Weak Naming Practices: What to Avoid When Naming Your Business

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Your business name has a hand in creating the tone for all of your future branding exploits for your new business. It needs to make a point of connection between your business and your target audience. Additionally, a brand name should also describe who your business is as well as the values you want it to represent. 

Just as an effective name can cause success for your brand, a poor name can cause disaster. There are numerous naming faux-pas that can damage the momentum of your business growth. Find out about what these are and why you need to avoid them as you start generating business names. 

Complex And Confusing Names 

The principal rules of naming are that your business name has to be simple to say, spell, and recall. 

If people have a hard time saying your brand name aloud, they will probably stop saying it altogether. Additionally, make sure that you avoid confusing customers through intentional misspellings that you included in an effort to be creative. Typically, over-complicated intentional misspellings cause much more confusion than interest with customers. 

If you still need help avoiding confusing names, make sure that you apply the “crowded bar theory” to your brand name. If you were telling a friend the name of your business at a loud and crowded bar, would they easily understand what you said? For example, a restaurant called Sam and Ella’s may accidentally sound like salmonella when heard in a crowded bar, which makes the business sound undesirable in addition to making the business unappealing. It is so crucial that your brand name only has to be said once to be understood by any customer. 

Lackluster Names 

While it is always smart to have a brand name that is informative and tells people about what your business offers, overly-descriptive names are boring. A good name needs to hold a small amount of suspense without being too vague or uninteresting. If you want to avoid lackluster names you have to get creative. Your name should captivate your audience so when they see or hear it, they want to learn more about your new business. 

Trending Names 

Examining popular startup names from recent decades reveals certain naming trends. For example, there were many new businesses in mid-2000s with missing vowels like Tumblr, Twttr (which became Twitter), and Flickr. In the past ten years, brand names with suffixes like Spotify, Gamify, and Coworkify became a popular name fad. 

When it comes to popular naming trends, certain names endure. However, the names that are based on fads risk feeling limited to their era. Sometimes it can be beneficial to take advantage of new naming trends to get your creative juices flowing, but keep the consequences in mind. Trendy names can be a product of their time, and if you choose to be a part of a trend too late, your business may have already fallen behind the competition in the fast-moving world of businesses. Try brainstorming business names using this list to give yourself a better idea of how you can utilize different name trends in a thoughtful way. 

Names That Are Too Long 

Long names come with several challenges for new small businesses. The cumbersomeness of a long name is typically an automatic turn-off for many possible customers because long names mean they have even longer URLs. Think ahead when it comes to your brand name. You should think about a URL as well as any social media handles you may want to use in the future. Keep in mind that social media handles are limited based on characters so a long name may not work with social media character limits. For example, Twitter handles are limited to 15 characters, so make sure your name fits within those limitations. 

The longer a name is, the more boring and forgettable. Try to cut down your ideas by getting rid of any unnecessary descriptors, articles, and suffixes. If you still have not decided on a business name that has an available name, try checking the internet for domains for sale--you might find that the perfect name comes with an even better URL. 

Avoid Weak Naming Practices For Your Business 

Even though naming your new business can feel like a challenge, the effort you put into it will result in a solid, interesting name that captures your audience’s attention. Following some of these basic guidelines of what to avoid rather than only what to do that we listed above can really help you open up your creative flow. 

Grant Polachek is the Director of Marketing at Inc 500 company Squadhelp.com, the worlds #1 naming platform, with nearly 20,000 customers from the smallest startups across the globe to the largest corporations including Nestle, Philips, Hilton, Pepsi, and AutoNation. Get inspired by exploring these winning names for companies and startups.

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