As the popular saying goes, first impressions are everything.

While we don’t agree they’re EVERYTHING, it sure does take a lot of work to overcome a bad one. Instead, we recommend doing some work up-front to ensure people are not misled or turned off the very first time they encounter your brand. And whether you hear it or read it, a name usually plays a huge role in making that first impression.

Give it staying power

Because it is one of the most important and long-lasting business decisions you will make, selecting a brand name should not be taken lightly. When determining a name, think about how it will remain relevant during the entire lifespan of the business (or the lifespan of the product). Agility is an admirable trait in business and marketing, but a brand name should have staying power. Businesses invest heavily in building the brand represented by the name and all the traits it represents. The repercussions of changing a name are far-reaching, from building awareness to (re)designing the web site and marketing materials to basic business fundamentals such as invoices and b-cards.

Take it easy

Being too cute or trendy can drastically shorten the shelf-life of a name. The tech industry is brimming with examples of oddly named digital companies fallen by the wayside.

To avoid falling in this trap, the brand name should be:

1. Easy to Say (You can pronounce it, and the sound of “saying it” is memorable)

2. Easy to Spell

3. Simple

While the brand name can’t be held solely responsible for a company’s longevity, it can be a significant factor in its health and well-being. If people don’t know how to spell or pronounce your name, they will probably avoid it altogether. Or, they may abandon efforts to find you after multiple attempts to spell your name results only in search engines collectively throwing their hands in the air and exclaiming “did you mean….?” Making your name easy to say, spell and remember means you can spend more time focusing on building the great characteristics associated with your brand, not explaining how to spell it.

Do your homework

Due diligence is another critical step toward brand name selection. After brainstorming a great list of names and narrowing down your options, take these critical steps before making your final decision:

4. Check with the US Patent and Trademark Office

5. Do a Google Search for the name

• See if other competing businesses are using it

• See if anything derogatory is affiliated with the name

6. See if the domain name is available (we recommend using hover.com)

Ideally, creating a great brand name is an opportunity to inspire confidence and curiosity, enticing your audience to lean in and learn more from your brand.

Ready to create a brand name you’re proud of? Contact id8 today.