How to choose a name for your business with minimal stress

Written by

Laura Bosco

The featured image for this blog post.

Does a name even matter? 🤔

Yes and no.

It won't achieve product-market fit for you and it's not in the top 20 reasons startups fail. So it’s not worth weeks of anxiety.
But it can help you market effectively. It will be one of the first words out of your mouth when you pitch, and it will be all over your website, app, and ads. So you shouldn’t choose a name flippantly.

Find a name with Krit’s process 🙌

At Krit, we have a process for coming up with product names and it’s something you can easily replicate. It’ll guide you through thoughtful naming without getting you too bogged down in the decision. 🙇
Think of it as Krit's process for finding a good name, without losing your mind. 😌

1. Get it all out there 💭

Grab a marker + whiteboard and list every name you can think of. ✍Don't wonder, "is this dumb?" or, "what if someone else already has it?" We'll ask all that later. Just write down what comes to mind. Feel free to make up words, too, because made-up names, like Kleenex, can work! 🤧
If your brain needs a boost, use these prompts:

If you need even more inspiration, then check out: mythology (ever heard of Nike?), street names, plant names, city/location names (Amazon), color samples, Namium, Shopify’s name generator, and this mega-resource on all things naming.

2. Cull your options 🚮

Once you have a whiteboard full of names, switch gears and filter them. Your end goal is to have 10 or fewer options to take into step 3.
If you can associate a name with any of these descriptions, toss it:

3. Do a trademark search 🔎

Here's how we check for existing trademarks:

If you receive results, you can click each result to view the industry. Ideally, you want a name that has zero live trademarks for your industry.

Disclaimer: a trademark search and a quick Google search can't replace an attorney. Have your name legally vetted for extra security and peace of mind.

4. Research domains & social handles 👀

Some of your name options will be more expensive than others or unavailable as a .com.
Here’s what you should know about domains:

Lastly, make sure that you can snag a respectable Twitter, Instagram and/or Facebook handle for your name. Check those platforms before keeping an option around.

5. Just pick one. 😬

At this point, choosing a name will feel like the most important thing you've ever done.
That's normal. It's also not true.
Once you have 3-5 legitimate options, just pick one. If the decision-agony is unbearable, draw it out of a hat. 🎩
Remember, "had a bad name" isn't even one of the top 20 reasons startups fail. So pick a name, move forward, and drink a beer to celebrate the decision. 🍻🙌
"A great name can’t fix a bad experience. But a bad experience can kill a great name."- Interbrand, a global brand consultancy
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Laura Bosco is a writer and people person. She helps tech startups do tricky things, like explain who they are and what they're doing. Ping her on Twitter to say hi.