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Name your company – tips and tricks

GoCardless
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Last editedMay 20222 min read

What’s in a name? Quite a lot, actually. A name is how we define ourselves and present ourselves to the world, and, without it, we lack identity. Much is the same for businesses. A good company name can mean the difference between a struggling startup and a titan of industry.

Coming up with a great name is easier said than done. Nine times out of ten, you’ll probably settle on something that’s been used, and when you do find a name you’re happy with, people may tell you it doesn’t make sense.

It’s estimated that 77% of consumers make genuine purchasing decisions based on brand name alone, so it’s worth spending as much time and effort as possible on it. While you can change a name, that original moniker will always be associated with your brand. How many of you, for instance, refer to Facebook as ‘Meta’?

So, here are our top 5 name your company tips that will stand the test of time.

1. Make it easy to spell

There is nothing more awkward to market than a name people don’t know how to spell. Stick to the kind of name that 99% of consumers will understand how to spell immediately upon hearing it. This is important not only for SEO purposes but because a name that’s hard to spell or pronounce is more likely to be forgotten.

2. Don’t be specific

The more specific you are with your name, the more you limit yourself when it comes to growth. For example, if you name your business “Leeds Windows”, you’re limiting your clientele to one region and one product. If you ever wish to scale your business in the future, you’ll have to change your name.

3. Get a .com

While .co.uk and other domain names are viable alternatives, there is still a great deal of gravitas to be earned from a .com domain name. Start by conducting a thorough internet search to see if somebody is already using your desired name or your domain name. If they are, check to see if it’s a defunct business that would be willing to part with the domain. If not, then seriously consider investing in a .com name.

4. Convey meaning

The best company names are vague enough for potential expansion but still manage to get across what the company does. Hotels.com is a prime example, although you’d be very lucky to strike on a name quite as perfect as that. GoCardless is a name that also manages to embody the values and the specifics of the brand. The fact is that while names like Google and eBay mean a lot to people now, that’s because those brands spent millions on marketing. A catchy name might be memorable, but it’s also that much harder and more expensive to brand.

5. Get feedback

You should run your name by as many people as possible before settling on it. Ask only the most trusted friends and family members, and ensure you get their uncensored feedback. Then spend some time living with the name for a while, saying it aloud. If it sounds wrong to you, imagine how it will sound to everyone else.

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