Okay, so you’ve spent days, weeks, months working on the perfect name for your business and now it’s perfect. But what if it’s not?
If you’re like most of us you probably feel like your opinion is the only one that matters, but that’s not the case at all. Sure, it’s great for you to like your name and for the people who are working with you to like your name, but the most important person is your target audience.
A name that sounds amazing to you but doesn’t resonate with your target audience isn’t going to help you out at all. We’ll take a close look at the different tips and techniques that you should be going through to make sure you know the right name, and why your audience is so important.
1. Start With a Range of Options
Don’t just pick out one name and decide that’s going to be the end of it, no matter what. Create a list of names that come into your mind when you think about your potential brand. At this point, it doesn’t matter whether you like them or not.
Start with something that’s easy to say and easy to remember. It should be simple enough for people to spell as well and you want to make sure that the domain is available as well.
You definitely don’t want to come up with the perfect name and then realize you can’t get a domain that matches. If you’re not sure where to go you can start with our business name generator to give you a head start.
2. Narrow Things Down
You’ve got a list, so now it’s time to narrow things down by crossing off the names that don’t work for you. Whether you really don’t like them or you just don’t think they’re a good fit for this brand (but maybe you’ll use it for something else later) cross them off.
Think about the type of people that you want your business to appeal to as well. You want to appeal to the target market and audience, which could change what you’re actually looking for.
3. Ask the Audience
Don’t narrow things down too far before you get to this step. You want to have at least 5 or 6 options to go through when you talk to your audience. Look at the gender, age and region of the world for the people that you’re actually targeting with your product.
Then, make sure that you’re getting people to make a decision based on your business. You want to make to make sure you phrase your questions in a way that makes them think carefully.
What you definitely don’t want to do is ask someone ‘which one of these names is the best?’ You want to make sure that you’re not making it about the name, but about the business. After all, you’ve probably got a lot of different names that you absolutely love, but you don’t necessarily think they’re a good fit. And even more than that, you’re not just trying to create a cool name, but a fitting name.
Let’s look at what you should be phrasing your question like in order to get the right responses:
- Which of these animal brands makes you want to know even more?
- Which of these furniture stores are you most likely to walk into?
When you make the people you’re talking to really think about what you’re offering as well as the name you’re going to get more honest answers.
Of course, you can also direct the question towards things that are important to your brand rather than just the product you’re selling.
- Which one of these names do you think sounds like a global resource for banking?
- Which one of these names do you think sounds most like a trustworthy and high-end credit card company?
Start by looking at a number of different options. Give your group options that are totally different, not just ones that are super close to each other.
You’re also going to want to keep your brand entirely different from other brands. Don’t try to compare yourself to the big name brands that everyone has heard of (like Amazon, or Lexus, or Visa). You don’t want them to associate you with other brands to start with.
If you do this you’re going to find that people are going to jump for the brand they already know before they jump in for anything brand new, which is what your business is going to be. No name you come up with is going to appeal to them as much as something they’re familiar with already.
4. Go In Deep
Now that you have some feedback you want to look at it all. Look at everything that you’ve learned from your potential audience. You might be surprised by what they tell you.
In fact, most times the names that people think are going to be the best aren’t the ones that the target audience actually likes. You may go into an audience test absolutely certain that you know your name and then find out the audience doesn’t like it.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to go with the name that an audience comes up with though either. It’s going to give you some perspective and let you figure out things that the audience does like and things they don’t. If you absolutely love a different name you absolutely can go with something else, but it’s generally good to go in a direction where the audience at least liked the name, not one that they absolutely hated.
Now, there’s no way to know 100% how people are going to respond to a name or if the business that you use that name for is going to succeed overall. But you’re going to have a whole lot better chance if you’re at least validating your name with the target audience. You just need to make sure you’re trying it out.
We’re not going to guarantee that audience testing is going to make you a guarantee of success. But it is going to give you better feedback in a totally different way. It’s going to let you see what your audience likes and what you like so that you can create a name that you can feel more comfortable with and that will lend better success toward your business.
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 company and brand names.