name validation legal

Validating Your Name – Creating an Awesome Business Name, Part 6

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing a series of posts outlining nine steps that will help you create the perfect name for your company, product, service, e-book, or app. This article will help you validate the name you created using steps 1-5 of the naming process. Read Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 here.

You’ve created your Statement of Purpose, outlined your target personas, highlighted what makes your company unique, crafted a naming brief, and held successful brainstorming sessions with friends, family, or colleagues. All the work you did to lay the foundation for a powerful, memorable name, is paying off – you now have a shortlist of a few great names for your company, product, or service!

It may be tempting to choose a name on your shortlist now and put it at the top of all your documents and below your logo. However, while you’re nearing the naming finish line, there is one more thing you need to do to make sure your name is the right one – validation.

What is name validation?

If you followed steps 1-5 of the naming process, you should have kept your target personas and unique selling points in mind when brainstorming names and creating your shortlist. Now, it’s time to put your name through real-life tests to make sure that it actually conveys your personality and appeals to your target audience.

You’ll also check that your name won’t encounter any legal or linguistic issues in the future with linguistic analysis and a trademark and URL review. We’ll dive deeper into how to tackle these three steps in parts 7-9 of the series.

Why do I need to validate my name?

You might wonder why you need to run your name past real, potential customers if you referenced your personas heavily during the naming process. While you did put research into developing accurate personas, they are just a rough outline of your ideal customer.

You’ll be selling your product or service to real people, and you need real people to validate your name. There’s no point launching your company with a name that’s perfect for your created personas but doesn’t appeal to actual customers.

In terms of legal implications, validating that your name doesn’t infringe upon existing trademarks is essential. You don’t want to start off your business with a cease and desist letter or have to spend your valuable time in a court case in the future.

You’ll also want to ensure that an appropriate URL is available for your given name. There are many URL options that you can use, but you’ll want to find a name that doesn’t require you to pay tens of thousands of dollars for a URL.

How do I validate my name?

There are a few steps that you need to take to validate your name with your target audience properly, ensure there are no legal barriers, and audit URL availability. In steps 7-9 of the series, we’ll provide more details on the best way to validate these three aspects of your name. You’re nearing the end of your naming journey – stay tuned!