The chances are your startup is almost ready to go live but… you have not come up with its name yet. By and large, the assumption here is that if your product is good, it will market itself without a bold name. Nothing is further from the truth.
Naming your new SaaS is a big deal. Get ready — it’s a difficult and time-consuming decision. I bet, even a sort of holy war will take place in your office. The same is true of the renaming process when you expend the range of products or services or need a name that aligned with your target market more.
Luckily, there are some bullet-proof and easy-to-implement techniques to make your creativity flourish. You will go through the whole process of coming up with ideas, evaluating them and choosing the perfect name.
Where to start
The first step is brainstorming. Generate as many ideas as you can. Brilliant ideas, average ideas, even awful ideas. Follow the credo “Quantity over quality”. No judgments. At this stage, only their amount matters. And don’t forget to have fun!
Write down your SaaS startup’s vision, mission, values. These keywords may help you during the name-storming process. Aldo, you can use a dictionary or thesaurus to add some name versions to your list.
For instance, here at Chanty, we thought about our team chat as a place to synchronize all teammates under while coming up with our name. ‘Chanty’ is a sailors’ song, especially one sung in rhythm to work. So, it seemed to be a great fit for our startup.
If you want more examples, just look around. There is a project management and time tracking tool called Hubstaff. Or a social management platform called SocialPilot. Or a user feedback tool called Usernap. Or a marketing automation platform called Omnisend. The list is endless.
What other questions can help you during the brainstorming stage? Think about what makes prospects choose your services. What features make you different from the competition. And write down every single word that comes to mind.
Once you have generated an ocean of ideas, it’s time to validate them and choose the best one following the rules.
A few general rules while choosing your SaaS name
There are a few recommendations for naming your SaaS startup. They say it’s better to choose a business name that:
- is easy to pronounce and write down
- is short enough to remember
- is not used by the competition
- is not offensive in other languages
- does not have negative meanings in other languages
- does not have a negative-sounding abbreviation
Another thing to remember — don’t forget to spice up your SaaS name with emotions. Your business name should be something prospective clients will fall in love with. And something you have already fallen in love with. Pick something with meaning to you without all that “Does it sound like the name of a successful startup?”. If your SaaS name got some meaning to you, then it has a chance of succeeding.
What about naming your startup after yourself?
Let’s be honest, it’s not too easy to find a unique name. Using your full name can be a great alternative unless it’s not too common. What’s more, personal name is more powerful than a brand name for promoting content like blog posts, podcasts and videos (let’s take the “Gary Vaynerchuk” brand as an example).
On the other hand, using your personal name as a company one is a bad idea when you don’t want your name to be at the forefront of your promotional campaigns. Next, you definitely should not do that if you plan to build a company that can eventually run on its own. Anyway, you can still be the face of your SaaS startup even if you use a company name.
Don’t forget about your “second” name
I mean, a domain name. This is one of the most crucial aspects to remember when naming or renaming your startup. The first thing you need to do when having a potential new business name is checking for the availability of the domain to make sure that it will help people find you seamlessly. The availability of domain names will definitely influence the naming of your startup.
What’s more, be aware of choosing a name that is bad in terms of SEO. Choosing a common name like “Happiness”, for instance, can lead you to compete for that search term. Alternatively, coming up with a unique name will easily provide you with a guaranteed spot on Google.
And a few rules before buying a business domain. Take a look at your domain and make sure that:
- It’s not too long
- It is the .com domain unless you have a good reason for choosing another
- It doesn’t have prefixes or suffixes like “agency”, “startup”, “nyc” or “inc”
A few exceptions for your inspiration
Although you have already learned some rules of inventing your business name, try to not be very serious about them. Why? Because there are many examples of the super successful brands whose names are unexpected and even a bit strange.
For instance, Amazon changed the brand name three times in the first year of business. The first name registered was ‘Cadabra’. The second registered name was ‘Relentless’. And only after a few hours with a dictionary (a great idea, by the way!) Jeff Branson, an Amazon owner, stumbled upon the perfect name – Amazon.
Guess the first business name Vodafone had. Racal Ltd! Pretty sweet, isn’t it? And only in 1985, with the help of the advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi, the name Vodafone was chosen by combining three words: “voice + data + phone”.
Want more? You probably don’t know that the original Skype business name was “Sky-peer-to-peer”, which turned into Skyper, and then — into Skype. The name “Google” came about after one of the students accidentally spelled “googol” wrong. By the way, “Googol” was the name they wanted to choose. Thank God, one student saved the business…
As you can see, there is no straight and unified approach to find the business name.
There’s always a Plan B
Is your brainstorming session lasting more than ten hours in a row? Do you run out of bright ideas? It’s a great idea here to take a break, make a coffee and check out business name generating tools. Will you find a good business name? Who knows. Anyway, you will definitely have a reason to laugh while sipping your coffee.
Let’s cut to the chase, captain. Here are a few websites that will provide you with some ideas for free as well as check the availability of certain domain names:
- Cloud Company Name Generator & Ideas
- SaaS Names
- Namelix, Business Name Generator
- Business name generator by Shopify
- Business name generator by Oberlo
The last thing to remember
Your startup name is a huge decision. It will come with every message you put into the world: your corporate website, social media accounts and posts, advertising copies, etc. Dry as dust, confusing or too complicated name will require more investment to take a step forward on the path to business success. The name like this just won’t stick in consumers’ minds.
Alternatively, a great name is vital to the recognition within a crowded marketplace, especially for small startups. Follow the above-mentioned tips to figure out the name for your business. If some other techniques have helped you in this challenging task, feel free to share them in the comments below!