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The startup industry is incredibly competitive. With countless new firms entering the market and trying to gain capital, you will need to find a way to make your business stand out from the competition. One of the best—and easiest—ways you can distinguish yourself is by coming up with a name that is both unique and effective.

If you are still trying to figure out how to name your startup, you are certainly not alone. Generating original name ideas can be rather difficult and confusing. Fortunately, by utilizing these proven strategies, you can effectively create a solid list of names.

Think about what makes your business unique

When brainstorming names for your startup, one of the first things you should do is compile a list of things that make your business unique. Begin by asking yourself a few basic questions:

  • What is the brand image we are hoping to establish?
  • What is the first thing we want people to think about when thinking about our business?
  • What are our company’s core values? What is our overarching objective?

Once you have solidified these key elements for your brand strategy, it will be easier to come up with a name that will match it.

Choose a strategy that aligns with your target market

Your target market is ultimately what should guide the entire naming process. After all, even if two organizations are operating in the same industry, they may have entirely different target markets and thus need to develop an entirely different approach to designing their brand.

What are your target market’s specific demographics? Who do you imagine being your primary customer base? What kind of names do you believe these customers will find appealing? Answering these simple questions should help you get off to a productive start.

Reach out for help when necessary

Knowing how to name your startup organization isn’t always intuitive. In order to avoid committing to a name that is ineffective, it is important to test the name before you actually launch.

The first people you should ask about your startup name are your friends, colleagues, and other members of your organization. Asking those close to you to give you honest advice can help you avoid any immediate red flags. But in order to assure that your organization also appeals to those who don’t even know you, it is also a good idea to conduct some market testing.

Look for a name that will last

Many people will rush to name their company and in doing so, they fail to address a few important details. Before deciding on a final name for your company, there are some long-term factors you will want to think about.

  • Is your prospective name copyrighted, trademarked, or otherwise limited?
  • Is your name compatible with an available URL address?
  • Is your name easy to pronounce? Is it easy to remember?

If you rush to choose a name without thinking about these necessary details, you may be forced to make a name change in the future. Because name changes can be quite a bit of a hassle—and potentially set your company back a great deal of time—you are going to want to be sure you name your company correctly the first time around.


Developing a strong and relevant name is one of the surest ways your startup organization can begin moving in the right direction. Keeping these proven tips in mind can help you get started.

Grant Polachek is the Director of Marketing at, helping entrepreneurs and marketers name their businesses (quickly and easily), create strong brands, and grow faster through a disruptive crowdsourcing process that connects them with the most creative people across the globe. His book on How to name a business is available to Sharetribe readers for free.