Public Speaking, Youth Leardership, From passion to purpose

3 Reasons Not to Use a Name Generator for Your Business or Nonprofit

Entrepreneurs dream of starting a brand that will become a household name, but coming up with the name itself is often the hardest part of starting a business or nonprofit. It’s also important to consider that 77% of customers make purchasing decisions based on a brand’s title. This turns many people to marketing agencies or business name generators to take the pressure off, but I’m here to explain why using a name generator may hold you back from looking within yourself, your values, and the purpose of your business or nonprofit.

I started my first nonprofit, Aspiras Foundation, while attending Western Michigan University because while growing up in the Dominican Republic I witnessed the effects of income inequality among my peers. Access to education, healthcare, sports and opportunities is all determined by your socioeconomic status. This inspired me to create an organization that provided access to education, mentorship and sports for those in need. When it came to naming Aspiras, I found that the process of creating a name myself was much more effective and rewarding than outsourcing the task or using an AI-powered name generator. This was my process and what I learned:

  1. Lack of creativity and context

The problem with AI-powered name generators is that they cannot replace creativity or understand context. They often work by scouring the internet for available domain names that relate to your chosen keywords. The AI will then produce names that may be trendy, buzzwords, offensive, or purposely misspelled. So, while the name generator can quickly find available names, they lack a human approach that is creative and thoughtful. It is also easy if your desired name is available by doing a quick search through USPTO or your respective Secretary of State’s entity search.

2. Aligning the mission with the name

The first thing I did during this process was write down a list of words that related to the mission of the nonprofit. I wrote down a list of about 30 words that I felt reflected the purpose and values of the organization. This process also helped me think deeper about what I wanted the nonprofit to represent, and the things I wanted people to associate it with in their minds. After this step, I translated each word from English to multiple languages until I found something that caught my eye: Aspiras. The name came from translating ‘aspire’ to Esperanto, a spoken language created by L. L. Zamenhof in 1887 intended to be a universal second language for international communication. This type of deep reflection and intention cannot be achieved when using a name generator

3. Collaboration with family and friends

Lastly, name generator’s lack collaboration. After forming a list of potential names and deciding on Aspiras, I reached out to family and friends to listen to their opinions on potential names. And yes, you can still do this with generated names, but when asked why I chose Aspiras, I was able to explain its meaning and connection to the organization’s mission. This gave my decision more credibility, and made it more interesting.

At first, using a name generator may seem tempting. Today, we can automate nearly everything, but in my experience creativity cannot be replaced by technology. Take the time to reflect on the mission of your business or nonprofit. In the end, this will leave you feeling more confident about your decision.

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