Why Audience Testing is a Crucial Aspect of the Business Naming Process

Written by Mark Pecota

This is a guest post by SquadHelp.

Once you have devoted hours and hours to trying to come up with a name through brainstorming and ultimately getting rid of every possibility, you have at last discovered the ideal business name for your startup. Or, at least you think it might be “the one”, but how can you be sure?

If your brand name fails to create a significant amount of buzz and interest for your business with your target demographic, all of the time and resources you put into coming up with a great business name will have been wasted. Our amazing guide for coming up with a business name will aid you in getting the most out of the time you dedicate to selecting a name for your startup.

Come up with a bunch of great names

This is the perfect time for you to start getting creative and coming up with as many potential brand names for your business as possible. Continuously write down every business name suggestion you can come up with. Keep brainstorming names and do not worry about judging whether or not the names will be a good fit for your business.

An effective brand name must be simple to say, write, and remember. In addition, you should also perform a speedy search just to confirm that your name has an available and suitable URL. This will help prevent you from falling in love with a brand name only to realize that the name is already taken by a similar business or the available domain is way too far outside of your business.

Create a shortlist

After you have gathered a number of different brand names, you can start getting rid of the names that you don’t think will be a good fit off of your list of names. The point of this exercise is to get rid of some of your name options so you only have about five or six of your favorite possible names left remaining on your list.

Get feedback from your target demographic

After you have narrowed down your options to a solid shortlist, it is the perfect time to begin bringing in outside opinions from your target audience. You can find your target audience based on factors such as sex, age, hobbies and location. Set the stage for your target audience by prefacing your questions with the specific context of your business to help your target audience make an informed and relevant decision when selecting a name. Make sure that you slow your target audience down so they don’t just choose a favorite name based on impulse alone. They should have to take a moment to themselves to consider your question and your name in the unique context of your startup.

Here are a few great examples of what your questions for your target audience could look like:

  • Which one of these photo-editing apps are you most interested in learning more about?
  • Which one of these instant ramen brands are you most likely to try?

These questions are effective for their brand because they make your target audience pause down and think about your brand in a rooted context.

You can also try asking questions that are centered around value or benefit propositions. For example:

  • Which one of these names would be the best fit for a bank that is centered around catering to millennials and their lifestyles?
  • Which of these hair product names do you feel most embodies prestige and trust?
  • Analyze your results

Finally, it is time for you to at your results and analyze which of your potential name options will be the most effective for your startup. Perhaps you will find that the results of the audience testing process will surprise you, but maybe they won’t be a shock to you. We have seen over and over again, in the hundreds of name tests we have now done with our clients, we see “the one,” the ideal name that our client simply thought was the best actually performs horribly with their target audience. This type of reality check is really why the audience testing process is so critical when coming up with a name.

There is not one single perfect testing method that will provide you with an obvious, exact answer as to whether or not your brand name will be successful. On the other hand, audience testing can give your process an added level to your name validation process. It can be a helpful option when you want to choose a business name that is will not be embarrassing for your startup. With helpful audience feedback, you can decide which of your options is the strongest option for you to select for your business.

About the Guest 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 cool company names.

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