Insights from 20,000+ Naming and Branding Projects

Avoid these devastating Technical mistakes when naming your business or brand

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When creating name ideas for a business or brand, the most important focus is always to create a relevant name with strong meaning and positive associations.

Whether the name is descriptive (PayPal, Science Comics, Noodles & Company) or subtle (Tinder, Apple, GreenPeace, Red Bull) a great name sets up your brand positioning. 

However, in your search for a powerful name, don’t forget that function is also critical. A meaningful name that is hard to say, spell, or remember can be devastating to your brand.

Before we jump in, if you’re not a branding professional yet, you may want to take a moment to review brand name types

But without further ado, here are the technical naming mistake to avoid if you want to create a functional name: 

  1. A Phrase should not have a Misspelling (Squadhelp winning name Next Comes Love, would not be recommended as Next Comes Luv or Next Comez Love.
  2. A Blend should not have a Misspelling (AdvantEdge is a great blend. AdventEdge and NuAdvantEdge are not).
  3. Double Blends don’t make good names (AddVantEdge)
  4. Blends should not use words that are difficult to spell (a word like Acquiesce is probably not great for blending).
  5. Misspellings should be slight and easy to recognize. Lyft and Flickr are strong names, Lyphtt and Flikrr are not. 
  6. Misspellings should not look like true mistakes. Conect and Acheive are not strong name suggestions. Anything that resembles a common spelling mistake will not make a good name. 
  7. Names with multiple misspellings are typically not strong name ideas.
  8. Names, especially abstract names, should not have ambiguous pronunciation. Most vowels have multiple expressions. In a name like Dravona, the “on” sound could be pronounced like it is in “Don” or “won”. Name submissions with this issue should be avoided. 
  9. If your name submission uses Greek roots, stick with ones that are phonetical like Cata and Deca, instead of Chronos (pronounced Crow-know-ce) and Eidos (pronounced … I’m not sure). This is true for use of any foreign language words.
  10. If you use a made-up word–an abstract name–it must sound really nice and be phonetic — and hopefully short (Itorix.com).
  11. If you use blends, the two words must be obvious. Here’s a blend that does not work: Creating a name for an aggressive first-person-shooter video game by combing Armageddon and Bloodbath — ArmBath.com. On the other hand, here is a great blend that is easily understood — Playformance.com.
  12. Typically, numerals are not recommended for brand naming; although, companies in some industries can get away with it.

Explore brand name ideas or continue learning about creating memorable business names

About the author

Grant Polachek

Grant Polachek is the Director of Marketing at Squadhelp–transforming the way names are developed by combining an affordable agency-level brainstorming process with the unmatched creativity of “the crowd.”

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