brand name

How a Weak Name Can Diminish the Value of your Startup’s Brand

When you’re trying to brainstorm the absolute perfect name for your startup, you may find yourself talking to people who tell you not to worry about your business name. These people believe that there is not any tangible value that can stem from a business name. They think that brand names are a waste of time and resources. However, studies have actually proven the opposite is true. In fact, research shows that any simple and engaging name will outperform boring and uninteresting names on the stock market by 33%.

Rather than solely focusing on the direct monetary value that an effective brand name can brings your business, you should think about the opposite. How can a weak and lackluster brand name diminish and devalue your brand’s presence in this modern business world? Let’s think about the various possibilities.

A Poor Name Won’t Set a Solid Brand Foundation

In today’s aggressive market, first impressions are everything for a startup. Your brand name is important because a name is the first thing a future client or customer will learn about your brand. You brand encompasses everything about your business. A brand is made up of your name, values, mission and your logo. Essentially, a brand name should encompass who your business is, and who you want to be one day all be rooted in one name.

If your name isn’t strong, it will be too weak to support the weight of your brand. If potential customers hear your brand name and don’t immediately understand what your brand is about, they will move on to the next business. A great brand name will intrigue your target audience while encapsulating how you want to present your business to the world.

The name is basically the core identity of your startup. If it is not strong enough, it will not be able to support your brand and set you up for success.

Fail to Capture Audiences

Your audience is likely stunned by the amount of options offered in today’s modern market. You may be providing unique services or products, but if you lack a solid name that interests your audience, you risk losing customers. If your name doesn’t capture their attention right away, they will go on without looking into what you offer, causing you to lose potential customers.

A name needs to create connections and give your target audience something to remember. For example, part of the reason why Apple is so successful is because of their name. Everyone has seen or eaten an apple before. Apples are a basic and easily accessible fruit. That’s why giving a technology company an organic object name is captivating and will interest your audience.

As great as your idea may be, if you lack a way to create a point of connection with your audience as quickly as possible, you risk losing the attention of your target audience.

Drive Audiences Away

As much as your brand name should excite your audience, you should also double check that it won’t drive anyone away. Difficult, complicated, or offensive names are known to alienate a large portion of your target audience. Avoid selecting a business name that is cringey or awkward, as they will probably drive people away and send your audience the wrong message.

For example, salon named Curl Up & Dye is originally needs like descriptive and witty name. However, a name like this could send your audience the wrong message about the services you offer. The name requires their audience to share the sense of humor otherwise they will alienate and lose potential clients that do not find the brand witty or funny.

Audience testing is one of the best ways to ensure that your name will perform well with your selected target audience.

A Forgettable Name = A Forgettable Brand

If you have a customer that had a great experience and wants to remember your brand name, if the name is overly boring or confusing to pronounce and write, they likely will not remember it. And when your satisfied customers cannot remember your name, you will lose out on sales that could have come from their referrals.

A great example of a name going from forgettable to memorable occurred when Jeff Bezos created an online book retailer named Cadabra, Earth’s largest bookstore. It was supposed to be an abbreviated version of the magic word “abracadabra,” but Bezos quickly noticed that the name was not popular with his audience. The name was too confusing for people to spell and say, and many people didn’t understand that it was supposed to be a reference to magic. In addition, some people could accidentally hear “cadaver” instead of Cadabra. After coming up with new brand names with his wife, they decided to change the company name to Amazon. After the name change, Bezos found that his company exploded in growth and really took off.

Switching the name to Amazon had numerous advantages for the company. To start with, Amazon begins with the letter A, so it is typically found at the beginning of any alphabetical lists. Additionally, the Amazon is the earth’s largest rainforest, so the name works on a metaphorical level as well. Similarly, because many people have knowledge of the Amazon rainforest, they instantly understand the reference and know how to pronounce the name. With one quick and easy name change, Bezos resolved three of the biggest name problems, and Amazon quickly grew to become a very profitable business.

An unforgettable name makes for a memorable brand your customers will love. Make sure that your brand does helps your business reach your goals through a catchy and memorable name. Check out some of these winning company name suggestions to get a better idea of what type of names catch you attention the best.

Lose Referrals

A great business name should have the power to interest and draw in your target audience while also driving referrals and helping grow your brand easier. Even if you have a raving customer who loved your services or your products, if they can’t remember your name or if they have a difficult time when saying it out loud, they will be less likely to share it with their friends and family. That means that ultimately, you will lose out on potential referral sales because your name was too weak to support your brand.

Referrals are the heart of your business, and referrals work the best through brand names. Dedicating your time and resources into coming up with an amazing brand name will definitely be worth it at the end of the day because it will grow your profits in the future.


All of the aspects of your brand add up in the end, and if your name can aid you in getting an extra piece of press coverage or a couple more referrals, it makes a huge difference. A startup name can actually impact your business success and is a great tool to help your company succeed.

When you are coming up with a business name, remember the fact that your name is way more than just a simple word.


Grant Polachek is the Director of Marketing at Inc 500 company, 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 creative business names.


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