How to: Name Your Startup
A 100 years ago I blogged about the business naming crisis we have in Bahrain...
Let just say this is a "how to" and a continuation to that very faulty blog.
Giving your business a name is one of the most important – and therefore one of the hardest – decisions you have to make when establishing a startup. It can make or break your brand. Words are very powerful, so take your time to get it right.
Here are 6 tips to consider when brainstorming name possibilities:
1. Understand your own business. Make a list with the following:
Describe your business. What solutions will it provide?
Who is your target audience?
Describe the product/service you provide.
What makes your business unique? Niche? Why will anyone want to come to you and not other players in the industry?
2. Create a persona keyword list: If your business was a human
What would his/her character be like?
What kind of clothes would he/she be wearing?
What kind of job would he/she have?
What kind of car would he/she drive? Fav food? Hobbies?
Doing this will help you understand the character of your business and make it easier for you to give it a name.
Now you should be able to create a minimum of 3 solid names that fit your brand, it's persona and it's target audience. Which brings us to our 3rd tip.
3. Know your target audience:
Always pick a name that will attract your target audience. Understand who your target audience is and what appeals to them. Where do they spend their time? Their language? Shows they watch? What kind of problems do they have and how can you solve them?
4. Google your name:
Check the domain name and social media handles availability. It takes 10 minutes to check domain availability online. I would recommend conducting your research on www.godaddy.com .
But wait a min...
Before you actually purchase the domain name, do the necessary research on social media as well to ensure the name is available in your country. It can’t be stressed enough the importance of having the same username on all your online platforms. Even if you don’t plan on having an active twitter account, book it; it makes it so much easier to find you online, which is a key objective.
If your username is taken, we recommend adding a ‘.bh’ at the end or ‘bahrain’ for your social media handles. For example, if your business name is “Hello” and it is taken, you can book: ‘Hello.bh’ or ‘HelloBahrain’ as your Instagram name. If the website domain is taken, you can always end it with ‘.co’ or ‘.me’ since they are treated the same as ‘.com’ in SEO. I would also suggest, if you're planning on staying local, or you want to stay true to your patriotic soul, get in touch with my good friends TRA Bahrain and ask them about getting yourself the .bh domain.
5. Get translating!
If one of the names you are considering isn’t a traditional word in your spoken language, run it quickly through Google Translate. The same applies if you’ve made up a unique word for your business. You wouldn’t want your business name to mean something it doesn’t represent, or worse! Who knows; it could be a curse word in someone else’s language!
6. Say your business name out loud.
Is your name memorable and easy to pronounce and spell? Listen to friends say the name out loud to you, and ask yourself if you like what you hear. We all know the power of word-of-mouth in Bahrain – it’s one of your biggest marketing tools – so if you’d like others to remember your business, recommend you, and find you online, make life easy for them and create a name that sticks!
And there you have it. Once you’ve ticked off all of the above, you should end up with a brand name that has character, is memorable, is not used by other businesses and transcend in it's true meaning through languages and cultures and into a lucrative enterprise.