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3 Things to Consider When Naming your Startup in Egypt

I personally went through the experience of naming a startup business Three times now, and I must say it doesn’t get any easier. Coming up with a name for your startup business can prove to be a daunting task as you will find yourself caught up in the struggle of finding a catchy name that reflects your company’s values, and gives customers a hint about the nature of its’ products/services while, having an available domain name with its corresponding social media page handles (which is an entirely different story).

Since I know choosing the right name can mean the difference between heading towards a marketing disaster, and setting business communication channels in the right direction. I compiled a list of three things, I believe will help MENA entrepreneurs have more clarity when it comes to the process of naming their businesses. Thus, without further ado, here are three things you should bear in mind when naming your business:

    1) Use a Name that conveys the idea of your startup or product/service.

Most entrepreneurs can easily fall prey to catchy names that don’t readily reflect the idea or industry behind their business ventures. To help you get started, let’s say you have three options to consider when naming your startup. First, going for a name that directly reflects your product or service such as Annie’s Cupcakes (that’s obvious!).

Second, a name that reflects your industry, for example if your startup is based on some form of financial technology then names that include the words currency, transfer, pay, banking, wallet, lending, funding, money would do a great job in giving a hint about fin-tech.

Third, if your startup involves a sharing economy or a crowd-based model that will sure make things a little more challenging for you but, there is always room for creativity. My favorite example is Egyptian Startup “Bey2ollak” meaning “they say” in Egyptian Arabic, which is a crowd-sourced platform for people to exchange information about traffic conditions across the country.

    2) Use a Name that is Change-Friendly

As an entrepreneur you usually start with a hypothesis that says there is a market need for a certain product/service but, once you are out in the real world things will seem drastically different. In order to cope with these unexpected changes, you will most likely pivot (i.e. change direction). So, what do you do in this situation? Change the name and build your corporate identity once again from scratch? Of course Not! That’s why you should start with a name that’s flexible enough to handle any changes you go through in your entrepreneurial journey.

    3) Opt for a Name that Stands the Test of your Strategic Vision

More often than not, I see entrepreneurs completely confused and lost when faced with decisions like shall I go for an Arabic name? a catchy colloquial name? Or an English name?! Unfortunately, getting feedback will make matters worse because you will most likely receive the following comments “going for a colloquial name will make your business too local, it will lock your market”, “an Arabic name will be hard for foreigners to pronounce thus, it will be hard to expand internationally”, “an English name will alienate non-English speakers in the Arab world and limit market expansion”

Did you notice that I was able to shoot holes in all three options? Yes, because it’s not about actual market expansion as much as it’s about your strategic business vision. It’s about whether you are able to envision your venture being a local, regional, or international business because we use a lot of international products and services without being entirely aware of the meaning of their names which are not exactly the easiest thing to pronounce. 

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