Insights from 19,000+ Naming and Branding Projects

The Simple, Powerful Checklist for Creating the Perfect Name For Your Business


When you’re tackling the naming process, you may be overwhelmed by the amount of advice out there. You’ll find articles providing you with more tips and tricks than you know what to do with, and they may conflict with each other. It’s easy to see why people are overwhelmed when trying to create a great name for their company.

Without proper guidance, it’s hard to know whether the shortlisted names on your list are brilliant strokes of genius or completely unappealing. To help you out, we’ve put together a simple checklist to allow you to choose the name for your startup, product, e-book, app, or just about anything else, with confidence. Remember, when crafting a name, it’s important to CARE:

  • Contextual:  Does your name make sense with your brand and positioning? A name’s potential impact can be determined by placing it in context. View your name through the filter of your brand, positioning, and mission to judge its power.
  • Appealing:  Is your name pleasant to see and hear? Many times, in a quest to be unique or edgy, companies will select a name that is challenging to pronounce, awkward to spell or write, or lacks appeal with the target market. Consumers should like how your name looks and sounds. If they do, it’s much more likely that they’ll want to learn more about your business and talk to friends about your brand. “Brio,” an apparel brand name from the Squadhelp Community, is a perfect example of a simple, appealing name.
  • Remarkable:  Is your name memorable, and does it start conversations? Today’s average consumer is constantly bombarded by companies and products vying for their attention and business. When creating a name for a water filtration product, Squadhelp members found a remarkable name in “Purific”.
  • Evocative: Is your name emotional, experiential, descriptive, elegant, witty? A name should inspire a potent response from your target audience. It could bring up an idea in someone’s mind that’s relevant to your brand messaging, or it could elicit an appropriate emotional reaction. “IronFlame,” a marketing agency named by Squadhelp, demonstrates the power an evocative name holds.

Creating a name based on the CARE principles may contribute to your company’s success in the future. Choosing a powerful, memorable name that resonates with your target audience and elicits emotions will put you at a distinct advantage compared to your competitors.

Unfortunately, many companies don’t follow the CARE framework when naming their businesses. In our analysis of thousands of names, we found that unsuccessful names fit into one of four categories.

When naming your business, avoid these DONTs:

  • Difficult: Is your name hard to spell or pronounce? You want your customers to be able to remember your name in the moment to refer it to their family and friends. A brand name that is hard to pronounce likely won’t be at the top of consumers’ minds when it comes time for the referral. And names that are difficult to spell can cause long-term digital marketing problems.
  • Obscure: Can your name only be understood by a few people? Don’t go for an obscure name that only a handful of your target audience will be able to recall quickly. While a small number of your customers may appreciate an obscure name that only they understand, the rest will be confused and move on.
  • Neutral: Is your name too safe or too boring? While you don’t want to choose an obscure or difficult name, you also don’t want to overcorrect and select a name that simply doesn’t excite consumers. A dull name means that you won’t stand out in a sea of competitors, putting you at a disadvantage from the start.
  • Taken: Is your name trademarked, or is the URL already taken? Choosing a name that is already trademarked will not only negate your aim of being unique but may also cause legal trouble down the road. And be sure to confirm that a related URL is also available before settling on a name.

The naming process doesn’t have to be something scary or daunting. Be sure to CARE about your name by keeping it contextual, appealing, remarkable, and evocative. While creating a name for your business, remember to also keep the naming DONTs in mind – a difficult, obscure, neutral, or taken name may undermine all the hard work you put into creating your product or service.

Insights from 19,000+ Naming and Branding Projects

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