Do you have a new business or product? Are you lost as where to start on the naming process? What’s the best way to get the creative juices flowing and choose a brand name?

To choose your brand name, you’ll need a pen, some paper and post-it notes. And perhaps another person who is familiar with your brand service or product, who could brainstorm with you? Often the best solutions come when you bounce ideas off one another.


1. Understand your brand

In order to choose a brand name for your company or product, you should ideally have undertaken a brand strategy exercise to fully understand your market.

Checking out your competitors to see what their names are. This way you can be sure that you don’t clash with them and that you stand apart from the crowd, whilst still being on-point and making the right impression.

It’s also fundamental to know your target market at this stage, so you have a good understanding of who your are appealing too. Their likes and dislikes, age and social status. Why will they choose your brand?

Your brand personality and brand story with USPs are also relevant when thinking up words and names that will reenforce your brand message.


2. Make a long list of relevant words

The first thing you should do is write down everything that’s in your head on a sheet of paper. All the words should be relevant to the service or product. Try to block words together. For example, objects, area, places, colours, numbers, names, themes, pronouns, nouns, verbs, transition words and so on. Write them normally and then write them backwards.

Think about your business or product in a more symbolic sense. Pick up a dictionary or thesaurus and look up words with similar meanings. More unusual words that are not used everyday. Perhaps even foreign words.

You will end up with long lists of potential words that could be grouped together to create your brand name.


3. Start grouping words together

Then, using this list as a guide, start pulling out words that could merge together or words that rhyme. Or even just words that sit well together. Do they need an ampersand or can you just combine the words to create a completely new word?

Add each combination word / name onto a post-it note and place it on a wall. Keep adding as ideas pop up and group them together to form a pattern of post-it notes on your wall.

Are certain themes emerging? Are certain words reoccurring over and over again? Maybe it’s not even full words. Maybe it’s part of a word. If there’s something jumping out at you, make a note or place it more centrally within your post-it note pattern.

The next step is to go and make a cup of tea. And take a break.


4. Take a break if nothing really jumps out

The post-it note exercise may seem childish or even pointless, but even managing to get all of your thoughts out is a big win in itself. It’ll free your subconscious mind up to be able to think more clearly. Even if you have a favourite and think you’ve found the right name, put it all away and leave it for a few days.

The creative brain works better in the subconscious mind. And eureka moments normally come in downtime rather than when you are really trying to figure something out. You may think up new words or names when sitting on a bus, or taking a walk in a park. Add them to your list when you do or create a post-it note for the new name.

Then, a few days later, come back to the words and your post-it note wall pattern with a fresh perspective and mind. And possibly a new set of eyes from a friend, colleague or customer? See if second time around you can definitively choose your brand name. Hopefully you should have 4-5 favourite options to choose your brand name from.

How to choose a brand name.

5. Check domain name options

Before you chose your brand name, you need to check whether a decent domain URL is available for it. Nearly every business or product will need a web presence in this digital age, so you want to be certain that you can purchase the right URL to match your brand name.

GoDaddy or 123Reg are both good websites to check URL options. Test away and see which options work best.


6. Do some market research to help choose your brand name

So, you’ve got your brand name or two favourite options perhaps? What to do next? How do you know if it will be right for your business or product? If it will attract and leave an impression with your potential customers?

In order to know whether your brand name really will hit the spot, why not test out a couple of your top options with a small target market? This can simply be done nowadays with social media, or asking your existing customers directly. Do make sure that you direct your market research at the relevant target market for your brand, otherwise the feedback could be way off!

The target market can be as large or small as you want it to be. You should gain some interesting feedback during this process and may even get alternative names that could work better. Equally you could get a stand out favourite and therefore be content that you have selected the right name for your brand.


7. Once you have a name, you then need a solid brand

Once you have your name, you should then commission a graphic designer or brand designer to create your logo and visual identity. As for the naming process, the design aspect should be measured against your brand strategy, so that you can be sure to attract the right customers.

I hope you found this article useful. If you have any questions or would like some assistance in the naming and branding of your business or product, please do get in touch.