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6 Steps to Naming your Company or Product

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Coming up the the right name for your new company or product is a tough task as through just one or two words you want people to remember you so that they can find you again when they need your products or services.

1. Define Yourself

What is your core product or services? What makes your company stand our from its competitors? It should be pretty easy to come up with five words to describe your business or your clients (and don’t worry if they are nouns, verbs, adjectives, or adverbs), and if not you should take a good look as to why you are starting this company.

2. Look in a Thesaurus

The English language just like any other has a wealth of words that are underused in the common vernacular that will have a similar meaning to those five words you established described who you are above. Look up the related nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs of each of your terms in a thesaurus and you should now have a list as long as your arm to get started with.

3. Find Your Domain

If your company or product is looking to be on the international stage then a .com is certainly preferable, but country tlds like (UK) or .ca (Canada) can actually be preferable for country-specific companies and products.
Single word domains are great, but few are available these days – it is always useful to double check this, however, with a bulk domain whois checker. Do make sure, however, that you don’t choose a name with a very popular site/competitor using a different tld – it’s hard enough to get a company off the ground and the added competition form day one is not worth it.

If you can’t find a one word domain available, then try using a domain suggestion tool like Lean Domain Search, DomainsBot, or Domain Masher to help you find two relevant words that will work together and are free.

4. Check your Name Against Trademarks and Company Registrations

Here in the UK Companies House offers a pretty easy way for you to check if any companies share your new name, and the IPO offer an easy search for trademarks.

5. Register your Domain *Immediately*

Seriously, do this now – don’t wait until tomorrow to check with some friends or colleagues and get some feedback – they cost under £10 and you will be really upset if someone steals your name while you dither. I personally like to register my domains at Namecheap as they offer some of the cheapest prices around and great support. Register both the .com and country tld if you can, but don;t worry if both aren’t available.

6. Find Common Miss-Spellings and Register Them Too

Tell your friends, family, and everyone else you know the name of your company and them ask them to spell it back to you. If any are common then register those miss-spellings as well. You may not need any as your name is easy to spell, and even if you do you should only need to keep them registered for the first year or two before your name is well known in the right circles – but best to make sure when you start.

Now as a little aside, I thought it might be interesting for me to describe how I came up with the names of a few of the companies and services I am involved with…

The Descrier
Naming The Descrier took forever. It is a UK curated newspaper/news magazine but when you’re in a country with such a long history of the press pretty much all the variations of traditional newspaper names such as Times, Guardian, Observer, Telegraph, etc have already gone in both .com and forms. It was only after spending days staring blankly at a thesaurus that I found the noun of the verb “descry”, with the dictionary describing a “descrier” as one that “discovers; perceives; detects” coming from the old French word “descrien” which means “to proclaim”.

Now the .com had already been registered, but the was available, and whilst I did have to register a number of different miss-spellings to make sure people originally found the site – that is no longer an issue. I had a one-word name for a newspaper that no-one else was using.

You can probably guess how I came up with the name for this here technology and startup blog, but all I did was think about the various technology company names that were making waves – Apple, BlackBerry, Orange, Rasperry(pi) and then add the “tech” descriptor to it. I have to say I was amazed it was available.

AdBalance is a digital advertising consultancy and so having either “ad”, “advert”, or “advertising” in the name was a given. The aim of the site was to give balanced and honest tutorials and reviews to help small to medium sized web publishers better monetise their websites and services, so “balance” worked rather well as the second word. It didn’t hurt that the “B” of balance is high up the alphabet and so AdBalance is listed before any companies starting Advert or Advertising in directory listings either of course.

So, how did you come up with your company or product name? Let us know in the comments.

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