How to Test Your Company Name Ideas (Before Launching Your Startup)

How to Test Your Business Name Ideas

What’s in a name? When Shakespeare ruminated on the arbitrariness of names in “Romeo and Juliet,” he neglected to consider the importance that names have on commercial success. Businesses can live and die by the names their owners choose; a company name that is any less than perfect will fail to impact its target audience and be lost to the annals of history. So, you need to test your business name ideas before you start with the launching process.

If you are about to launch the small business of your dreams, you need to spend some time brainstorming to find the best possible name for your company. You can use any number of brainstorming techniques — but once you have one or more names that you particularly like, you need to test them rigorously to ensure that your audience will like them, too. Here are a few tips and tricks for testing your company name.

Eliminate Testing Variables

You want to complete your tests as scientifically as possible, which means you need to take pains to isolate variables during your testing processes. As tempting as it might be to try to test for company name, logo and color scheme in a single question, changing so many factors could confuse your polling group and prevent you from gleaning the insights you need to choose your company name. When testing different names, you should try to present the names in identical formats, so you can be certain that your testing audience is focused on the name and nothing else.

Provide Context to Testers

The suitability of a business name depends significantly on what the business does. “Feet First” might be an incredible name for a podiatry office or shoe store, but it is abysmal for a florist or digital marketing firm. While testing, you should provide your audience with some context about your business’s industry and services. Then, you can be reasonably certain that your polling group has the right frame of mind when choosing their preferences amongst your list of potential company names.

Test for Pronounceability

While there are some wildly successful brands that have difficult-to-pronounce names (Haagen-Dazs, Fage, Porsche) you shouldn’t aim to create an unpronounceable company name. Word-of-mouth remains among the most powerful ways to market your business, and if your audience feels uncomfortable pronouncing your business’s name, you will struggle to earn the attention your business deserves. You might ask your testing group to read different names aloud to understand how your target audience might try to pronounce your brand name — and to see if anyone struggles to put the sounds together properly.

Business Name Ideas

Test Name and Logo Together

Your business name is one thing, but your business name within your logo is quite another. Logos involve graphic design; they put words into specific fonts that can make certain letters more or less difficult to discern. Sometimes, when placed within a logo, a company name no longer makes sense. Letters might merge together in an unattractive way, or a traditional-sounding name might clash with a modern, minimalist graphic.

You need to test out different company names with different logos to find a winning combination, or you could pose an open-ended question to your polling group to receive more detailed feedback about how different names work with different looks.

Continue Testing Again and Again

Your naming journey isn’t over once you identify your current best option. Before your company launches, you should continue testing different names, alongside logos, slogans, color palettes and more, to make sure that you are building a cohesive and complimentary brand. Even after your business begins to operate, you might periodically test the name’s effectiveness. It might be necessary to shift the name of your company some years down the road to keep your brand feeling fresh.

Before you learn how to trademark a name, you need to be certain that your company name will contribute to your success. Testing your name is an essential step of business building, and the mor rigorously you test your name options, the more likely you are to find a name that fits your needs perfectly.