For many entrepreneurs, building a successful startup begins with an idea for a product or a service. You may not turn your attention to a name and logo until weeks or months later, and when you do, you may be uncertain about how to proceed. Avoid making the creation of a name and logo an afterthought. Your company’s name and logo could greatly shape how the public perceives your startup.
Choosing a name
The name of your startup should align as closely as possible with your business strategy. Before you commit to a name, consider your industry, as well as how this potential name will help you grow your company.
Ensure your preferred name is not already in use. It is also wise to conduct research within your industry to verify that no competitor has a name that sounds similar to yours. Your goal is to be unique and be memorable, rather than blending in and sounding like a number of other company names.
Think about length. If possible, aim for two or three syllables – names like Apple, Dropbox, Google, Twitter, and Yahoo roll off the tongue.
Try to avoid names that your customers can easily mispronounce or misspell. Your goal is to create a unified brand. If your clients can’t find you online or struggle to share your name with their friends, you run the risk of diluting your brand.
Field-test possible names with your network of family, friends, former colleagues, etc. Brainstorming with your team is a great first step, but approval from the general public is powerful. When you pitch potential names, note your network’s instinctive reactions, as their gut feelings could reflect how your startup’s new name and logo are perceived when they are launched.
Choosing a logo
Your logo is just as crucial as your name. This symbol is the ultimate form of instant recognition, and a bit of careful thought now can pay dividends in the future.
Consider all the different media that your logo will be printed on. This could include email signatures, envelopes, letterhead, and social media websites. Also think about all the physical products your logo might be printed on, such as product packaging and apparel. Will your design suit all of these forms?
Use coloring and gradients with care. You may not be able to print your logo in full color at all times, so try testing it in grayscale. If your design relies on many colors or gradients, it may not translate well to black and white.
Balance detail and simplicity. A busy logo can be difficult to remember, and the perfect design is easily recognizable and memorable. Intricate logos are also hard to accurately reproduce when you shrink them for letterhead use or mobile webpages, or when you have to stitch designs onto apparel.
The act of naming is powerful, and it can impact the future of your business significantly. Your name and logo form an identity that, when carefully selected, can help you build brand recognition and a solid footing in your industry.