Naming your business

Naming your business is a big part of your branding. You may decide to call it after yourself, or you can find an appropriate name for it, depending on how you want to portrait your company.

An excellent way to come up with a name is set up a brainstorm with friends or colleagues. You only need some big sheets of paper or a whiteboard and some markers pens, grab a cup of tea or a glass of wine and let the imagination flow.

Think how will you portrait your business

Using your name to do business, like ‘John Lewis’ or a made up name like ‘Massimo Dutti”, you will communicate that your company is human and personal. On the other hand, it makes it a bit more complicated to scale as your customers will expect you to be the one dealing with them. None the less isn’t impossible; you can get the help of words like ‘and associates’ or ‘group’ after the name to imply you have grown, and there is a team behind.

You can use a more literal approach when you call your business. Like ‘compare the market’ or ‘we buy any car’. It is a good strategy for companies that customers are people in a rush, and want straight forward solutions.

If you have a client base that is more tech-savvy, then you can go more abstract, like Apple, that uses a noun that has nothing to do with what they manufacture. You can make up a word like Flickr and Spotify that gives the feel of modern and digital.

Tick as many good attributes as possible

To succeed with your naming is essential to make it easy for the consumer to remember you. Try to have as many of these qualities, and you will be on the right path to be a successful brand.

Be memorable: If your company has a complicated name that it is hard to remember you will make yourself difficult to found. So try to use a catchy word that will put you on the front line of people’s mind.

Make it snappy: Short names are easier to remember. If not try to retain the long title of a film or a book, I always struggle with ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’.

Spellable: If your business it’s difficult to spell it will be difficult to find. For example, things like ‘Phones4U’ will always have to be spelt when you are talking to someone over the phone. It would be best if your business is called ‘Phones for you’. Less funky? Maybe.

Think about your audience: Take into account who your customer might be and choose a name that they will respond. For example ‘Facebook’ will be easier to remember than ‘Snapchat’ if you are an older generation.

Remember SEO: If your business needs to come from online, then you have to name your business SEO friendly. Or at least adding your business sector at the end, for example, ‘’ (link doesn’t exist), so if someone is googling: ‘Smith accountancy’ you will come up first.


Make lists of nouns relating your business. Think what you do, find synonyms, if applicable, think of foreign words. The idea is to come up with as many ideas as possible; even if they look silly, you never know if that will prompt another though later on.

Once you have come up with all the ideas, combine and play with them, I bet this is how ‘Shopify’ came up. Again, don’t scrap anything just yet!

Narrow down

From all the names you have come up discard the ones that you don’t think will ever work. Ask around, friends and no friends to choose some of the names from the list. You should end up with a shorter list.

Check for TWAT (Terrible Words Appearing Temporarily)

A few years back some famous studio redesigned Weight Watchers, using the two words together: weightwatchers. They launched the new logo without realising the name that appeared in the middle.

So do check for strange names that might appear in the names when they put together, read them aloud and check that they don’t sound strange.

Check for registered or similar names

You need to ensure that your new business name isn’t taken or is bridging any copyright. Also if your business sounds like another company’s name, it might confuse your audience.

Now it’s your turn! Remember that The customer is the hero! Keep in hand your buyer personas from last week.

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