One of the toughest things to consider when starting a business is that of finding a suitable company name.
This is where good branding starts. Your name determines the feeling people get when they hear about you, how successful your company may be and how people will appreciate it.
For example, the outcome of Gowalla versus Foursquare could have been predicted just on the name of the brand alone. Foursquare evokes groundedness and has a better ring to it.
Think. What is your company about? What kind of emotions does it invoke? What do your customers think about when they say your name? What do people think when they hear your company name for the first time?
Common words in their original form, spliced together, misspelled or created from sounds seem to have worked the best in the past for others.
Let’s start with a few examples to get you started.
Pick a name for which the domain name is available. Buying a domain name will set you back a few thousands of dollars you could have saved. Just do a simple search.
Avoid names that restrict you. A generic name may be more suited for you such as “Amazon” or “Google”. Don’t go too specific or too descriptive. A brand called “SupportCenter” can only go so far.
Confirm your name is unique enough. Check if you would be able to have an unique username on popular social media channels. Namechk is a great tool for that.
Avoid names that are too hard to spell. Flickr may have worked for them eventually but don’t expect people to be able to spell your name.
But first, understand your target audience. People born and raised with the internet understand “del.icio.us” but if your target audience is busy moms then the URL is easier to remember if it’s something like “delicious.com”.
Ask their opinion. Ask friends and/or family that fit in the target audience and ask them some questions. Write down some potential domain names.