What’s in a Name? Tips and Tricks for Naming Your Business

What’s in a Name? Tips and Tricks for Naming Your Business

Starting a new business is exciting! One of the first big decisions you’ll face is choosing a name. Your business name is more than just a label; it’s the foundation of your brand identity. It is something that you are going to connect with on a legal level as well as something that will embed itself as who you and your brand are. So, how do you pick a business name that’s memorable, unique, and aligns with your brand? Here are some essential tips and tricks for choosing the right name for your business.

Why Your Business Name Matters

Before we jump into how to pick a business name, let’s talk about why it’s good to have a good one. Your business name is the first impression customers will have. It’s on your business cards, your website, your lips and all your marketing materials. A great name can make your business stand out and be easily remembered, while a poor choice can lead to confusion or, worse, make your business forgettable.


What to Consider When Choosing a Company Name

Reflect Your Brand Identity: Your business name should reflect what your brand stands for. Are you a modern tech company, a cozy coffee shop, or a creative design studio? The name should give potential customers a hint about what to expect. 

Keep It Simple and Memorable: In the age of information overload, a simple, memorable name is golden. Think of iconic brands like Apple, Nike, or Google. These names are easy to spell, pronounce, and recall. Avoid complicated words or phrases that people might struggle with.

Consider the Future: When deciding on a company name, think long-term. You don’t want to choose a name that limits your growth. For example, “Joe’s Web Design” might be too narrow if you plan to expand into other areas of digital marketing or technology services in the future.

Check Availability: Once you’ve brainstormed a list of potential names, it’s time to do some research. Check if the name is available as a domain for your website and on social media platforms. Also, ensure it’s not already trademarked by another company or taken by anyone in your industry or nationally. This step is crucial to avoid legal issues down the line.


Business Naming Tips: Brainstorming Techniques

1. Use a Thesaurus and Word Association: Start with a few keywords related to your business and plug them into a thesaurus. This can help you find synonyms or related words that might make a great business name. Word association exercises can also spark creative ideas. Write down a word and then jot down all the words that come to mind when you think about it.

2. Combine Words: Sometimes the perfect name comes from combining two or more words. Think of names like Facebook (face + book) or Snapchat (snap + chat). Combining words can create a unique and catchy name for your business.

3. Use Online Business Name Generators: There are several online tools designed to help you find a good name for your business. Websites like Namelix, Shopify’s Business Name Generator, and Oberlo can generate ideas based on your input.


How to Choose a Brand Name: Testing Your Ideas

Once you have a list of potential names, it’s time to test them out. Here are a few ways to see which one stands out:

1. Get Feedback: Share your list with select friends/family that you know will be honest with you or potential customers and ask for their opinions. Sometimes an outside perspective can highlight a potential issue or reveal a name’s hidden brilliance.

2. Visualize It: Design a mock logo or business card with each name. Seeing the name in a visual format can help you determine how it looks and feels. Does it fit well with the design? Is it easy to read?

3. Say It Out Loud: Say the name out loud several times. Does it roll off the tongue easily? Is it something you can imagine saying repeatedly? The way a name sounds can be just as important as how it looks.

4. Easy To Spell: Is it easy enough to spell? Do people understand it? You want it to be simple enough for a child. 


Choosing the Right Name for Your Business: An Exercise

Here’s a fun exercise to help you decide on a company name. Grab a piece of paper or open a new document on your computer, and follow these steps:

  1. Brainstorm Keywords: Write down 10-20 keywords related to your business. Think about what you do, your values, and your industry.
  2. Expand Your List: For each keyword, write down synonyms, related words, and phrases. Use a thesaurus if needed.
  3. Combine and Play: Mix and match these words to create unique combinations. Don’t be afraid to get creative!
  4. Shortlist: Choose your top 5-10 names from the combinations you’ve created.
  5. Research: Check the availability of these names as domain names and on social media. Also, perform a trademark search to ensure they’re not already in use.
  6. Feedback Loop: Share your shortlist with trusted friends, family, or colleagues and gather their feedback.
  7. Visual Test: Create simple logos or business cards with each name and see how they look.
  8. Say It Out Loud: Read each name out loud multiple times to see how it sounds.

By the end of this exercise, you should have a clear idea of which name stands out the most and fits your brand perfectly.


Choosing a business name is a significant step in establishing your brand. It requires creativity, research, and a bit of intuition. Remember, the right name will resonate with your target audience, reflect your brand’s identity, and stand the test of time. Use these business naming tips and interactive exercises to find a name that truly represents your vision and sets you up for success.

Happy Naming!

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