Do you ever wonder if there’s a finite number of ‘good’ brand names? Have they already been taken? Has some algorithm already gone though and purchased every conceivable word pairing, or random sequence of letters as a URL?
With the seemingly exponential birth of startups, we are increasingly being challenged to push boundaries, go deeper and more unusual than ever, to find viable names.

Consumers will always need easy ways of identifying and differentiating brands. While the right name can be a brand’s most valuable asset, getting it wrong could cost everything.

I believe the best names build from a brand’s story. A great name doesn’t need to explain anything about the actual business (although some do), but it should capture its spirit in as abstract or as straightforward a way as needed, to align with its vision, purpose and values.

There are various approaches to take in the naming process – from using relevant names, metaphors, acronyms, literal descriptions, portmanteau (two words spliced together) – to completely fabricating words and unconventional spelling.

Whatever approach you take, here’s 5 things a great name should strive to be.

1  Meaningful
Something unique that stands out among its class, by communicating your brand essence. It shouldn’t feel right for any other business than yours.

2  Accessible
Simple enough to be pronounced, spelled and recalled. Enjoyable to use and ideally universal.

3  Fit For Purpose
It resonates with the business and culture you are trying to foster. Future-proof and scalable to adapt to a number of creative executions or brand-play.  

4  High Resolution
Translatable through visual design. Names which are intellectually stimulating, connect emotionally and evoke vivid mental pictures are more memorable, and create the ‘presence’ of a proper noun.

5  Ownable
Protectable legally and in the general consciousness. Can it be trademarked and purchased as a domain, ideally without prefix or suffix?

A name is how a company introduces itself to the world, and as we know, first impressions count. Hopefully this post gives you some starting points, and helps you make yours count too. If you find yourself getting stuck, we'd love to help.

"Take the utmost care to get well born"
George Bernard Shaw

Other Stories

Back to Top