5 Common Challenges Entrepreneurs Face When Creating a Brand Name

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The name you choose says a lot about your brand. It can tell potential clients who you are. It should be simple, but interesting. And your name needs to allow continued growth, expansion and development.

Because words have powerful meaning and names, your name should be touching and memorable. You have to attract people and make them want to know more about your brand. You have to tell a story that creates an immediate emotional response in people – so make sure it’s positive.

A great name is a blend of strategy, linguistic analysis, research and creativity together to deliver a clear message about who you are and why you are different.

But once you’ve made a list of potential names to make you happy, your work isn’t done yet. Before spending time and money marketing your new name, address these five elements before settling on the right name for your brand.

Related: 5 essential steps to naming your new business

1. Check domain availability

So I made a list of names that look good and look great but when you look to see if the URL is available, you realize it’s already taken. It could already be in use by a different company, or it could simply be owned by someone else – people buy domains all the time, especially those with short names, just so they can resell them.

When you are searching for a domain, you should try to find one with .com instead of a lesser known extension. Dotcoms are more trustworthy, especially for people who are not particularly tech savvy. It will also make your domain look more trustworthy because people assume that dotcom domains are more serious and legitimate.

But you need to understand that you cannot have a domain that is a real word or even two mixed words – most of these words are for sale and can cost millions of dollars. One alternative is to add another word to the domain name to see if it is available. For example, Tesla used the domain teslamotors.com for many years until it eventually managed to acquire tesla.com

Also, don’t choose your brand name based on domain availability – you don’t have to choose or change your brand name just because the domain is free.

Related: 3 keys to the right domain name to build a brand

2. Think about how the URL will look

Once you’ve found an available URL (or have the budget to buy an existing one), make sure it looks good, is easy to spell, and is easy to read. In most cases, there shouldn’t be any issues – unless you realize that the URL might actually have a bad connotation.

For example, I was helping a client redesign their logo and website. His work was called Therapist Rising, which at first glance is a pretty cool name. But when I took a look at their website, therapistrising.com, I realized the URL could also be read as “The Rapist Rising”. This obviously has a very negative connotation, so I suggested he rename the work before moving on with the other stuff.

3. Don’t rule out trademark issues

One of the biggest risks companies face is finding a name available for legal use. Therefore, it is necessary to do a brand check before going ahead with the name. While you might be tempted to say you’ll do it later, some companies have contacted me to help them find new names because they have been facing lawsuits.

A potential legal battle isn’t the only problem you could face. Rebranding is expensive, annoying, and confusing to the customer. You will have to develop a new brand identity and will likely remember any products launched.

Related: 7 Reasons Why Brands Are Important to Your Business

4. Take a multilingual approach

After investing a lot of time in finding the right name, the last thing you need is to fall in love with a name that has inappropriate or offensive connotations for some target market. Before you completely settle on a name, consider whether it is a good fit for your brand mission and the cultures you will be communicating with. The best way to do this is to hire a linguist who can do a full analysis of your name, or you can do it yourself by looking up the translated meaning of your name in different cultures.

5. Consider how other people will pronounce it and spell it

You should feel free to be as creative as possible when you’re brainstorming ideas for your business… After all, you want to stand out and attract your audience. Many of my clients want their names to be catchy, but you need to make sure your audience will pick up on your intent. If the spelling or pronunciation is confusing, your clients may not be able to find you — or they won’t be able to understand what your business is about.

Consider brand names like Cerave or IKEA. You might think you know how these words are supposed to be pronounced, but do a quick Google search and you might be wrong. So, before settling on a name, ask those around you to see how people pronounce it.

When I was launching my own naming agency, I decided to call it NamePoise. It is made of two real words that are short, easy to spell, and easy to pronounce. The first word refers to what my agency does, while the second word, “Poise”, speaks of my mission. From the start, potential clients understand that my agency creates balanced, polished and strong names.

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