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How to name a Business or Brand by Black Albatross Media

How to name a Business or Brand

As you may have already learned, there are many levels to how to name a Business or Brand. With so many factors/variables to consider, You may be asking-where do you start?  Naming a Business Is more than what sounds good to you as an individual. You aren’t the consumer.

Your target audience isn’t you, it’s the people. They dictate what becomes popular. If something is too difficult to say, people won’t say it but if it’s clever, witty, unique or memorable, people will be open to learning more.

You want people to discuss your Brand, so eliminate the complex names if possible. A great example of Branding is when you think a photo has been altered. The first thing people will shout is “That’s Photoshopped.”

Photoshop is only one of many products that Adobe owns. It’s also, one of millions of photo editing software but proper Branding has allowed its name to become imbedded in our minds as a reference point for doctored pictures.

This is a guide to help you learn how to name a Business or Brand. Each step will help you cover a different aspect of naming your Business or Brand. It’s designed to cover all your basics and allowing you to expand on; incorporating your own style and making it work for you.

If you would rather not spend one minute naming your Business or Brand and would rather purchase one from Black Albatross Media, please contact us via email at domains@blackalbatrossmedia.com or call us at 513-394-6346.

Remember:

Difficult to say names are rarely mentioned and equally difficult to Brand.

One or two words, maybe a combination of two and forward thinking. This is pretty much the new standard format. Also, don’t limit your future growth or market expansion by adding geographical (“Cleveland” Burgers, instead of Burger Land) or category words (Bob’s “Tire”, instead of Bob’s auto service).

  • A lesson learned by Burlington Coat factory, who in a rare Branding feat; successfully expanded on a Categorized name.

Your name should either invoke an emotion, agitate someone’s thought process or inspire Creativity.

Make them remember your name!

So, you need a Brand or Business Name? There are many ways to start. You can literally just throw names out there until you like something or you can find a dope, creative and brandable name in a few minutes. I have multiple methods; first, I consider whether there is a product already or am I building from scratch.

(If there is a Product) Utilizing the product:

When naming a product or brand after something already exist ( prototype, start-up, market testing ReBranding) then I try to utilize the actual product for creativity. If it is an operational or edible, tangible product (bed, perfume, toy, household cleaner, food, clothing) then I use it and capture the immediate reactions in words.

Also, If it’s edible; think about how you would describe it over the phone.

How would you describe it to a blind person?

Then have others eat and try it too. Give away samples to strangers. They have nothing to lose, so you’ll receive honest feedback.

Everyone’s vocabulary is different so, hearing as many opinions as possible helps. You’ll hear many great words perfect for naming a Business or Brand. Adding any of these with a word from utilizing it and you’ll start crafting Brandable words. This is how you birth a completely original Brand name: Shopify, Netflix, Cricut,  and Pinterest are perfect examples.

If it’s not a usable or tangible item: (meaning, nothing to wear, put on, drive, or pick up and utilize) but, rather something like an app, a start-up, website or providing service(s); Then equally,  your only limitation is your creativity.

How does the product look when you stare at it?

When you think of something as being chewy, most people don’t feel inclined to want to either eat it again or try it. But Ryan Cohen had the genius idea of making it into a Brandable word. Proving that if it’s fun, memorable and familiar, it can be Branded. Hence, Chewy.com. (later sold to PetSmart for 3.35 Billion)

If it is a Business or organization: I would use our Businesses mission statement as starting point. Having your Brand or Business name, theme, purpose and public perception, all align is idea.

What are some words to describe the product?

How you utilize the product can help tremendously with naming a Business. Some names will directly correlate to the product; like PayPal, Reddit, Lyft or DoorDash.

Have strangers test/ hear/ try it:

This is where your most honest feedback will happen. Strangers have nothing to lose. They aren’t worried about your feelings, sales, or Business and in this instance, you want brutally honest criticism. This helps you identify problems early, eliminating things that could cost you later.

There’s good reason to have people that you don’t know be the judge if you want to see where your flaws are. Mainly because People love to be a critic and have decisions made based on their opinion.

If it’s a product that kids can use; have them review it for the most accurate descriptions of your product or Brand. If it’s only for adults, then strangers is the best option. Giving free samples for genuine feedback will probably yield you roughly the same results as surveys or focus groups.

