Naming a business is no easy task. Your business name is the first impression you make on potential customers, and it plays a crucial role in shaping your brand identity. It needs to be memorable, unique, and reflect the essence of what you do. But where do you even begin?
This is the most comprehensive guide to naming a business on the planet. It includes:
- Hundreds of different business name ideas
- Famous brand name examples and how they got their names
- How to come up with a business name (the step-by-step process)
- Two popular and only required tools for naming your business.
- And a lot more.
In short, if you want to name your business, you’ll love this guide.
What’s in a Business Name
1. It helps you make a first impression on your customers.
Business names have power. Either they attract or offend. Good business names grab attention and thus, you won’t have a hard time generating faith or image of your company in the minds of people.
Similarly, if you’re looking for investors, your creative business name could help you differentiate from others.
2. The business name can help communicate with customers.
Consumers make brands. That’s why every business tends to make the best relations with their customers.
So, if you want to fly high, it’s definite that you’ll have to communicate nicely with people. Your business name can help with that.
3. A good business name will help you make a brand over time.
Research showed that if customers feel that the brand name is easy and a good fit, they’ll remember it better and even like it more.
The brand gets an advantage of word-of-mouth marketing. This means you could have an advantage if you find a great name, instead of jumping into the business with a non-brandable name.
What Makes a Good Business Name
Before jumping into the tips and examples, it’s important to understand what is considered a good business name. There are several factors to keep in mind. I’ll be organizing these factors into distinct categories based on their significance: “Must-Have,” “Should-Have,” and “Good-to-Have (Optional).”
These are the fundamental elements that a business name must possess. Without these qualities, your name will fail to effectively represent your brand or resonate with your audience.
Your name should stand out and avoid confusion with other businesses. This helps create a distinctive brand identity.
A straightforward and easy-to-pronounce name aids in word-of-mouth referrals and overall brand recognition.
A memorable name is easy to recall, ensuring that your brand sticks in the minds of customers.
Consider whether the name will remain relevant as your business expands into new products or markets.
Being Relevant or Far Relevant
Aligning your business name with your products or services holds significant importance. A subtle connection to your core offerings resonates well.
While many well-known brands deviate from this practice, the branding landscape has evolved. Today’s constraints on available names demand more consideration.
In the present scenario, finding a brandable name takes time. A name tied to your work offers clear advantages. It simplifies branding, communicates offerings immediately, and reduces marketing costs.
Moreover, a work-related name invites customers to understand your business quickly. In a competitive market, first impressions matter. Choosing a relevant name strategically boosts brand visibility, relevance, and success.
Ensure that a corresponding domain name is available for your website. In the digital age, an online presence is vital.
While not absolutely critical, these factors greatly enhance the effectiveness and impact of your business name.
Easy to Spell
A name that’s easy to spell reduces the chances of customers misspelling it in online searches.
Ensure that the name doesn’t have negative connotations in different languages or cultures.
A versatile name accommodates potential changes in your business’s focus or offerings without requiring a rebrand.
Think about how the name will appear in your logo, signage, and other branding materials.
A name that resonates emotionally with your target audience can foster a stronger brand connection.
These qualities, while not essential, can contribute to a more well-rounded and impactful business name.
A pleasing sound pattern in your name, such as rhythmic syllables or harmonious sounds, can contribute to its memorability.
Incorporating relevant keywords or part of it into your name can aid in search engine optimization efforts.
Opt for a name that won’t become outdated quickly due to changing trends.
How Long a Business Name Should Be
- Average Length: The average length of a business name is approximately 2 to 4 words.
- Character Count: A typical business name consists of 12 to 15 characters, making it concise and memorable.
- Syllables: Most business names contain one to three syllables, ensuring ease of pronunciation and recall.
- Shorter is Preferred: Shorter names tend to be favored, with over 70% of successful businesses having names with less than 10 characters.
- Industry Variations: The ideal length may vary by industry; tech startups often opt for shorter names, while law firms may have longer, more formal names.
- Trends: Recent trends show a growing preference for shorter, snappier business names, with many new companies opting for names under six characters.
