Never underestimate the importance of audience testing for your brand. After many long hours or maybe even days of brainstorming names and combing through all of your options, you have finally found an ideal business name. Or, at least you think it’s perfect. When coming up with a name for your business, you have to think beyond what you as the business owner think about the name. It’s essential that you like it, and even better if your team loves it, but at the end of the day, the only thing that matters is if your target customer is interested in your business.
If your brand name does not create enough buzz and word of mouth with your target audience, all of the hours you put into coming up with your business name is wasted. Our proven approach to naming a business will help you get the most out of your time and resources you put into selecting a name for your business.
CREATE A BUNCH OF GREAT NAMES
This is when it’s time to get down to business and get creative. Try to write down every business name suggestion you can think of, even if you don’t know precisely if each name is a good fit. Just keep in mind that a solid name needs to be simple to say, spell, and remember. You should also do a quick Google search to make sure there is an available URL. You don’t accidentally fall in love with a potential name before finding out that it is already taken. Another problem you can run into is that your dream domain might be way out of your budget.
CREATE A SHORTLIST
After you have gathered many different names for your brand, begin crossing the names that you don’t think are a good fit for your brand. The goal here is to cut down your options to five or six possible titles left on your list. Keep in mind not only what you think is a good fit, but what audience you are trying to appeal to. Millennials may not immediately gravitate towards a classic, nostalgic name the way previous generations would. So remember your audience while you cut down your list of names.
GET FEEDBACK FROM YOUR TARGET DEMOGRAPHIC
Once you have a created shortlist of names, it is time to bring in some outside opinions. You can build your target audience based on their gender, age, and region. When asking about your name options be sure to set the stage to allow people to make a relevant decision. Giving your audience context will help them to make an informed choice about your specific business.
Here are some examples of what your questions for your target audience should look like:
Which one of these banking apps is you most interested in learning more about?
Which one of these hair dye brands is you most likely to try?
These questions are sharp because they force the target audience to slow down and consider your brand in a rooted context. You can also try questions that are based around value or benefit propositions. For example:
Which one of these names would be the best fit for a revolutionary payment process company focused on individuals and global usage? (Venmo).
Which of these clothing brand names do you feel most embodies elegance and sophistication?
It’s essential that you provide your test group with a few unique name options. Otherwise, offering two names like “Pretol” and “Pret” will skew your results. If only one of these options had been available, people who voted for “Pretol” might have liked “Pret” most out of the list.
ANALYSE YOUR RESULTS
Finally, the last step in the audience testing process is to look at your result and decide which name will be the most successful. The results could surprise you, or maybe they won’t. Repeatedly, in the thousands of name tests we’ve performed with our clients, we’ve noticed the name that our customer loves, performs awfully with their target audience. And this is why the audience testing process is so critical. However, the results of your audience testing don’t have to seal the fate of your name. Audience testing is a fantastic way to gain perspective on what may or may not work for your specific audience.
There is not one perfect testing method that will give you an exact answer as to whether or not your brand name will succeed once it hits the market. However, audience testing is a great tool to add another level to your validation process. It can also help you avoid embarrassment and offence by finding a great business name. With feedback from your target audience, you can get a better idea of which name is the best option to move forward with.
Audience testing is not perfect, but it is a reliable way to get out of your mind and see how your future customers respond to your ideas. Although you can’t control or predict everything, audience testing can help you try to see if your ideas are congruent with your audience. Collecting feedback can give you peace of mind and help you choose a business name with confidence knowing that your audience will love it too.
Author: Grant Polachek is the Director of Marketing at Inc 500 company Squadhelp.com, the worlds #1 naming platform, with nearly 20,000 customers from the smallest startups across the globe to the largest corporations including Nestle, Philips, Hilton, Pepsi, and AutoNation. Get inspired by exploring these winning brand name ideas.