There are variables that can unfairly alter the outcome of any study. For example, if my study were on how many nights a week that families ate homemade mozzarella, it would matter whether I only asked Italian families, or if I asked families of all nationalities.  

So, even if you only plan on catering to one demographic only, (Rich lonely housewife, Single high-income men, etc.) still, diversify your testing audience to find angles that you didn’t consider.

M. Jai Jenkins, Founder of Black Albatross Media

Types of Names to choose when deciding how to name a Business or Brand:

Brandable:

Single word or combination of words to form a new word. These are the more popular way to go. No one else will have your name and the combination or recognizable words will draw curiosity. Being unique in name gives you a huge advantage, allowing you to venture into any direction you like.

Just make sure the name fits your Business model. More than 50% of new Companies/Brands are picking Single words or a Name (Skims, Apple, Dell, Barbie) or a combination to form their Brandable name, like (Lime, LinkedIn, Grubhub, Coinbase, SnapChat).

Direct/Geo Names:

These names are directly a result of sometimes combining the Business purpose and its geographical location or your own name: Anderson welding, Burlington Coat Factory, Walmart, Cash App). Unmistakably unique and like a Brandable name; you will have your own lane.

In addition to that, your specific customers will be able to easily identify your Brand. The only drawback is, if you are too specific, It may require some Rebranding before you expand.

Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing experienced this and is now just 3M.

Many companies have had to expand vastly beyond their initial Brand voice. (Arbys, T-Mobile, Kroger, nearly everyone in Business over a decade).

If you need to name a Business or Brand, these are the only options you should take. The things that you should take from other Businesses are examples to follow and strategies; like a young basketball player watching them mimicking Michael Jordan to improve his own game.

Glowtiful- A Brandable Domain name

Keep it Short and Sweet:

Your Business or Brands name should not be a verbal exercise. It shouldn’t frustrate nor confuse those attempting to pronounce it. You want your customers to be able to see and recognize your Brand, then say its name with ease.

Long names are difficult to advertise on radio and annoying to type out in a search bar. They also force people to ask, “How do I spell that?” or not try altogether. Names that are short and Brandable are easy to put on merchandise. It not easy to align a memorable 20+ letter Brand name on a shirt or packaging. To increase the likelihood of people saying it, minimize the name a bit.

In a 1920 ad “The History of a word”, when referencing George Eastman’s Iconic Brand KODAK, is says the name was “…short, euphonious and likely to stick in the public mind.” This is still the go to formula for learning how to name a Business or Brand.

Consider Foreign Markets:

When deciding how to name a Business or Brand, consider other cultures and languages. Your name in one country means something different in another. You don’t want to expand and enter a new market where you are actually insulting the people.

It’s not good Business to mimic or make fun of someone else’s culture/lifestyle either. Thorough research should be done. It has happened before to several big Brands, who has the money and resources to withstand such challenges but most likely, you have neither of those luxuries.

Consider all possibilities when trying to find a name for you Business or Brand. Some words may be already used in another language or even banned. Also, type the name out in different languages to see how it looks.

It should be aesthetically pleasing when you see it and auditorily attractive when heard. These names are easy to become trendy because it’s easy to say, look at and hear. Keep that in mind when deciding on a name for your Business or Brand.

Dissection of a Brand:

If there is no product, nor Business yet established; Start with your purpose. Ask yourself, why are you there?

The passion that lead you to starting the Business should reverberate in the distance, every time you speak of your Business or Brand.

If you remember your purpose of this mission, then naming the Business or Brand is much easier. Like Progressive. Their policies may or may not be progressive for their industry, but their marketing and advertising definitely is.

What do you offer that no one else has?

 This is where you separate yourself from the crowd. Someone was already offering something similar, why try yours? You should be ready to distinguish yourself from competition from day one. In Business, Advertising, Branding and presentations: should all set you apart from your competitors.

How is your Business different than others, offering the same service?

If Harry does my Dry Cleaning for 40 Bucks and I’ve never had a problem with his service; then it would be 10x harder for you to get me to stop being a patron his establishment. This even if you offer Dry Cleaning at 35 bucks. Something has to be different. Your energy, sense of humor, style or even service; but it has to stand out.