Take Insights from Prominent Brands
I bet you don’t know someone who doesn’t know these brands.
|Serial Number||Brand Name||How It Was Named|
|1||Coca-Cola||Derived from coca leaves and kola nuts as flavoring.|
|2||Play on “googol,” a large number.|
|3||Apple||Simplicity and playfulness favored by Steve Jobs.|
|4||Nike||Named after the Greek goddess of victory.|
|5||Sony||Derived from “sonus,” Latin for sound.|
|6||Disney||Founder Walt Disney’s last name, linked to creativity.|
|7||Samsung||“Three stars” in Korean, symbolizing success.|
|8||BMW||Bayerische Motoren Werke (Bavarian Motor Works).|
|9||Toyota||Derived from founder Kiichiro Toyoda’s name.|
|10||McDonald’s||Founder Ray Kroc and the McDonald brothers’ last name.|
|11||Tesla||Named after inventor and engineer Nikola Tesla.|
|12||Digital directory for university students’ faces.|
|13||Amazon||Named after world’s largest river, representing vastness.|
|14||Microsoft||Blend of “microcomputer” and “software.”|
|15||Adidas||Founder’s name, Adi Dassler.|
|16||Pepsi||Pepsin enzyme used in original recipe.|
|17||Honda||Founder Soichiro Honda’s last name.|
|18||Verizon||Blend of “veritas” (truth) and “horizon.”|
|19||Subway||Emphasis on fast, efficient service.|
|20||IKEA||Founder’s initials (Ingvar Kamprad) and hometown.|
The most popular brands in the world, right?
The insights gained from these iconic brand names provide valuable guidance for naming businesses effectively. What is the takeaway here?
First, the concept of relevance stands out: a name closely linked to your business’s offerings can immediately communicate your purpose to customers. For instance, “Nike” resonates with success and athleticism, reflecting its sportswear focus.
Second, the power of simplicity is evident – names like “Apple” and “Google” are easy to remember and spell, facilitating word-of-mouth referrals.
Moreover, the practice of associating names with inventors or founders, like “Tesla,” creates a personal touch. Incorporating such insights can lead to memorable, meaningful, and impactful business names.
Many other things can also be learned, but let’s keep going with these.
As they are famous brands, any body can say they are good names. That’s why I am ensliting some good business name ideas that I came up with the upcoming tips:
- Veluxa (Velocity + Luxe)
- Soliva (Sole + Vita)
- Lumera (Lumen + Era)
- Tranex (Tranquil + Nexus)
- Viventi (Vivid + Eventi)
- Soluno (Sole + Uno)
- Verdara (Verde + Tara)
- Serenova (Serene + Nova)
- Ethelis (Ethos + Elysium)
- Nexova (Next + Nova)
- Zenitha (Zenith + Theta)
- Crescera (Crescent + Era)
- Aqura (Aqua + Aura)
- Envelix (Envelop + Helix)
- Veridian (Verde + Viridian)
- ClaroNova (Claro + Nova)
- Elixora (Elixir + Aurora)
- Aethra (Aether + Ethereal)
- Verexis (Veritas + Nexus)
- Ignius (Ignite + Nimbus)
Tips to Come Up with Business Name Ideas
Step 1: Define Your Brand Identity (Fashion or Apparel Brand)
I started by considering the essence of my fashion or apparel business. This involved understanding what will make my brand unique, the values it will uphold, and the emotions it must evoke through its products. Defining the brand identity is crucial in shaping the type of name that resonates with both the business and its potential customers.
In my fashion brand focused on sustainable activewear, I outlined my niche as “sustainable athletic wear.” My brand’s style is a blend of modern and eco-friendly aesthetics. I highlighted the unique quality of using organic fabrics and recycled materials. My target audience consists of environmentally conscious fitness enthusiasts. I aim to evoke emotions like empowerment and eco-consciousness.
By defining these elements, I can ensure that the names I come up with align with my brand’s identity and speak to my target audience’s preferences and values.
How You Can Do It:
- Identify Your Niche: Consider what specific aspect of fashion or apparel your brand focuses on. It could be activewear, sustainable fashion, luxury wear, casual wear, or any other niche.
- Embrace Your Style: Describe the style and aesthetics your brand represents. Is it modern, vintage, edgy, minimalist, or something else?
- Highlight Unique Qualities: List the unique qualities that set your fashion brand apart. These could include sustainable materials, innovative designs, affordability, or premium quality.
- Understand Your Audience: Define your target audience. Are you catering to fashion-forward millennials, eco-conscious consumers, or a specific age group?
- Capture Emotions: Think about the emotions you want your brand to evoke in customers. Confidence, empowerment, elegance, comfort – these feelings can influence your name.
This helps you understand what names are relevant, far relevant, or not relevant to your business at all.
Step 2: Brainstorm Freely
I proceeded to brainstorm a variety of words, phrases, and concepts related to my fashion or apparel brand’s identity. This step involves generating a wide range of ideas without filtering them initially. It’s a creative exploration that allows for unexpected and unique combinations to emerge.
How You Can Do It:
- Create a List: Set aside some time to jot down any words, phrases, or even abstract concepts that come to mind when you think about your fashion or apparel brand. Don’t worry about organizing or judging the ideas at this stage.
