How to: choose your first startup name and logo

Jack Preece, July 27, 2018 3 min read

How important is my name and logo?

For any startup that wants its brand to make a lasting impression, it needs to be inspirational and have meaning to its customers.

Your name and logo is an important part of your brand vision, however, as an early-stage founder or aspiring entrepreneur, create something that works for now and don’t spend too much time or money on it. Your brand strength will live or die by the strength of your product, marketing and sales at this stage.

Want to learn how to create your brand vision?

What’s in a name?

Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to create a name that will be long lasting and scalable. Many startups change their name or logo after they are up and running as a result of their strategy changing, product pivoting or brand not connecting with an audience. Billion-dollar Deliveroo no longer have a kangaroo with a shopping bag for a logo, and one of the UK’s most exciting challenger banks announced their rename from Mondo to Monzo.

Here are some tips for hitting the right note the first time round:

• Would you remember it if you heard it once? Who can forget the wonderful BorrowMyDoggy?
• It is unique? Or will you get lost in the noise.
• Is it hard to know how to spell? I know Tumblr did alright but you might not get away with it.
• Can you secure a domain name (URL) with the word in it? Don’t start designing your logo if someone’s going to hold you to ransom for the perfect domain.
• Are you sure it doesn’t evoke negative connotations? Get friends (you trust) to sense-check your decisions.
• Will it age well as your company evolves? Best not to put a year in your brand name or something.
• Does it broadly reflect your brand values? We think Tech Nation does 😉
• Does it communicate your product’s USP – explicitly or implicitly? WeWork are telling you their offering.
• Does it align with your ethos or mission? Founders Pledge put their money where the brand is.
• Will it perform well on Google search? You’ll never rank number 1 for Cupcake, because it’ll just be pictures of delicious cupcakes.

Sometimes the right name just doesn’t strike, even after asking yourself the above questions. In that case, you can always try the startup name generator. A similar tactic worked out ok for Childish Gambino.

Choosing a logo

The brain responds to visual stimulation, colour affects our decisions both consciously and subconsciously as consumers. As a founder, you need to ensure your logo is a colour that aligns with your product and target demographics, appeals to an audience and is unique in your industry.

Take a look at the below colour psychology chart to help inform your decision. Or just pick your favourite.

Source: 99Designs

Here is some logo inspiration from British companies who have taken part in Tech Nations growth programmes.

Adtech & Marketing, Digital Business Academy, Aspiring, Early Stage