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10 Tips to Name Your Company

Getting ready to choose a name for your new online business? Here are 10 tips to help you come up with a memorable, attention-grabbing name for your company.

root of company website

  1. Take a look at your competition. If you’re creating a product that has something to do with Twitter you’re just about going to have to use the word Twitter in your company name. But have you seen how many products have the word Twitter in them? Choose something to set yourself apart.
  2. Consider your audience. What do you know about your target audience? What word or words would strike fear into their hearts? No, you really don’t want to go with “fear” but you do want to strike a chord that resonates with your audience.
  3. Get creative. Yahoo, Google, You Tube, Zazzle, Etsy … and the list goes on and on. None of these names were actually words, they’re all a product of someone’s creativity and imagination. Yet, looking at those sites now, it’s hard to imagine them with any other name.
  4. Look it up. Your name might have some horrible meaning in a different language or it might be slang for some unspeakable act that you don’t want to ever be associated with. Before you carve it in stone, look at it from all angles to make sure it can’t be twisted into something … horrible. Check for misspellings, too. You can’t be too careful.
  5. Plan for the future. You may only be planning to promote Purple Carrot Seeds right now but who knows what you’ll dig into as your site grows. Don’t limit yourself with your company name.
  6. Choose more than one and shop them around. Choose several different names, change some of the spellings, and put together a list of eight or ten choices. Then, shop it around and take a poll. Careful, though. Seek the advice of other business owners, not your friends and family – unless, of course, they’re business owners, too.
  7. Picture it. They say a picture is worth a thousand words but what picture comes to mind when you say the name of your business? Ask other people what picture comes to their mind, too. You might be surprised at the reaction you get and quickly decide to drop one or two names off your list. Ouch!
  8. Keep it short. Keep it short and sweet so it’s easy to remember, especially when you’re working online. Your goal is to eventually develop the type of following that will come directly to your website, without having to be led around by a link. To do that, they’re going to have to be able to remember your name so they can type it into their address bar.
  9. Make it easy to spell. This goes along with the “keep it short” idea. Yes, I’ve suggested you use made-up words, and when you do, try to make them easy to spell – even though they’re not real. Look at Zazzle and Google, two words that never existed until someone made them up. But they follow standard spelling rules so they’re easy to remember.
  10. Mull it over for a while. Once you’ve narrowed your list down to two or three, sleep on it for a day or two. I’m not suggested that the winning company name will come to you in a dream. But a good night’s sleep does give you a fresher perspective.
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