When it comes time to pick a name for your new company, you'll quickly realize the process is easier said than done. Challenges can arise in the process of naming your business when desired ".com" domains are already taken and established organizations have similar names. There is also the often-daunting thought that this decision could influence your business down the road, especially when it comes to brand identity and trademark considerations.
However, by taking the following preliminary steps when naming your business, you can come up with a unique and memorable title that perfectly fits your endeavor:
1. Talk to a Lawyer
Even if no one owns the domain you want and you can't find any businesses with the same name, you also want to make sure there are no trademark conflicts. For instance, someone could hold a trademark to a name, but the business might not have an online presence. Anything could happen, and you don't want to take chances that could land you in a lawsuit. Work with a lawyer who specializes in trade and service marks to research potential names and ensure you can legally claim one as your own.
An attorney can help you process trademark applications, since the process has many intricacies small-business owners find confusing.
2. Get Feedback From Customers
Your company name will be on everything from your social media pages to your employees' uniforms. It may even affect your core product. For this reason, you need to choose a name that is both unique and memorable for your target audiences.
To create the best long-term impact, seek feedback from your potential customers. Which names on your shortlist resonate with them? Which connections do they make when they hear your company name? Is that the image you want to put forth?
3. Evaluate Your Long-Term Strategy
Hopefully, your business will continue to grow over time, and you'll want a name that can evolve if you decide to expand or change direction. The challenge is that many of these paths are unknown, and you'll need a business name that can support this uncertainty as much as possible.
Take a look at mature companies similar to the one you're starting. How have they evolved over time? What are some qualities of their names that have carried them through key transitions? Figure out patterns as they relate to your own trajectory, then choose a name that customers can continue to identify with your business.
Your company's name is the umbrella for everything it does, so it pays to give the process the diligence it deserves. You also need to make this decision quickly, since more businesses are created every day. If you find yourself stuck, consider hiring a naming consultant or strategist who can help. There are plenty of resources available to help you navigate and expedite the process of naming your business. Before you know it, you'll be the proud founder of a budding brand.
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