldn't be too specific, but at the same time, you want it to be easily recognisable in your industry. It should reflect your identity: dignity, largeness, local identification, quality and such . It should relate to and be understood by your target market.

5. Is it available online?

Google your name and do social searches (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc) and check if it is available. If it isn't, will spicing up the name do any damage? Don't give up on a name because the domain name is unavailable. DropBox started out as getdropbox.com and Facebook was thefacebook.com. Try adding a prefix or suffix or changing or removing a letter. You could also check for derivations.

6. Can you trademark it?

Depending on how big you want to build your brand, this is an important consideration. One that is often overlooked. Find out if the name you want is available or has already been registered or incorporated. 

7. What does it mean?

Names that seem harmless can cause problems, even if there's a hint of an issue. Once you consider a name, do your research and find out if it means something in other languages or can be misinterpreted or misread in any way.

Make sure you decide on a name that will look and sound good anywhere. Your should also consider the future when picking a name. Your name is your first step toward building a strong company identity, one that should last for years.