Insights from 20,000+ Naming and Branding Projects

How to Name Your Business – Making Your Brand Explode With a Stellar Business Name

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So, you need a brand name for your new and totally awesome startup, new venture, passion project, or whatever it may be. 

You sat down in front of your computer and expected the perfect name to just… exist. Three cups of coffee later, you tried every business name generator out there only to be greeted with generic, lame names. 

(Business name generators are not our friends) 

You’re about to give up and just call your new business “Nameless” (Which is actually kind of cool). But then, you discovered this article! Fear not, Squadhelp is here to help you craft the company name of your dreams. 

Without further ado, here are some tips to get those creative juices flowing and brainstorm brand name ideas.

Why Does a Great Brand Name Matter?

First things first, it’s important to know and realize that a great business name DOES matter. Here are just 8 concrete reasons why:

  1. Solidify the cornerstone of your brand
  2. Get customers attention
  3. Create a bond with your customers
  4. Build buzz
  5. Drive sales
  6. Boost savings
  7. Encourage referrals
  8. Attract talent

You can easily imagine how one of these great names would help the right business grow and succeed. 

What’s Your Style?

Let’s think big picture. Who is your target audience? What do you want your brand name to convey to these oh-so-important people? Once you have that down, then you can choose a brand name style to accomplish this. We have found that the majority of great brand names focus on one of these things: 

  1. High-end/Preeminent: Build a brand that exudes trust and prestige (Gucci and Channel in Fashion, Vanguard in Finance)
  2. Pragmatic: Begin to tell your story right in your brand name (PayPal, NetFlix, Dollar Shave Club)
  3. Modern and One-of-a-Kind: What’s the current trend? OR, what’s something totally unexpected? Come on, are you brave enough to stand out like Virgin, Urban Decay, Apple, or Slack? 
  4. Fun and Playful: Fun and playful brands set you up as approaching and inviting … you can’t help but smile (Squatty Potty, LuLuLemon, Piggly Wiggly) 
  5. Emotionally Powerful: If there’s a feeling that’s key to your business, this might be the style for you (Triumph Motorcycles, Thrive Market, Honest Company)

Get Out Those Building Blocks

Get out your Legos, it’s time to talk about building blocks! The next step in the brand naming process is to come up with the different ideas and images that you want to convey in your name. Here are some questions to get the brainstorming started:

  1. What are the big ideas behind your business?
  2. What values specific to your business do you want your name to capture?
  3. Is there a story behind your business?
  4. Are you trying to elicit any feelings from your customers?
  5. What is your value proposition?

Wait… What Did You Say!?

Have you ever been talking to someone and you don’t know what they said, so after saying “What?” three times you eventually just give up, smile, and nod? Don’t be that someone when you share your business name. 

A good brand name passes these functionality tests:

  1. Read to Speak – can you easily read the name out loud without totally butchering it?
  2. Hear to Spell – when someone hears the name spoken out loud, will the spelling be clear so they can Google it later?
  3. Speak to Hear – your name should still be understood, even if it’s said in a crowded bar on a Friday night with the drinks flowing…

Will the Crowd Clap or Boo?

Let’s be real. It doesn’t matter if you like your business name, it matters that your audience does. They’re going to be the ones who need to love your name… trust us, your audience is most important when it comes to your name. 

Audience testing is a great way to see beyond your own mind and get an idea of how others respond to your ideas. It allows you to see which of business name ideas aligns best with your target audience. This invaluable feedback can grant peace of mind and help you choose a business name with confidence!

See You in Court!

Don’t fall in love with a name. Just don’t do it. It’s very important to keep legality in mind throughout the naming process. 

Overall, when you are trying to come up with the perfect name for a business, trademark conflict is a reality that you should prepare for. Create a list of names that are more likely to pass a trademark test as a backup for your first option. This will make the news that you have to choose a different business name a little less painful because at least you will be ready for it

Watch out for these danger zones:

  1. Single English words
  2. Power Words (Force, United, Omni)
  3. Symbolic Words (Bridge, Sage, Rocket)

Fly Free, My Little Bird

We hope you feel inspired to craft some great, unique brand name ideas. Now go grab another coffee, put your thinking cap on, and brainstorm! Or… 

About the author

Jenna Jackson

Jenna is a branding consultant at Squadhelp.com, the World's #1 Naming Platform.

Insights from 20,000+ Naming and Branding Projects

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4) You start your business with an awesome name.
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