Naming a Startup – How to Name One & Why It Matters
Naming a startup is an important process and it often does not change after its name has been used, so you’ll want to get it right the first time. That’s why it’s a very critical step for new founders creating a startup. Names both matter and don’t matter and I’ll explain why. Then, you’ll be able to read about how you can make a great startup name as you learn how start a startup.
Why Naming a Startup Matters
It matters because if a name is relevant, it can instantly help people remember your startup’s name and can give them a queue them into understanding what your startup does.
For every single startup I ever started, I used associative words to help describe the vision of the startup with just the name.
I believe that, when marketing, having a simplistic and descriptive name goes a long way in name recognition and stickiness in people’s minds. And that’s a very good thing because you want your startup’s name to stick in people’s minds. You want them to remember you.
However, an associative name is usually only good for the first few impressions a startup has on the new visitor. After that, the onus is on the founders and their teammates to create a lasting memory of their startup. So while a good name does not guarantee startup success, it does help.
Why a Startup Name Doesn’t Always Matter
Naming a startup doesn’t matter because startup companies can still do well with names that have no association to its product, service, or mission.
More often than not, people’s goal is to make it sound catchy or exotic. This can appeal to people as being mysterious and their curiosity will prompt them to see what the startup is about.
The bad thing about these types of names is that they are easily forgettable without constant external triggers from their company pounding their name into your mind.
However, an exotic startup name is usually the least important reason why startups with seemingly odd-sounding names succeed. Rather, they succeed because of their tenacious efforts to make their success happen. Those founders are generally remarkable in what they do, so the name may be the least remarkable thing they create. Their hard work speaks for itself.
How to Create an Relevant Startup Name
The Process for Naming a Startup with Relevance
The process is pretty simple.
1) Keep it Short but Sweet
It’s best to keep startup names short, as they also represent your domain name. They should be no more than three words and are ideally one to two words.
2) Use Synonyms, Metaphors, and Similes
Find words that describe what your startup does. Look up synonyms to those words. Look for metaphors and similes to those words and to your startup’s description.
3) Mix and Match
Mix and match the words to create a short, yet catchy name. You can split words up and use abbreviated words that people will understand. Ideally, you should be creating numerous different names so you have choices to pick from.
4) Make a List and Find Out if They’re Available
You also want that list of names with multiple choices because it’s in your best interest to get a strong domain name that is available. To find out if they are available, go on http://GoDaddy.com and enter them into the domain name search bar.
You can also go to https://Get.Tech, and get your pick of domains with a .tech domain extension rather than .com, .co, and others. They are the primary company that sells .tech domain names and they are StartupDevKit’s partner as well. While .tech domains are good for startups in general, it’s even better for naming a tech startup.
5) Pick a Name
Pick a name with an available domain name. You can pair it down to a few options and choose one or ask people in a poll to help you decide. You can go into several Facebook groups and create a poll or go on Twitter and create a poll.
How Others Have Done It
Sometimes it helps to hear other people’s explanations of how they have named their startup. I got to share how I picked StartupDevKit in a story by Hearpreneur of CEO Blog Nation as one of 20 entrepreneurs explaining how they came up with their business names. In that article, you can read the 19 other CEO’s responses of how they went about naming their startup company.
How I Named StartupDevKit
Startup names are often representative of the style of the founders’ approach to how they will start a startup. However, I’ve found that relevant names are the most helpful for startups who are in their early stages and less helpful after a startup has reached a critical mass of the market share. Success does not happen overnight, so name recognition is important as an early-stage startup and that’s why I suggest you do your best to pick something that fits nicely with your startup’s description and the market it serves.