4-minute read | Deciding your company’s name is an important step, and it might be the most difficult. When you think about all your business encompasses, it can be overwhelming to fit its identity into one or two words. We suggest turning to a brand naming agency to help, as this process requires time, focus, and effort. Your name is your foundation, and with that, your business will be built — hopefully — on strong ground.
Your brand name also requires an available domain name, internal and external customers who connect with your brand, and campaigns to boost engagement and sales — your name will even influence your keyword and SEO strategy. Let’s face it, a powering and compelling name is critical.
Hitting the market without a clear brand naming strategy can do more harm than good, and can also present some red flags over the lifecycle of the brand. If you’ve given up because you’re out of ideas, have decided your short-list name is good enough, or you got stuck somewhere in the naming process, there are some perception pitfalls you’ll want to avoid; including communicating your brand lacks:
- Awareness: By not taking the time to assess feedback about your brand name.
- Attention: By not being serious about the process or capable of defining the brand.
- Work ethic: In saturated online environments, naming is hard work, and finding a great name at the right price requires lots of it.
If you feel yourself falling into one of these categories, reach out to a brand naming agency — they can help relight the creative fire.
Good brand names don’t carry red flags. What they do is invoke interest, and hook people. After all, your name is the first thing that gets uttered in a company pitch. So, how do you create a good name for your brand? As a brand naming agency, we have some coveted tools we use to develop the right brand name. Aside from the tools, you utilize brainstorming, research, and brand love.
Before starting a brand naming process, create a list of questions. This will help you stay on track — it’s essential to be creative, but also effective. Here are some questions to get you thinking in this direction.
What is the brand’s mission and what problem does it solve?
What feeling or emotion should the audience feel from the brand name?
Should the name be unique or easy to remember, or both?
Now it is time to brainstorm. One way to do this is to think about the brand: what should it portray, what products will it offer, who are its competitors, and what brands are doing it right. Create three lists:
The first list should list words that resonate with the brand and its personality and products.
The second list should list the competitors and those who’ve done a great job with their branding. Go through the names with awareness to how they feel — do they encompass their brands? Define which ones work and why. The third list should contain the names and associations you came up working on the first two lists. With this list, you can get more creative and abstract. Think about what makes you unique or what problem your company will solve and brainstorm from there.
Combine your lists and whittle them down. Say the names out loud as much as necessary and pick the ones that sound good and resonate the best. Think of it this way: when you say your name to someone at a noisy event; you likely want them to remember it and know how to spell it later. People need to be able to pronounce your brand name clearly, and it must make sense. When it’s heard across media or in conversation, you don’t want people saying, “Was that a ‘T’ or ‘D’?” because in all reality, instead of trying to figure it out, they’re on to the next. Another way to ensure your brand name makes sense is if the name and meaning tie together, which depending upon the naming strategy, they often do. When your brand name has meaning, it conveys your benefit or solution and helps people remember you by.
Next, check the availability of your top brand names from the brainstorming list. Unfortunately, this part can ruin the fun and can quickly dwindle a good pile of names. If someone already has your ideal name, keep going, and chalk that one up to helping you get closer to the right name. Don’t copycat other brands. It’s just not worth it unless you’re reviving and reinventing. It doesn’t matter if a brand is not in your immediate location, boundaries blur on the far-reaching world wide web, which increases the potential of confusion between brands. Also, trademark infringement  time and costs are too costly for new brands.
From there, take your short list and vet your names. Select at least ten people — preferably who match your audience — and split them into groups in different rooms. Say the names to one group and ask them to spell them. With another group, show them the names and ask them to pronounce them. This survey-group exercise can help you understand how digestible and well-received a name is. Bonus points for brand names that define your brand and speak to your audience.
There you have it: some tips from a brand naming agency to help you create a brand name that is original to your company. It takes work, but when done right, your name will encompass all the fabulousness of your brand.
What naming conventions are your favorite, or how has the brand naming process gone for you? Share in the comments below.
Savy has been a brand design and brand naming agency, providing integrated marketing and digital marketing services for decades. We’d love to help with your next project.
 Pakroo, Peri. THE SMALL BUSINESS START-UP KIT: a Step-by-Step Legal Guide. Nolo, 2018.