How to Choose a Unique Business Name

"In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different."

Coco Chanel

 

It's hard to stand out in business these days. Especially in sectors where there are tons of similar offerings, you’re always trying to differentiate your business from your competition in any way you can. Your company’s name is often the first thing people notice about your business. So the last thing you want to do is have a name that blends into the background. That's why having a unique business name is so important. But how do you ensure that your name is unique?

Here are some tips for finding a business name stands out from the crowd:

Look Beyond Keywords

A name comprised of one or two generic keywords is often the first thing that new business owners gravitate toward. These names have obvious advantages:

  • They are easy to understand and remember.
  • They describe the nature of your business in a very straightforward fashion.

However, if you are looking for a business name that helps you stand out, a name like this might not be the way to go.

Make no mistake, there are some great keyword names out there that are both unique and powerful. Unfortunately, most great (.com) domains with generic keyword combinations are either:

  • Not Available - The domain is being used by another business.
  • Prohibitively Expensive - The domain is for sale for a hefty price.
  • Available for a Reason - Most keyword domains that are available to register is for a reason: it's not very good.

That's why when searching for a unique name for your business, we recommend widening your search beyond just keywords. Evocative names, metaphorical names, and invented names help you stand out among your competitors, while adding a bit of intrigue and inventiveness to the mix. They will also insure that your business name will preserve its uniqueness long term. Why you ask? Here’s a good read on keyword vs invented names.

Make Sure It Sounds Different

Just like you want to avoid keyword names whose value can be muddled by competitors utilizing the same keywords, you want to make sure your name (regardless of type) won’t be inadvertently associated with industries your business has nothing to do with. This can happen when your name sounds too similar to other names already in use. Take these four real business names, for example:

Claris, Clarins, Claritin, Claria.

These names describe businesses in four very different industries:

marketing, cosmetics, antihistamines, and life insurance

But because they sound so similar, people are going to associate all four names with the category of the business name they are most familiar with. This can lead your audience to make problematic associations.

For instance, if you own a marketing company, you probably don’t want the first thing your audience thinks when they see your name to be "allergy medication", and vice versa. That’s why it’s important to test names for unwanted associations.

Test 1:

If you think you've found a good name, run it by your friends and ask them to name the first thing that comes to mind. More importantly, ask them why it came to mind. If the answer is because your name reminds them of an already existing brand, it is best to continue your search.

Test 2:

Start typing your business name into google, and take a look at the auto-complete suggestions. Are there any similar sounding names to yours? Are they names of businesses? Are they popular? If the answer to all three of those questions is yes, then move on.

Assess Verb Potential

When a friend tells you about a subject or video you weren't aware of, you don't say that you'll "do an internet search for" it. You say you'll "Google" it, or "YouTube" it.

You don't "call a rideshare app" to the event, you "Uber" to the event.

Choosing a business name that has the verb potential to be a stand-in for the service your business provides is a great way to differentiate yourself from your competitors.

While there is no tried-and-true formula to creating a name that could be used as a stand-in for a word or phrase, it is generally a highly pronounceable name that means nothing by itself .

To test whether a business name could be used as a verb, imagine your customers recommending to others that they "[your name] it", or that they spend their time "[your name]-ing". If it works in this format, and sounds right for your business, then you've got a promising brand name.

Conclusion

Follow these three tips, and you are bound to find tons of unique business names. But keep in mind that uniqueness is only one of the components that make a great business name. For example, "Hklttrpcc.com" is most definitely a unique name, but it isn't a good business name because it isn't simple, easy to pronounce, or catchy. Furthermore, a great, unique name for one type of business may not be right for your type of business.

We know finding a name like this can be a challenge. That's why at Brandbucket, we make it easy. Every name on our marketplace is chosen for both its unique qualities and overall business name potential. We also allow you to sort by industry, so you can find the right name for your specific business more quickly.

Ready to find your own unique business name? Start by searching our available business names.

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