- Think Laterally: Consider synonyms, antonyms, and related terms. Sometimes, a slight twist on a word can lead to a brilliant name.
- Free Association: Let your mind wander freely. Write down anything that resonates with your brand’s values, style, or intended message.
- Use Mind Maps: Create a mind map by placing your brand’s core aspects in the center and branching out with related words, feelings, and imagery.
For my sustainable activewear brand, I brainstormed words like “green,” “eco-friendly,” “motion,” “empower,” “renew,” “nature,” “vitality,” “stride,” and “consciousness.” I also included synonyms like “sustain,” “earth,” “active,” and “energy.” This broad list formed a rich pool of ideas for potential names.
The key here is to let your creativity flow without inhibition. The more diverse the ideas, the greater the chance of discovering a name that perfectly captures your brand’s essence.
Step 3: Wordplay and Combos
I ventured into wordplay and combinations to create unique and memorable brand names. This step involves creatively blending words, altering spellings, or merging concepts to craft names that are catchy and distinctive.
How You Can Do It:
- Blend Words: Experiment by merging two relevant words to form a new, catchy name. Consider combining words that describe your brand’s identity or value proposition.
- Altered Spellings: Play with different spellings or phonetic variations of words. This can lead to intriguing and modern-sounding names.
- Hybrids: Combine parts of two words to create a new one that represents your brand. Look for syllables or sounds that flow well together.
- Contractions: Combine two words by removing letters in between or using apostrophes to create contractions.
- Portmanteaus: Create a portmanteau by merging two words at their common syllable or sound to form a single, unique name.
For my sustainable activewear brand, I explored wordplay and combos to generate names like “EcoVitaly,” blending “eco” and “vital” to emphasize vitality and eco-friendliness. I also considered “RenovaMotion,” combining “renew” and “motion” to signify renewal and movement. These creative combinations offer unique and compelling options that resonate with my brand’s identity.
This step adds a playful and imaginative dimension to your naming process, often resulting in names that stand out and engage your audience effectively.
Step 4: Mind Mapping
I harnessed the power of mind mapping to expand upon my initial brainstorming ideas. This step involves visually mapping out connections between words, concepts, and emotions associated with my fashion or apparel brand. It’s a methodical approach to uncovering deeper associations and potential name ideas.
How You Can Do It:
- Central Theme: Place your brand’s core theme, identity, or value proposition in the center of a piece of paper or digital tool.
- Branch Out: Create branches extending from the central theme, representing related words, feelings, associations, and even synonyms.
- Make Connections: Connect branches that share a common concept, feeling, or attribute. This can reveal unexpected connections and name possibilities.
- Expand Branches: Keep expanding each branch with more words and concepts that come to mind. Allow your mind to explore different tangents.
For my sustainable activewear brand, I started with “sustainable athletic wear” as the central theme. I branched out with related words like “eco-friendly,” “renewable,” “empowerment,” and “nature.” As I connected “empowerment” and “renewable,” I came up with the names “EmpowerRenew, GreenMpower, ReEarth, Reneco” This mind map technique helped me uncover business names that capture both the sustainable aspect and the brand’s mission to empower its wearers.
Mind mapping encourages creativity by helping you visualize the interconnectedness of words and concepts. It’s a valuable tool to explore name ideas that might not surface through traditional brainstorming alone.
Step 5: Use Mindful Acronyms
I explored the creative potential of acronyms to form a concise and memorable business name. This step involves condensing the essence of your fashion or apparel brand’s identity into a memorable acronym that captures its key attributes.
How You Can Do It:
- Identify Key Words: Select a few essential words that best represent your brand’s identity, values, or unique selling points.
- Create Acronym: Form an acronym using the initial letters of the chosen words. Make sure the acronym is easy to pronounce and doesn’t create confusion.
- Ensure Meaning: Ensure that the acronym aligns with your brand’s essence and communicates a meaningful message.
- Check Legibility: Verify that the acronym isn’t overly complex or difficult to understand at a glance.
For my sustainable activewear brand, I identified “Sustainability,” “Empowerment,” and “Nature” as key attributes. I formed the acronym “SEN Activewear.” This acronym encapsulates the brand’s commitment to sustainability, empowerment, and the natural world.
Mindful acronyms can condense your brand’s core values into a succinct and impactful name. Remember to check if the resulting acronym conveys the intended message and isn’t ambiguous or misleading.
Step 6: Check Domain and Social Media Availability
I verified the availability of domain names and social media handles for the shortlisted business name ideas. This step involves ensuring that the chosen name can be used consistently across online platforms, contributing to a cohesive and accessible online presence.
How You Can Do It:
- Domain Search: Use domain registration platforms to check if the desired domain name (website URL) is available. Aim for a .com domain for broad accessibility.
