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12 Tips For Choosing The Perfect Name and Logo For Your Startup

March 20, 2017
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12 Tips For Choosing The Perfect Name and Logo For Your Startup

The right start-up name and logo can really make or break your business. These two factors are the faces of your company. Whenever a customer sees your logo and business name, they will immediately make a snap judgment as to whether your company is a good fit for them. Also, the first words from your mouth will be your company’s name whenever you pitch your idea to prospective investors.

Bad names can hurt your company before you even get your product developed and ready to sell. It only takes a few days to create a great logo and start-up name! Don’t skip this step only to feel frustrated and stuck down the road. It’s much easier to choose a solid name now than change your entire company’s brand later.

Choosing a Name

Your name must be recognizable, catchy, and representative of your brand. So how do you go about choosing such the right name for your company?

1. Create a list of keywords

Make a list of all the things that make your company unique. What sets you apart from the competition? What do you do better than anyone else? This differentiation is called a point of difference. You’ll need to keep this in mind throughout the development of your company. These are the reasons why customers should choose you over all others.

If you were to do a Google search for your services, what would you type in the search bar? For example, if you sell high-quality shoes, you might simple type, “high quality shoes.” Think of as many synonyms for your keywords as possible. Use tools like Google Keyword Planner to come up with other words.

2. Consider your domain name before moving forward

Your domain name can be a powerful tool. The name not only reflects your company name and your brand, but it can also catch traffic through keywords.

Do a little research before you come up with a domain name. If most of your customers search, “affordable shoes,” you might want to consider naming your domain www.affordableshoes.com.

You will have to act fast if you want a good domain name. Generic words and generic strings of words are being snatched up by others at a fast rate. Check out domain sellers to find out which ones are available and affordable. Many people buy domain names just to resell them to buyers later down the line.

3. Go for simplicity

You don’t want your company name to confuse your prospective buyers. Many people often name companies after themselves. Yet customers won’t know how you spell your name when spoken out loud. A customer needs to be able to visualize something when you speak your name.

Your name should also be easy to pronounce. If people can’t pronounce it, they won’t remember it. If all else fails, consider a rhyming name or at least one with good alliteration.

4. Consider emotional responses to your name

Your name should spark a feeling or emotion in people. The name Nike makes people think of a strong and powerful warrior. Airbnb is light, airy and playful.

If you’re worried about your name’s emotional response, ask your friends and family members what they think. Sometimes it’s hard to stay non-partial when it comes to your business name. A name you think is cute and fun might be awkward or offensive to others.

Ask your employees what they think of your name too. They are your team of trusted advisors that need to be behind your product 100%. If your employees think your name is ridiculous then they won’t effectively sell your product.

5. Don’t be a copycat

It’s okay to look to other companies for inspiration, but don’t copy, borrow or steal! Your idea should be yours and yours alone. Research other companies with names like yours. Not only do similar names confuse prospective buyers, but this can hurt your search engine rating as well.

The only time it’s okay to use another company’s name is when it’s obvious that you’re not trying to copy that company. Even in that case you should be careful. You could easily get sued for using another company’s trademarked name.

6. Don’t pick a name that pigeonhole’s your business

You’ll be stuck with your name for the next few decades, so make sure your name represents what you’ll be selling in the future. Try not to choose a name that limits your choices. Instead, choose a name that will grow with your business. If you choose a name that is too niche-oriented, you won’t be able to move away from that niche with your particular company.

Choosing a Logo

Logos are helpful little nuggets of information. A picture tells a thousand words, and a logo can convey more information than an elevator pitch sometimes. Your logo should represent everything about your company. When people see your logo, they should recognize it in a way that’s abstract to your company and its literal representation.

1. Get to know your brand

What is your message and the benefits you can offer your customers? What do you want your logo to communicate? A logo for Airbnb is whimsical and light; a logo for Vanguard is stable and safe. Your logo tells a lot about your brand. Who is your target audience? Are they vibrant or serious?

Write down a few keywords that remind you of your business. It’s usually best to choose your logo after your business name as your name generally impacts the logo.

2. Get to know your competitors

Your competitors are in the same market as you, and they already know what works and what doesn’t. Ask yourself if your competitors’ designs reflect who they are as a company.

3. Font and color matter

Your font and color can convey a lot of information about your company. If you want to convey excitement, choose red. If you want to look confident and happy, choose orange. Blue can represent trust or calmness. Purple represents creativity and royalty. Black and white are often used for minimalist companies; you might see this used in a professional organizer’s website.

4. Keep it simple; make them remember it

Simple logos convey information without unnecessary fillers. Chaotic logos with too much going, feel just plain chaotic. If your customers and investors can’t understand your logo, they won’t be able to figure out your business.

5. Size matters

Your logo needs to be resized to fit various marketing materials and packaging so make sure it can be resized easily. Good logos can be reproduced easily and transformed for just about any purpose.

6. Consult a professional

Don’t try to do it all yourself; ask for a professional help and advice. You don’t even need to hire a marketing firm. There are plenty of freelance designers that charge under $100 for a quality logo. Consider choosing a designer that has already designed logos in your industry.

Choosing a company name and logo take very little time but make a lasting impact. They can build more brand recognition than your elevator pitch. A good name and logo can make your business stand out and help you get to the next level.

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