Naming your startup? Here’s how we landed on Tap.

Naming your startup or creative business isn’t easy, but it’s definitely a process that’s worth time and investment at the beginning.

But firstly, an introduction. I’m Rachel, a wordsmith by trade and a newbie on the Tap team. I’ve been following the Tap story since it’s inception, as I’m married to one of the founders, Pete. It’s a privilege to join the team and help to share some exciting insights and top tips from behind the scenes at Tap.

A journey back in time.

We’ve searched our brains (and emails) to go back to the very beginning of the Tap story; 2013.

A designer, a developer and a marketer walked into a bar… It almost sounds like the beginning of a terrible joke. We had all of the creative ideas, we’d begun to dream about what the design would look like, and we had that initial ‘start-up’ excitement brewing. But we didn’t have a name.

To the drawing board. We started out looking at existing business names that we liked… or at least that some of us liked! Then we each went away to create a list of our own ideas. A few examples from Joe; ‘Clove’, ‘Ember’, ‘Hipster’, ‘Fetch’, ‘Ripple’, ‘Aptus’, ‘PineClick’ and, of course, ‘Tap’ (*cringe* at some of the former suggestions and at our early designs…)

Tap historic designs - Naming your startup

‘Tap’ was the standout name. It sounded quick, instant, easy; just how we wanted Tap to be.

We live in a world where everyone can pick up a phone and know how to access an app in the tap of a finger; there’s even one-click (or one tap!) ordering on our favourite shopping sites. Tap was the perfect fit; quick, seamless and beautiful.

Time to put ‘Tap’ into context and explore how we could use it for marketing. We quickly realised that ‘Tap’ was an ideal verb to string into sentences; ‘Tap into the future’, ‘Tap into Tap’, ‘Tap away to build your perfect website’, creating a sense of movement and instant action.

‘Tap’ fits in with our tone of voice and what we were trying to communicate. Here’s a snippet of copy from one of our early emails, dating back to the launch of Tap 1.0:

“It takes only 30 seconds to host your website, saving you hours of precious time (great for creating instant staging servers).

It’s seamless so you don’t feel stressed or hassled (win the battle against ugly control panels).

It’s really beautiful so your eyes won’t be offended (being designers, we just couldn’t help ourselves).

Access to reliable, Tap obsessed, support personnel (we’re fast, no kidding).”

We’d found a name we loved. It represented who we are and what we were trying to achieve and it worked.

Later down the line, we coined the name ‘onTap’ for our WordPress tips, tricks and inspiration blog; again fitting to the easily accessible approach we wanted Tap to have.

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Naming your startup

What’s in a name? How should you go about creating a name for yourself? Here are our top tips, pulled out of our own startup journey:

1. Check out the competition.

What are they calling themselves? What names do you like? What names do you hate? Write a list of your favourites then start brainstorming. Establish what you want to be known for, what makes you different and where you want to sit in the market.

2. Define your unique selling point?

Are you able to provide web hosting at the click of a button? If so, what name could reflect this? We’re no longer in the days of picking names beginning with ‘A’ just so that we can be at the top of the Yellow Pages, so this is an opportunity to get creative and think outside of the box.

‘Tap: Loveable WordPress Hosting’… It’s just a shame that in the early days we didn’t know better that ‘Word(p)ress’ should’ve been ‘WordPress’.

Tap tshirt

3. Think about your tone.

Your name has to reflect your company tone. At Tap we’re friendly, relatable, dedicated. ‘Tap’ reflects who we are, it’s short, snappy, has a kick to it and is memorable.

Are you fun, friendly and quirky, or are you more formal, driven, dedicated and deliberate? How is this reflected in your name?

4. Think about the future.

Is your company name aspirational? Does it give you scope to grow and develop as a creative business? At Tap we started out small but always had the aspirations to grow. We wanted people all over the world to sign up so didn’t limit ourselves in our name.

You might be a one-man band now, but will you keep it that way forever?

5. Test it out.

Pick a name and try it out. Do some market research. Ask your friends, family, employees, twitter followers… anyone! Ask people what they think of when they hear the name. If you love it and they love it, then you’re ready to take the plunge.

Naming your startup or creative business? Let us know how you get on.


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About the Author

Rachel Heslop

Hi I'm Rachel, content producer for Tap. Lover of travel, photography and a real foodie. I enjoy writing blogs so much that I also do it in my spare time!

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