A strong brand name is the cornerstone of any business. When launching a new business, a strong name can help you attract and connect with customers. It can lead to buzz, increase recall and encourage referrals, as a name that is easy to say, spell and remember is also easy to share. A great business name can also help you across many key communication and marketing goals.

Great restaurant names, for example, are likely to attract more customers from Google Maps than their competition with flat, uninteresting names. No one wants to be the business that causes this awkward situation:

“Yesterday’s dinner was fantastic and the service was great too. I would love to go there again. What was the name of the restaurant?”

“Umm, I totally forgot…”

A lot of people dive into their naming project head first without taking the appropriate time to set the stage for success, hoping that creativity and inspiration will swoop in. After 15,000 naming projects, developing business names within nearly every vertical imaginable, we believe strongly in a more systemic and strategic approach.

With this in mind, follow these guidelines to develop a strong business name of your own:  

Think of What You Want to Portray

You are launching a new venture, and you’re struggling to find the right name. The first step is to hone the creative process. Start by thinking about the brand that you’re trying to build, and determine some core concepts essential to the success of your business.

Ask yourself, ”What do I want people to know about my business immediately?”

Here are some common answers:

  • It is high-end.
  • It is modern.
  • It is unique.
  • It is fun.


The name, ThriftyWheels effectively conveys that the business sells inexpensive cars and, hence, can attract the intended customers people with a limited budget. The name’s simplicity also makes it more memorable, increasing its chances of gaining popularity. .

Narrow Your Focus

Now that you’ve decided on a central direction, create a one or two sentence project statement to keep your naming efforts laser focused. Here are some examples:

  • We would like a simple, cute name for our store selling handmade, wooden toys.
  • We want a sophisticated name that gives the idea of a brand that sells high quality sportswear.
  • We need a classy name which will be perfectly suitable for our luxurious spa and salon business.
  • We need a creative name that will highlight the use of recycled materials in our products.


Glitterati is an excellent example of an event management company name that organizes parties and gatherings. The project statement for this company might have been: We want a one-word, fun and catchy name that encapsulates how gorgeous, memorable and detail-oriented our services are.

Rack Your Brains

Now it’s time to brainstorm ideas.

Don’t censor yourself when brainstorming. Just let the ideas flow. Sometimes bad ideas will inspire great ideas. When you’re developing name ideas, one thought leads to the next, and censoring your ideas will stop your creative flow.

Develop an inspiration deck. You can find inspiration for your business name ideas in so many places. Take a drive around town; look at business names, and write down your favorites. Get a list of successful brands across any industry you can image using your go-to search engine, or explore winning brand names ideas from crowdsourced branding contests. Building a list of inspiration is a well-respected copywriting technique, and it will certainly help you develop great business name ideas as well.


Statement, although a rather unusual name for a sports bar, has a high-end feel to it. The use of this short, powerful word exudes an ambiance of wealth and will resonate well with the affluent target customers.

Test Your Names

From a technical naming standpoint, there are some important principles that you want to keep in mind:

  1. Is it easy to say?
    Unfortunately, you may have to pass on a meaningful name if it’s difficult to say.
  2. Is it easy to hear?
    Try this thought experiment: If you were standing in a loud bar and told someone your name, would they be able to understand you?
  3. Is it easy to spell?
    Simple misspellings such as Lyft, Flickr and Xero can work really well for a brand, but names that are difficult to spell will hinder your marketing and communication efforts.
  4. Is it appealing?
    Is your name pleasant to see and hear? Many times, in a quest to be unique or edgy, companies will select a name that lacks appeal with the target market. Consumers should like how your name looks and sounds. If they do, it’s much more likely that they’ll want to learn more about your business and talk to friends about your brand.

Neutral names can be too safe or too boring. While you don’t want to choose an obscure or difficult name, you also don’t want to overcorrect and select a name that simply doesn’t excite consumers. A dull name means that you won’t stand out in a sea of competitors, putting you at a disadvantage from the start.

Map Out the Brand Name

The ability to bring a name to life in your mind is critical to the naming process. Imagine the story. Visualize the logo. See it on your products and packaging. Without envisioning your brand, you’ll have trouble getting behind any of the business name ideas that you’ve generated.

Carry Out the Four Validation Tasks

Developing business name ideas is only the beginning of the process. There are four important name validation steps that you’ll want to complete before deciding on your business name:

  1. Check for Trademarks
    In order to reduce your risk of run-ins with another company’s legal team or issues with trademark filing, check for trademark risk before making a final decision on your name.
  2. Secure a Domain
    With about 50 million new businesses starting each year, it can be difficult to secure a domain that meets all your requirements. In order to find an available domain that matches your business name of choice, you may have to adjust the spelling or extension (such as .com, .co and .io).
  3. Perform a Linguistic Analysis
    Especially if you plan to sell your products or services internationally, knowing the potential meanings of your brand name across every language is important. According to Squadhelp, “Performing a linguistic analysis on your name can help you avoid an embarrassing situation that could ultimately alienate your brand…”
  4. Test Your Audience
    Getting unbiased feedback by testing your audience will tell you exactly how your brand name will resonate with your leads and customers.Follow this tested process to create a business name that will become a true asset for years to come. Take the time to set the foundation for your project, and you’ll find a name that will attract attention, make connections, get remembered and increase your bottom line.

About Grant Polachek

Grant Polachek is the Director of Marketing at Squadhelp.com, helping entrepreneurs and marketers develop business name ideas, create strong brands and grow faster through crowdsourcing.