It all starts with an idea – but then you need the name (and the brand) to back it up. For way too many tech startups, a name is chosen without a second thought. Lyft got away with it – but in today’s competitive market, you might not.
Finding a powerful name involves understanding the reciprocal relationship that words and their meanings have with our thoughts and values – and those of our customers. Here are three essential steps to take to find the perfect name for your tech business.
Understand The Power Of Branding
In the tech world today, a name is never just a name. Your tech business needs a name that connects it with your venture’s deepest-held values and resonates with customers immediately.
Better still: it should tap into your customer’s values, and hint that customers can fulfill themselves through an association with your business.
Therein lies the power of branding – and it’s this wider branding ecosystem you need to understand before you can find a truly powerful name for your tech business.
Ask yourself what you want your customers to feel when they hear the name of your organization – what emotional response can you provoke? Is it hope? Is it a sense of community? Is it a gnawing hunger for success?
Once you understand your brand’s values and the responses you’re looking to invoke, the creative process can start.
You can include anyone who understands your business intimately in the process, or find inspiration from an unlikely source. Hit up your niece’s birthday party and you might be surprised about the catchy suggestions you get from the kids! That’s actually probably a bad idea. If you have a team, or trusted friends, maybe start there.
Genuinely though, this is the stage to have fun and throw out crazy ideas to see what sticks: when the CPU giant Intel started out, they went by the moniker N. M. Electronics. Fortunately, they weren’t afraid to get playful and switched to Intel which the founder thought “sounded sort of sexy” (only to a computer scientist…).
Connect To Current Trends
After a thorough brainstorming process, you’ll have a solid shortlist of names. There will be some you gravitate towards more strongly, but emotion has played its role, and now it’s time to be analytical.
Fit into the tech community by connecting to current naming trends: for a while, it was dropping vowels and now, every tech business name needs to end in -ly. Trends change, of course, but by tapping into what’s relevant at the time of your launch, you indicate to the broader market that you understand the world you’re stepping into.
Understanding what’s brandable in the current market can be hard – and if you’re struggling at any point in the process, reach out to a professional naming agency. With years of experience helping thousands of brands find the perfect name, they can help you beeline to an impactful name that will make a serious splash.
You can also bring in outsiders here for A/B testing to make those final crucial decisions. A decent group of potential customers is a good idea – and maybe you can pay them in pizza, in a pinch?
Once you’ve settled on a name, it’s worth doing your due diligence about trademarks and ascertaining whether there’s a closely linked domain available – these are legal hoops that it’s better to jump through early.
With all that in mind, finding the perfect name for your tech business can seem intimidating. But it’s actually a great opportunity to sit down and think about your business’s values and its deeper identity.
With this understanding, you’ll be able to connect meaningfully with your customers and find success in tech.
Grant Polachek is the head of branding for Squadhelp.com, 3X Inc 5000 startup and disruptive naming agency. Squadhelp has reviewed more than 1 million names and curated a collection of the best available names on the web today. We are also the world’s leading crowdsource naming platform, supporting clients such as Nestle, Dell, Nuskin, and AutoNation.