This is very helpful when considering names. Picking the wrong one can hurt your Business or Brand as well.

Doing Research:

When deciding through names for your Business or Brand, have your phone or computer nearby. As you are picking names that you like, you should be searching the trademark and patent list. This keeps you from picking a name or phrase that someone already has exclusive rights to. You can be sued and let’s face it; nobody wants that.

This isn’t the only reason to be close to a search engine, you also need to see where else online the name is used. The last thing you want is to name your Organization, Business or Brand; only to find out that it’s the same name as an adult site. This is not idea when Branding, nor will it work if you’re starting a religious organization.

There is no trick to learning how to name your Business or Brand. Just thorough research, creativity, test and feedback. Some will develop a name in minutes, others may take a while. No Business, Brand or Organization’s progress will be the same.  

When you decide on a name, research it’s meaning. Not what it means today but original meaning. If it were used to spread hate or injustice, it could come back to bite your Business or Brand.

The popular app Clubhouse, just paid 20 million dollars for clubhouse.com.

How to name a Business or Brand by Black Albatross Media
How to name a Business or Brand by Black Albatross Media

Domain(s):

It is extremely important to try and acquire the corresponding Domain name to your Organization, Business or Brand. This can save you millions of dollars if your Brand goes global. The popular app Clubhouse, just paid 20 million dollars for clubhouse.com. This was because they launched under a different Domain and once their popularity skyrocketed; so did the price. To avoid this, get your Domain early and make sure it’s the one you want.

Domains are a hot ticket item that most of America still hasn’t caught on to yet. You want a Domain that people can read. If they look at it and can’t read it, then they probably can’t spell it. You customers can’t visit your website if they can’t spell the name. These are important elements to consider when trying to name your Business or Brand. The Domain is a huge part of your online presence and the traffic that it’ll generate. Be as selective with picking your Domain as you are with the actual Business name.

Make sure your Business name and Domain name are identical if possible.

Tesla learned this the hard way and was forced to go with TeslaMotors.com instead of Tesla.com when they first started. They now own Tesla.com   

Social Media Tags

Make sure any name you settle on, has an available social media handle. This will save you headache of having different names to find your Business or Brand. You don’t want a different name on 6 different sites. It will confuse customers, slow down your traffic and cause revenue loss. The easiest way to unsure your Business or Brands name is available on all platforms is by making adding a number or letters to the name. Instead of the name Lady Bosses, try Lady Bosses Co or The Lady Bosses and you’ll have a higher chance of having the same social media tag on all platforms.

Tagline:

When figuring out how to name a Business or Brand, consider the tagline. What’s your catch phrase to hook in your idea customers and pique the interest of the curious? Nike has “Just do it”, which everyone in the world recognizes. You could possibly start with the tagline. There is no right or wrong way to name your Business or Brand. This may lead to giving you an idea for the name you were searching for.

When creating a tagline, keep it simple but memorable. You want people to remember you. It can be their motivation, which then gives your Brand permanent residency in their memory. Be witty if your audience would get it. For instance, if you were a financial advisor; you’d maintain a serious tone, because it’ll resonate better. No one wants to trust their money with someone who doesn’t seem serious.

There’s no singular, “right way” to Branding. There’s is what worked for others. These are to be used as guides. No results will be identical, even will you follow all the steps. There will always be variables. The time period is different, rules/regulations change, Industries fade, new technology emerges, so on and so forth.

The best you can do when learning how to name a Business or Brand, is study. Study people first. Form follows function. You end result should be centered around who you are targeting. If people are your consumers or product (data), then human behavior and data is everything to your survival.

What are the people doing?

What are they researching and looking at?

Branding the future

How to name a Business or Brand by Black Albatross Media

If you follow what excites people, what they spend money on, who gets their attention and figure out the why to those questions; you’ll be able to easily name and build a huge following around your product(s), organization or Brand.

Learning how to name a Business or Brand can be made into a simple process, actually developing the Brand is the fun part. The research, the data, the studying, reading, sleepless nights, the rejections, lack of support and funding and then boom, Success! That’s the beautiful side to learning how to name a Brand or Business.

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