- Social Media Search: Search social media platforms (e.g., Instagram, Facebook, Twitter) to confirm if the name is available as handles or usernames.
- Consistency: Ensure that the same name can be used across various platforms, enhancing brand recognition and making it easy for customers to find you online.
- Alternatives: Have backup options in case the preferred name is unavailable. Consider slight variations or synonyms that maintain brand coherence.
For my sustainable activewear brand “GreenaVital,” I searched for “greenavital.com” and found it available. I also checked Instagram and Facebook for @greenavital and found that both handles were vacant. This consistency across domain and social media platforms assures customers that the brand is easily accessible online.
Ensuring domain and social media availability is crucial to establishing a unified online presence. It prevents confusion and enhances your brand’s credibility and visibility.
The only tools you’d need to name your business
Namelix is an AI-powered business name generator that uses various algorithms to create unique and brandable name suggestions. It takes your input keywords, style preferences, and other criteria to generate a list of potential names. Namelix can quickly provide a wide range of name ideas that might not have occurred to you, saving time and sparking creativity.
How to Use Namelix:
- Visit the Namelix website.
- Enter a few relevant keywords that describe your business, products, or services.
- Specify your preferred style, like modern, classic, or creative, brandable, short or long etc.
- Click “Generate Names” to receive a list of name suggestions.
- Review the list, shortlist the names that resonate with your brand identity, and consider modifying or combining them to suit your preferences.
Here are some of the great business name ideas I got from the generator:
Great ideas, right?
ChatGPT can be a helpful tool for generating business name ideas. You can engage in a conversation with ChatGPT, providing it with information about your business, values, and desired style. ChatGPT can then generate creative suggestions based on the details you’ve shared.
How to Use ChatGPT:
- Start a conversation with ChatGPT.
- Introduce your business and provide relevant details, such as your niche, brand identity, and values.
- Request assistance with generating business name ideas.
- ChatGPT will respond with a variety of name suggestions, often accompanied by explanations for the choices.
- Engage in a back-and-forth to refine the suggestions and explore variations or combinations that align with your vision.
By utilizing these two tools, you can leverage AI-driven capabilities to access a broader range of creative business name ideas. Keep in mind that while these tools can provide excellent starting points, your personal input and decision-making remain essential to selecting the perfect name for your business.
Here are some cool business name ideas I got for my fashion brand from ChatGPT:
You may give ChatGPT specific instructions on what type of business name you need. For example, I asked to give me name ideas that are related and are formed from a combination of related words. Here are the ideas it gave me:
- VitalEarth (Vitality + Earth)
- EmpowerFlex (Empower + Flexibility)
- NatureMotion (Nature + Motion)
- RenewActive (Renew + Active)
- EcoEnergia (Eco + Energy)
- GreenVitalize (Green + Vitalize)
- SustainFlow (Sustain + Flow)
- PureVigor (Pure + Vigor)
- NaturaMomentum (Natura + Momentum)
- ThriveEco (Thrive + Eco)
How to Narrow Down Your Choices
You should have a big list of business name ideas by now, like i have, after following the above steps.
Each of these potential business names reflects different elements of my brand’s identity and values.
The Next Step is Initial Shortlisting
As I reviewed the list, I marked names that truly resonated with me. These were the names that aligned perfectly with my brand’s mission, values, and the audience I wanted to reach. I focused on names that clearly conveyed the essence of my business and its message.
Relevance and Clarity
From the shortlisted names, I assessed their relevance and clarity. I considered whether each name immediately communicated what my business was all about. It was important to ensure that the names were easy to pronounce, spell, and remember, making it effortless for customers to share them.
Emotions played a big role in my decision. I reflected on the emotions each name evoked. I wanted a name that resonated deeply with customers, giving a big brand feeling, and, creating a genuine connection. It had to evoke feelings that aligned with the core values of my brand.
Considering the potential for future growth was essential. I wanted a name that would accommodate potential expansion into new products or services without feeling limiting. Flexibility for growth was a key factor.
Domain and Social Media Check
This step will help shortlist only available names. I didn’t follow this step during this process of shortlisting. I feel that many of the names would have gone from my list, so, will from yours.
Checking for Trademark
Visit the USPTO.gov website and make sure your chosen names are not trademarked already.
Feedback from Others
I didn’t get feedback from others. However, it is important to diversify your thinking and to understand how others perceive your brand name.
That’s it, you’ll have a few names by now. It’s time to pick one you love the most. Let me share some of the best names I have after the shortlisting process:
Note that I skipped a few steps during this process. If you keep on getting names that are taken, try adding one or more suitable letters at the end of the shortlisted names.