What’s in a Name? 3 Tips for Coming Up with a Killer Name for Your Business

The name of your business is its most prominent feature and a linguistic representation of what you offer. Sometimes the name for a business comes in a flash of inspiration, but it also happens just as often that you’ve got a detailed concept long before you’ve figured out a name. What to do in this situation? Here are a few things you can try out.

Get Descriptive

When you’re trying to come up with a name for your business, it helps to start with the basics instead of trying to be wildly creative. If you already have a business plan written, read it over for keywords that stand out. If not, write down some details, including the product or service you offer, your company values, and your brand’s mood or aesthetic. Take a word or two and try and try changing the spelling, combining the words or even using them as they already are. Coca-Cola, for example, was named after its two original main ingredients.

Look to Other Languages

If inspiration still hasn’t struck, try translating those keywords into a different language. The language you choose doesn’t matter so much as how the words sound in English. Using Greek and Latin is always a safe bet. Also, you could consider creating a new compound word, called a portmanteau, by combining pieces of two other words. For example, the name for Instructure came from Latin words “instructus” and “structure”, meaning “to teach” and “to build,” which is reflective of their company’s purpose.

Word Associations

Make a list of possible names using these techniques. But before making a final decision, test the name on colleagues and potential customers, asking them what associations the name brings to mind. Starbucks was famously named after the first mate in Herman Melville’s “Moby Dick,” but, no doubt, some of the name’s success comes from the fact that it contains two words with very positive associations: star and bucks. If a possible name leads to crude or unfortunate associations for several members of your test audience, consider trying a different name.

This analytical approach to coming up with a name for your business can be time-consuming but very effective. If you’re still stumped, there’s nothing wrong with tapping into the power of AI to generate a name, either. Through trial and error, you can eventually arrive on a name that is easy to remember and captures the mood you want to evoke.

Before you come up with a name for your company, you’ll need a good business plan. Contact us today for help with making a business plan!



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