May 21, 2021

Audience testing: A central step in business naming process

Audience testing as a central step in business naming process

Business naming is the most crucial step in setting up a business as it reflects what product or service it serves. Many business owners feel that choosing a name needs creativity, but it also needs a target audience to understand and approve it. That is why it is important to incorporate audience testing in the business naming process. 

Business naming is very important and should be handled best to demonstrate the audience’s interest in selection. It would be best to choose a name that compels the marketing process because a name is the first thing to market. Next is the service or product it provides for which you should analyze which name best suits either. 

The name of business also pushes it to a certain destiny. A study in business insider talks about how names impact the destiny of people. That if you have a gender-neutral name like Alexis, you may succeed in a legal career. 

The idea of audience testing

The idea of audience testing is not new. In the past, it existed on a very limited scale; among peers and friends. However, now it is done on a large scale through social media or online channels. This has given the start-ups an immense opportunity to select a shortlisted name of their audience choice. 

But, you will have to follow a few steps before jumping into the audience testing phase in business naming.

3 steps before putting business name to audience testing

Following are the three steps you must follow before putting the chosen business names to audience testing. 

Brainstorm with a couple of names

The first thing is to select a name that encompasses setting up a business, which starts with brainstorming a name. In brainstorming, two or more ideas can come in. Owners usually start this process by searching names not used by other businesses in the same field, yet they serve a similar purpose. 

You can also consult digital marketers who may tell you the effectiveness of the name when used online. You can select as many names as you want through brainstorming in groups or through digital media apps.

Things to keep in mind for brainstorming business names

Even if this is not the audience testing stage, you should create a checklist for writing down a business name. This can be one!

  • Who is your target market for the product and service?
  • Which need/want that business will serve?
  • Which businesses are directly competing with you and their name?
  • How you differentiate your product and service?
  • Keeping all these points in mind, you will brainstorm a different name that will serve your need. 

Shortlisting business names

After brainstorming names, the next step is to shortlist them. Before audience testing, you can shortlist names by using the following criteria.

  • It should have any easy pronunciation
  • It must be clear and understandable
  • I should have spelling known to most the people
  • It spells as it sounds
  • Also, you have to check if it has the following things in it.
  • Does the name have positive connotations?
  • Does the name have negative connotations?
  • Does it have any background? (Audience are at times interested in stories behind names)
  • Does it represent what your company sells? 
  • Is it authentic enough? (Not replicable or replicated)
  • Can your employees market it with pride?
  • Does it easily relate your product or service to the message in it?

Also, note that to make a business name catchy as per conventional wisdom, it must have 11 characters and four syllables maximum. 

If you are still stuck on choosing or shortlisting names, use business name generators. 

Business name generators

Before putting your name to audience testing, use name generators; some apps help you formulate various business names through keywords. Business generators especially assist in designing an SEO-based business name. 

Business name generating apps like Shopify, Anadea, and Wordoid are intelligent-naming tools that help make an easy selection of business names. 


It is not a step but a warning before putting your business name in audience testing. Ensure that the names you are putting for audience testing should not be already registered for a business in a regulatory body handling local or international businesses. 

Otherwise, this might be a replication, and you can be rejected. Get the list of similar registered businesses with their names from the concerned authority. 

Now your shortlisted business names are ready for audience testing.

How to conduct audience testing? 

There are several ways to do audience testing. Few are discussed here.

Select demographics of target market for audience testing

Before starting a process of audience testing, choose your target market or target markets. Chart out their demographics like income, age, interest, and activities. For instance, to test a sports brand name, you must target young and sporty people. 

Name survey testing

The name survey testing is a profound and common method used for audience testing for business naming. It can be done both offline and online. The old method is to get the survey done by peer group and traditional convenience sampling in a physical set or group discussion.

Many branding firms follow an old method for audience testing. However, as more channels for online surveys have been developed by digital marketers, there is a greater chance that a survey receives more responses online. The larger your target market reaches the survey, the better the results of audience testing has.

Online name survey testing

With this, your audience can fill the same survey using online channels. Usually, various forms for the target audience are designed and then circulated online to respond to a business name. 

Channels used for online name survey testing

Google forms

Google Form has an integrated response calculation system on a survey that develops graphical representation on survey responses. Unlike other mediums, the link between these forms can be shared anywhere. 

You must develop a checklist of your questions for the business name to ask your audience. This helps analyze if it creates a spark or an internal drive to buy that specific need/want. 

Social media

Social Media can create, manage, and demolish an opinion. There is nothing better than opinion polls on social media to create hype for your business name and, at the same time, use audience testing. This will help you deduce opinions about a certain business name and the extent of likeability it has in your audience compared to other business names.

Ads-based target audience & polling

There are forums and ads on social media, ads on search engines that can direct your target market to polls. This way, the digital marketing firms can help the existing firms with audience testing for their new venture’s name. 

App-based polling

You can share polls developed by an app like Squadhelp and PickFu, share it on social media forms and search engines, and build the likeability chart on a business name. 

Once you are done selecting channels for audience testing, the next step is to move to the kind of questions you must ask to check the likeability, relevance, and depth of your idea for your target market. 

  • What to ask?

There is a range of questions and designs you can have in a poll and survey depending on your business nature and target audience.

Following are the steps you should do before designing a poll or survey.

  1. Describe your company
  2. Describe what the poll intends to analyze
  3. If there is a privacy clause for the response, use that as well

Following are the ways you will design polls for audience testing in the business naming

Double-barreled question

You have a question that compares one name’s image to another’s. Your audience can choose only one, which means most of them selecting one result interprets in high likeability.

Business-related question

Such polls must include a question about the nature of the business and which names are perceived closely connecting to it. 

Example: Which names come to your mind when you see a jeans brand? 

This question may give you a relevant insight into names that buzz the most in consumers’ minds. You can give them a range of options to select on a jeans brand. 

Likert scale

You can also create a preference scale of the current names or proposed names and see where the audience rates these. Likert scales can be easily done in Google Forms too. 

  • What to test?

This encompasses a question that talks about the preference and likeness of a name for a respondent. It then may be linked to words catchy, compelling, etc. 

Pronounceability and misspelling 

Secondly, test the pronounceability of a name among your audience by again putting the names in a double-barreled bar or testing which one has correct spelling or is easily pronounceable. 

Compelling taglines

Once you have tested the name, pronounceability, and likeability, check if its tagline best suits your business name. This question will improve the effectiveness of your audience testing in the business naming


If you find that tagline is not enough to check the relevance of the name to your business, design logos. Put logo images in double-barreled or any other form and study if your target market(s) relates its aesthetics to their needs/wants.


The last step of audience testing requires fragmenting the data and see which analytics are essential to study. You must look at the important demographics of respondents to seek insight into the general and in-depth understanding and relevance of the business name to your target market (s). If the data digs out that, the purpose of audience testing in business naming is served. 

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