NAMING YOUR BUSINESS

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Coming up with a name for your business can be much easier for some. For example, if you use your personal name, as the name of your creative business, then it probably didn't require much thought. There is absolutely nothing wrong with using your own name as your business name as long as it checks all the boxes. The boxes being

  • Is it unique
  • Is it available (domain-wise)
  • Does it speak to your target audience and your brand statement

For my branding business, The Routine Creative, my given name wasn't doing the trick for me. I wanted something that checked all the boxes but also wanted to curate a name that allowed for growth and expansion. Are you in a similar boat and struggling to name your business? I have helped business come up with names, as well as my own, and have learned a few things along the way. Here are a few tips.

ANALYZE YOURSELF AND YOUR BUSINESS

If you are working with a designer such as myself I offer naming your business as a part of you branding package. I would ask well-crafted questions to get to know you and your business. This would kick-start the naming process in a fantastic way. If you are not working with a designer such as myself, or you want to come up with a name prior to hiring someone to brand your business, you would want to ask yourself the well-crafted questions. 

BRAINSTORM

Brainstorming a word list that directly reflects you or your brand. Throw caution to the wind for this one and don't stop til your pencil breaks or you run out of room on the paper. Think outside and inside the box. Let each word you add to the list guide you to another word. I personally use the Dictionary app on my mac, which includes a thesaurus, to help guide me to similar words that may be a better fit.

COMBINE AND CRAFT

This is the fun part. Start mixing and matching the words that jump off the page. You will find yourself coming up with ideas that you would never have thought of before. Words that may not typically go together may work for your business. Don't forget to keep it simple though and try to stick with correct spellings if you can.

REFLECT

Once you have narrowed it down to your top 3 or so it's time to reflect. Do these names check all the boxes? Do they reflect your brand message and speak to your target audience? Still having trouble deciding? Well, a quick and easy way to have someone make your decision for you is by seeing if the name is even available.

DOMAIN AND COMPETITOR CHECK

This step is the least fun of them all. It's important not to fall to fast for a name and to keep an open mind just in case that name is already being used. Use can use GoDaddy to check the availability of the domain with the name/names you have come up with. Is the name already being used? If so then you will want to change it up slightly or maybe go with your second or third choice. The name I initially wanted for my business was not available. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as it pushed me a little further in the creative process.  You will also want to keep in mind the names of your competitors and make sure your name is truly unique and not to similar to others in your field.

ASK YOUR FRIENDS AND COLLEAGUES

Once you have narrowed it down to a name you are happy with, that has a domain available (.com preferably), share that name with others. Survey their initial reactions and thoughts on the name. Don't wait so long that the domain get's grabbed before you. You can purchase a domain through many different providers. I suggest doing a little research to see which provider is the best fit for you.

That's it! So get started.

I would love to hear what you guys come up or your thoughts on the process in the comments below!

Alex Cottles

The Routine Creative, Richmond, Virginia, 23220