As an entrepreneur, you typically have one chance to get your business name right. While you can always rebrand, significant time and resources are spent on branding each time.
Hence, it’s important to carry out the brand naming process with careful consideration in order to find an effective brand name.
To do so, you must avoid a few common brand naming mistakes that could stand in the way of your business’s marketing success.
3 Common Mistakes When Choosing A Brand Name
As part of the world’s largest naming platform with more than 35,000 clients, I can tell you the 3 naming errors I often see marketers and business owners make:
❌ Finding A Name Too Quickly
Naming your brand is a strategic process that requires a few steps: understanding your brand, brainstorming a ton of names, and validating your final name choices. Skipping any of these steps can lead to an average name that doesn’t live up to your expectations.
The first step in this process – understanding your brand – is usually something many entrepreneurs miss out on. This, in my experience, is the most crucial step of the naming process.
Understanding your brand means that you could communicate its USP coherently in as few words as possible. It also means that you understand the tone of your brand and what you expect of it.
Secondly, brainstorming a range of catchy business names is also key to this process. Choosing a name from very few options or not researching enough name options could keep you from innovative ideas.
Finally, running tests such as domain availability, audience testing, and trademark checks is the last leg of this process and must not be skipped.
So, while it may be tedious, ensure you spend sufficient time to name your brand as it will be the foundation of your marketing and monetary success.
❌ Not Researching Your Name’s Origins
Abstract business names are the trend. Yet, only choosing a business name based on how cool it may sound without adequate research can spell trouble.
You should always look up the name’s origin and meanings in different languages and check if any of these are relevant to the area your business will operate in.
For example, an SUV/ kei car combo launched by Mazda in 1999 was named “LaPuta.” This translates to a prostitute in Spanish. Needless to say, the car was not well received by Spanish-speaking markets. This can mean a considerable waste of money and resources.
Hence, ensure you run a linguistics test and know all possible meanings and pronunciations of your brand name.
❌ Selecting A Name Without Consulting Others:
In the final step of choosing a brand name, you must run an audience test to understand how others respond to your name. You could build a cohort of people with different ages, genders, lifestyles, values and so on and consider their feedback to your name.
This is important because your target audience will also be composed of strangers. When you take into account their reaction to your name, you will get a better and more wide-ranging idea of other’s outlook.
These individuals are not connected or attached to the business as you are and can be more honest in their response.
Choosing a name without asking a mentor or any outside consultation can lead to a name that you love but is underwhelming on other major criteria such as memorability, marketability, and appeal. Rushing the brand naming process can keep you from achieving the success your business deserves.
Following a strategic method to name your venture and avoiding key mistakes might take a bit longer. It will however, be worth the effort since your brand name is the audience’s first point of interaction with your business.
Grant Polachek is the head of branding for Squadhelp.com, 3X Inc 5000 startup and disruptive naming agency. Squadhelp has reviewed more than 1 million names and curated a collection of the best available names on the web today.