If you don’t yet have a name for your company, here’s an extra activity that will help guide you through that process. Naming your business will possibly be one of the most challenging brand activities you’ll embark upon. It’s an emotional decision and one that will say a lot about who your business is. But keep in mind that your name is just one aspect of your communication.
In other words, don’t pressure yourself to communicate everything in the name. There are many aspects of a good name. Remember it’s what you do with your name that will make it great. The goal of this activity is to brainstorm as many ideas possible. Try to explore options for all of the categories.
I recommend generating ideas for your brand’s name in every category unless you feel one of the categories is not on-brand for your business.
What you do: Describes your products & services. For example: Whole Foods; British Airways; Bed, Bath & Beyond
Who you are: Uses founder’s name (Dolce & Gabanna), origin of company (Patagonia), or audience (Entrepreneur.com)
Point of view: Describes a philosophy (Seventh Generation, Ethical Bean or Next Era Energy)
Conceptual: Words taken from ideas that relate to the product & service. For example: Nike (the goddess of victory)
Invented: Newly created words usually made from 2 parts. For example: FedEx, FaceBook, Travelocity
Outside of the box: Words that are random, playful and out of the ordinary. For example: Yahoo, Apple & W Hotels
- Use a Thesaurus to come up with lots of alternate words.
- Use Wikipedia to look up concepts that relate to your business.
- Consider word translations (for example, Latin, French, Italian).
Once you come up with various names, narrowing the list down can still be difficult. I recommend that you shortlist your favourites and use this activity to help you sift through your ideas and arrive at a decision.Rank each name on an effectiveness scale of 1 (lowest) to 10 (highest).
Availability: Is the URL available? Are you able to register the business name? Try using www.networksolutions.com to see if your names are available.
Originality: Could the name be confused with any competitor? Check for same or similar names.
Feel: Use it in a sentence. Is it memorable? Does it feel positive? Does it make you nervous (actually that’s a good thing!)?
Sound: Use it in a sentence. How does it sound? Is it easy to read & pronounce? Is there a shorter version?