Insights from 20,000+ Naming and Branding Projects

4 Tips for How to Crowdsource and Make it Count


When you run out of ideas, you may feel like an over-boiled egg, dense and sapped of moisture. If only there was a pool of minds that you could draw from to give you a multitude of ideas.

Oh, wait. There is!

Crowdsourcing in the practice of obtaining information or completing a project by enlisting the help of a broad online group – and it is a fantastic way to develop a knockout brand or business name.

Have you ever wondered how to crowdsource and make the most of your experience? In this article we’ll share four essential best practices that we’ve learned from crowdsourcing nearly 20,000 winning company names.

1. Put the Basics of your Idea in One Place

The first step of any successful crowdsourcing campaign it to break down the basics of what you are looking for. If you need a strong business name, break down your ideas by starting with large concepts and funneling down to smaller ones.

The place you put your ideas is sometimes called a project brief. This is where the community you are working with can view what you need and how you want to come across. coming up with the brief not only gives you a better sense of how to crowdsource, but it also gives your crowd the materials and information they need to succeed.

2. Give Consistent Feedback

As you begin your crowdsourcing project and the ideas start to pour in, be active in the event. Provide feedback to your favorite ideas and ones that are coming close to hitting the mark. Pointing out more of what you would like to see and telling them what you don’t like about a particular idea can be a great way to drive better results as the process progresses.

Rather than focusing on giving feedback to people who are not quite hitting the mark, put your energy towards guiding your top ten percent of submitters in the right direction. Focusing your efforts in this way will yield more productive results.

3. Create a Shortlist

When you turn to crowdsourcing for business name ideas, hundreds of options pour in. It can be easy to feel overwhelmed as you go through the expansive list of ideas. By keeping your favorite ideas on a separate short list, you can focus your directions and attention on names that are truly resonating with you.

This shortlist should contain only ideas that you are seriously considering. Keep it between three and nine names is ideal, but it is best if it does not exceed twenty. Otherwise, you may find yourself with too many options to work with.

A good practice for narrowing your list is to consolidate any ideas that are very similar. If you have two names live Evara and Ivara, pick which one you like better. That way, when you proceed with audience testing, you will not corrupt your results.

4. Keep an open mind

Many people expect to resonate with the right name immediately. They’re seeking a strong emotional pull to the right name. In reality, however, the right name is sometimes one that you have to look at a few times before embracing.

Rather than looking at a name that just “feels” right, look for one that meets your business naming criteria. If you said you were looking for a name for a coffee shop that functions as a meeting place and focuses on quality service and a cozy feel, a name like Brewpoint Coffee works very well.


Harnessing the power of a large creative community is a great way to start brainstorming. Crowdsourcing has grown in popularity for a reason. It is an often-affordable alternative to working with a traditional branding agency, and the results speak for themselves. If you did not know how to crowdsource before, follow these tips to get the best results from your crowdsourcing experience.

Infographic Design by Easelly

About the author

Meghan O'Toole
Insights from 20,000+ Naming and Branding Projects

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