Have you ever wondered why brand naming is important for startups? It’s easy to assume brand essentials like a clear name and a memorable logo might not be important during the initial stages of building a company.
After all, you can always change your name, or rebrand once you’ve verified the value of your idea in your chosen industry.
As a result, many startups have begun with basic placeholder titles. Some use trending ideas relevant to the current marketplaces, while others pick a random word to fill the gap.
The idea is usually to come back to the name, logo, and other branding elements later, when the company has generated enough investment to afford the assistance of a brand naming agency.
However, the unfortunate truth is failing to choose the right startup name from day one could immediately place an up-and-coming business at a disadvantage.
Here’s the truth about why naming a startup is so important…
Why is naming a startup so important? Defining the startup
For any business, the importance of a brand name should never be underestimated. Perhaps even more than a logo or marketing strategy, a name is among the first insights an audience gets into a business, and what it can provide.
Names identify an organization in the eyes of not just consumers, but crucial stakeholders, investors, and potential employees too.
To understand why naming is important for startups, we first need to look at the unique nature of the “startup business”.
Contrary to popular belief, a startup isn’t just another name for a small business. The term refers to an organization in its initial stages of operations. Startups generally focus on a single unique product or service they want to introduce to the market.
Many of the world’s most popular startups, from Netflix, to Uber, are innovators in their field, introducing the world to a completely new idea. As such, they’re more reliant than most on the benefits of branding.
When a company is launching with pre-existing, well-known products and services, they benefit from an established want or demand for their solutions.
Many startups, on the other hand, simply have a belief there’s a need for what they’re selling, and they need to convince their target audience there’s value in what they have to offer.
While a good sales and marketing strategy can be important in this regard, there’s also a clear need for startups to develop an emotional connection with their audience.
Startups are reliant on powerful, human-centric brands to generate interest among people who are willing to advocate for, invest in, and generally support their business.
How startup names cultivate business success
In an era of unlimited customer choices and constant innovation, startups need to develop brands capable of captivating consumers, and capturing mind share. Even if you’re convinced your company is something customers need, you’ll need the right brand to generate interest and excitement.
To understand why brand naming is important for startups, let’s take a look at an example of a startup with an excellent brand name. Uber, one of the most valuable startups of all time, introduced the world to a new form of travel.
Before this company emerged, the concept of simply “sharing” a car with someone else who wasn’t a cab driver was unheard of. Yet Uber wanted to serve a rising number of customers struggling to pay the costs associated with private car hire.
If Uber had simply named its business “CarShare”, it might have given customers an insight into what the business did, but it wouldn’t have captured the interest of an entire generation.
Uber needed to convince its audience what it was offering was better than the transportation services they were already using. Using the term “Uber”, derived from a German word meaning “above the rest”, immediately captured audience attention.
The name “Uber” was also short, snappy, and modern enough to capture a younger audience more interested in exploring different forms of travel. The term “Uber” has even emerged as a common part of our everyday language, similar to “Google” or “Post-it”.
We can see similar examples of how startup names have helped to differentiate and enhance a start-up’s position from day one.
For instance, “Apple” might not seem like a great name for a technology company at first, but it immediately disconnected the company from a number of other complex, tech-focused brands at the time, making it seem more accessible.
The connection between the word “Apple” and concepts of nourishment and growth we already have as human beings also helped to form the foundations of a powerful emotional connection.
The benefits of a good startup name
One of the main reasons why brand naming is so important for startups, is it’s a crucial part of recall.
The right term will immediately capture a place in your customer’s minds, making it easier for people to remember who you are and what you do. This is crucial for companies just getting started in a saturated marketplace.
However, brand names do a lot more than just generate awareness.
The benefits of an eye-catching and memorable name for a startup include:
Defining brand personality
Companies with a powerful brand name can immediately define themselves in the eyes of their target audience.
Startup names like “Apple” make us think of a nurturing, fresh, and interesting company, separate from the other computer and technology brands we may have struggled with in the past.
A good name can also help a startup to attract a specific audience. “Deathwish” might seem like a bad name for a coffee brand, but it immediately grabs the attention of younger, more rebellious consumers.
A distinctive name helps to position the brand in a way capable of attracting the right buyers.
Startups are heavily reliant on investment from outside sources. However, appealing to an investor in a cluttered landscape can be difficult.
A good brand name differentiates a company, and causes investors to stop and pay attention. It highlights the potential for incredible brand equity and growth.
A brand name not only grabs the attention of people willing to purchase from a company, it can also be crucial in attracting new employees. Today’s staff members want to work for companies they feel an emotional connection too.
A memorable brand name gets potential candidates invested in a brand.
More than anything else, an excellent brand name helps to define a startup as something new and interesting in the marketplace. The right name immediately pulls attention away from the competition, and presents a business as something exciting.
Look at how names like “Google” have generated excellent results for the business, even if they appear to have no meaning.
What are the elements of a good startup name?
Startup names come in a range of different styles, from evocative titles like Apple, to made-up monikers like Google. There’s no one-size-fits-all strategy to choosing the ideal name.
However, there are some golden rules all business leaders should follow to ensure their title hits home.
When choosing a name for a startup, entrepreneurs should always focus on:
More than any other business, startups need to engage their customers and connect with them on an emotional level. A meaningful name which evokes an emotional response will generate more advocacy and support for a growing business.
Because startups can often evolve with time, the name chosen needs to be able to adapt to suit an evolving entity. The best startup names are rarely specific or descriptive. Instead, they aim to convey a certain personality.
Startups aim to change the status quo in an industry by introducing something new and exciting. The name chosen for the company should reflect this. It’s important to avoid simply following the latest trends.
Maintaining full ownership over the brand name will be absolutely essential to any startup. The name should be trademark-friendly, and it’s also important to ensure a .com domain available for the company’s online presence.
A good startup name should focus on capturing the attention of a specific audience. Modern brands should conduct extensive research into the customers they’re trying to connect with before choosing a specific name.
Don’t underestimate the power of a startup name
Understanding why brand naming is important for startups is easy when you dive into the unique nature of the startup business, and the targets businesses need to accomplish to thrive. The name is the first thing a person will encounter when interacting with a brand in most cases.
A good startup brand name is an ambassador for the company it represents, capable of conveying a specific personality, vision, or goal for the brand. It can highlight the position of the company, its values, and what makes it stand out from other similar organizations.
In the same way, a poor brand name, lacking in creativity, can harm a company’s chances with customers and investors.
Don’t underestimate the importance of branding for a startup. Make sure you seek help from a naming professional to ensure you choose the right title.
We’ve made our name by naming other businesses. If you require a new name for your brand, product or service, let’s start a conversation…