Your organization’s name matters.
It determines consumers’ first impressions of your organization. It influences your site’s performance in search engines. It impacts the way investors evaluate your business, and much more.
So how do you pick a name that performs the way you want? Here are the 3 key steps for how to name a company successfully.
Here are a few tips and tricks that can help your team brainstorm potential names:
The next step on how to name a company involves testing your options on your target audience. Their feedback will help determine the ones with potential for being good company names, as well as provide ideas on improving them.
We’ll briefly cover each step of testing your names. If you’re looking for a more comprehensive breakdown on any part, check out this resource.
You’ll have two options to choose between: a monadic survey design—when you ask for feedback on a single name—and a sequential monadic survey design—when you ask for feedback on at least 2 names.
Each of these designs have their own pros and cons, so take your time to pick on the one that’s best for your situation. This page explores the designs in-depth and can help you decide.
The metrics can include anything from appeal (how enticing the name sounds) to relevance (how well it captures what your audience is looking for).
Once you’ve decided on the metrics to use, you can convert them into Likert scale questions—a question format that allows you to get a nuanced understanding of respondents’ opinions or attitudes on a topic.
For instance, if your metric is relevance, your question can look like this:
How relevant is the company name to your wants and needs?
You can only pinpoint good company names once the right people have answered your questions. Here are your options for finding them and gathering their input:
Pro tip: Need help building your survey? Our name testing survey template can help you get started! Simply edit the questions so they ask about your organization’s name instead of your product’s.
If you’ve run a survey, you can use word clouds from open-ended questions (those that ask for feedback in the respondents’ own words) to pinpoint common themes for each name. And you can build charts from closed-ended questions (those that include answer options) to better interpret your quantitative results. Once you’ve analyzed both types of data, you’ll have a clear idea of what the best name is.
For interviews and focus groups, the process of reviewing your conversations may not be as simple. It will mostly involve looking back at your notes and comparing them with others who also ran interviews or focus groups. Ultimately, the decision will be more opinion-based than quantitatively-driven.
To recap the steps:
Once you have the winning name, you’re ready to make it your own by trademarking it.
You do this by submitting an application to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). You’ll then either receive approval or get a letter that explains the issues you’d need to resolve by a certain date. Once approved, it’ll be published in the Official Gazette, which gives others a final chance to make their case against it before it’s officially trademarked.
Now that you know how to pick a company name, you’ll be able to choose one that your target consumers, colleagues, and investors will like.