Starting a business can be an exciting and challenging experience, and that also goes for one of the first decisions you’ll need to make — choosing a name for your business.
But what’s in a name? Would not an Apple by any other name taste as sweet?
Well, the jury is out, but we know one thing: A well-chosen, memorable name can make your business stand out. If it’s catchy, it’ll help grab the attention of potential customers and establish your brand. Ultimately, your brand name can be a key factor in your marketing strategy and overall success in business.
So, to help you come up with a good name for your business, we’ve compiled a list of 29 ideas to inspire you and guide you through the process, complete with examples of famous brands to illustrate each case.
- Create mash-ups: Combine two words to create a unique name that is memorable and easy to remember. Example: Microsoft. Good for: Technology, Business Services.
- Use foreign words: Use a foreign word to create a unique and exotic business name. Example: Toyota. Good for: Automotive, Manufacturing.
- Talk about beliefs or sentiments: Use your values and beliefs to inspire your business name. Example: LG (Life’s Good). Good for:Technology, Business Services.
- Look at a map: Inspiration can be found in geographic locations. Use region, city or street names for your business name. Example: Patagonia. Good for: Retail, Outdoors.
- Use Latin: Latin words or phrases can help create a sophisticated and exotic business name. Example: Novartis. Good for: Healthcare, Beauty.
- Use an alliteration: Use alliteration to create a catchy and memorable name. Example: Coca-Cola. Good for: Food & Beverage.
- Find a spirit animal: Harness names of animals to convey the qualities of your product. Example: Red Bull. Good for: Food & Beverage.
- Get fruity: Leverage the power of symbolic objects such as fruits for a catchy and visual title.. Example: Apple. Good for: Technology, Personal Care.
- Inspiration from Nature: Find inspiration in the natural world and choose a name that evokes a sense of wonder and tranquility. Examples: The Nature’s Co, Earth’s Best. Good for: “Green” products, Food and Beverage.
- Different perspective: Consider using a different perspective or angle to give your business a sense of grandeur, even when it doesn’t directly connect to its nature. Example: Amazon. Good for: Retail, E-commerce.
- Use a sound: Choose a business name that includes a sound that’s easy to say and sticks to the memory. Examples: Twitter, Bing. Good for: Technology, Search Engines.
- Play on words: Use puns, rhymes, and wordplays to create a pleasant-sounding name your clients won’t forget. Examples: 7-Eleven, Hotmail. Good for: Convenience Stores, Technology.
- Use a name generator: Try a name generator tool to quickly come up with a few interesting ideas. Example: Stickers and Stones. Good for: Technology, Entertainment, Communications.
- Use a quote: Incorporate a quote or famous phrase into your business name to evoke emotion and connect with your target audience. Examples: Just Do It (Nike), The Quick Brown Fox (digital marketing agency). Good for: Sports, Marketing.
- Use your passion: Reflect your personal interests or passions in your business name. Examples: The Yoga Room, The Artful Peddler. Good for: Wellness, Art.
- Partner with another company: Consider partnering with another company to create a new name that represents both brands. Examples: Adidas Porsche Design Sport (sportswear and accessories). Good for: Fashion, Retail.
- Mythology and literature: Use characters or themes from mythology or literature to create a unique business name. Example: Mercury (communications). Good for: Communications, Marketing.
- Tweak the spelling: Slightly altering the spelling of a word is a great way to catch the eye. Examples: Flickr, Fiverr. Good for: Technology, Photography.
- Use numbers: Incorporate numbers into your business name to make it unique and memorable. Examples: 7-Eleven, 101 Domain. Good for: Retail, Technology.
- Abbreviate: Use an abbreviation or acronym for your business name. Examples: Intel (technology). Good for: Technology, Manufacturing.
- Use your own name: If your own name is unique, it can help create a personal instantly recognizable brand. Example: Oprah Winfrey (media). Good for: Media, Personal Care.
- Pop culture inspiration: Draw inspiration from popular movies, TV shows, music, and celebrities to create a memorable and relatable business name. Example: Nike (named after the Greek goddess of victory). Good for: Fashion, Technology.
- Use acronyms: Easy-sounding acronyms can be perfect for brand names Example: IBM (technology). Good for: Technology, Business Services.
- Mix things up: Create a unique name by combining two words or phrases that aren’t typically associated with each other. Examples: AirBnB (hospitality). Good for: Travel, Hospitality.
- Tell your story: Use your personal story or history to inspire your business name. Examples: Ben & Jerry’s (ice cream). Good for: Food, Beverage.
- Make it descriptive: Use a name that clearly relates to what your business does. Example: Dropbox (cloud storage). Good for: Technology, Business Services.
- Pick a word from the dictionary: Choose a little-used word from the dictionary that conveys a quality (such as wisdom or power) connected to your brand. Example: Oracle (technology). Good for: Technology, Education.
- Names of minerals and rocks: Use mineral and rock names to project stability and authority. Examples: Diamond Bank (finance). Good for: Finance, Banking.
- Use a symbol: A symbol can help make a business name more memorable and visually appealing. Example: Starbucks (coffee shop). Good for: Restaurants, Beverages.
While coming up with a brand name is never an easy task, it’s one well worth your time and attention. Whether drawing inspiration from mythology, literature, or Mother Nature herself, the name you settle on can help you lay the bedrock for a successful enterprise.
So take your time and look for something that resonates with your audience. Extravagant and instantly memorable or commonplace, but relatable — there’s no wrong approach. Somewhere in the universe of possibilities a perfect name is waiting for your brand. Time to go find it.