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35 Experts Share Their Best Advice for Naming Your Business
By Kristina Mišić access_time 10 min read

Without any doubt, choosing a name for your business is a big decision. Not only it is an extension of your brand but it captures the attention of customers, acts as a powerful force when it comes to your marketing campaigns, helps you create brand awareness, and builds brand loyalty. That is why we asked the experts for their advice when it comes to choosing a brand name for a business. Interested to hear what they said?

Here is the complete study on naming, with all comments and statistics, and below we have highlighted some of the comments that we believe will be of use to you when selecting a name for your business.

Don’t leave naming (or any other fundamental branding work) to the last minute! It takes time and a process to figure out who you are and how to communicate it. Involve all key stakeholders. Know your audience. Don’t let .com be a hang-up. Don’t get too attached to one name. Trademark screening can be brutal. Choose several candidates. And remember Catchword is here if you need help!

Erin Milnes, Naming specialist at Catchword Branding

The future for all businesses will be digital, so we should start by choosing a name that has a special sound and that at the same time no one is using it in any digital channel, with the purpose of helping to improve the user experience in the business and look more empathetic, helpful, easy and comfortable to find.

Karlos Villavicencio, Logotype and branding designer

A brand name is a point of access to a vast network of interrelated concepts, a door to a particular universe. Knowing the cognitive operations that are activated by a brand name helps entrepreneurs choose the universe that best represents their product/service and that best communicates its key features to the audience.

Lorena Perez-Hernandez, Cognitive linguist, Naming and Advertising specialist University of La Rioja

Do research. This is really important advice as many entrepreneurs make this mistake. Not enough research leads to unintentionally plagiarized names of other companies that have been established earlier. Besides, they’d better make sure that their brand name may become their domain name. It is better when the only difference between a brand name and a domain name is the existence of a domain zone.

Elina Nazarova, Marketing specialist at Powercode

Be brave. The unusual can get quickly accepted. The obvious can be quickly forgotten.

Nigel Davies, Branding specialist at PIN Creative

Your brand name is often the first thing people experience about your product, service or company. It begins the conversation between your audience and your offering, sparking an emotional connection. Finding the right name is not an easy process but it is worth the effort and investment.

Sarah Vienot, Verbal Branding/Social Media specialist at Fussfactory 

Naming a brand is a strategic exercise that has a visceral business impact. Thus, creativity in naming should serve strategy and not the other way around.

Catarina Varela, Branding specialist at Funnyhow

The first piece of advice is not to rush. I realize that it is very stressful not knowing the name of your brand, but you can use a generic “newco” in the meantime. It is not a good idea to name your brand without defining its brand strategy first.

Irene Gil, Brand consultancy and naming specialist at Plazida

Develop your business strategy first, define your audience and why your product and or service will matter to your customers. How do you want your customers to feel about your company? Why does your company matter and what one idea will define what your company exists for?

Bob Russell, Creating, building and managing companies at Collective Arts Brewing

It seems like the brand name should be part of the brand’s DNA. Simple, memorable and something that connotes a positive outcome.

Timothy Rose, Creative Direction, Branding, Advertising, Experiential marketing

Don’t try too hard to be cute or funny, and avoid making up names or using acronyms. Find a great word or two you can build a story around.

Amy Funderburk, Lead naming efforts at global software firm SAP

Make sure it’s something you can use from a trademark perspective. Name for the immediate future and five years from now, as you don’t want to have to rename if you outgrow your initial product or value proposition. Don’t ask for opinions on potential names from anyone not involved in the process, as you might get personal associations that aren’t relevant.

Eunice Park, Branding and Naming specialist at CVS Health

Check .com and social nets available it’s a must while having a name that can show features of your business is great. Nowadays, we are crazy to find short names even if have no-sense about their business. This is something that might end. Short is great but with sense.

Victor Camon, Creativity and Branding for international sales

Recognize that while an abstract/fanciful name may help you create some excitement and sense of innovation for your company, product or service, it often requires additional marketing spend to create awareness and meaning for the offering.

Jeff Lapatine, Naming and Branding specialist at Namingo

Think long-term, where your brand is going. Don’t get stuck in now.

Dionisia Sandu, Freelance Brand strategy specialist

Be simple and think out of the box. The right name is not the name that sounds the best, but the name that works the best. Be brave!

Frenk, Affiliate Marketing specialist at Awin

Think about how the name sounds out loud. It’s often overlooked. Names that are easy to hear and say are much stronger.

Emily Penny, Brand strategy, Naming and Copywriting at Becolourful

Hire a naming consultant. Honestly, people think naming is easy, but when they are faced with it, they usually get lost. Naming is a complex procedure and it’s not just about being creative.

Maja Bencic, Naming, Copywriting, Branding at Startaparat

Remember every name has a trade-off. Think about your customers and the part of the story they need from the name. A name will never tell your whole brand story so be clear on what it should tell.

Garrett Lyon, Brand Strategy at Brother Lyon Consulting

Pick a name that best aligns with your brand ideas, personality and emotions. Preferably, it should say something about your business values or ideas.

Mehtab, M., Naming specialist

Choose the shortest, most unique word or word-like name, no CamelCaps, A.C.R.O.N.Y.M.S, and always two words or less (three or more is acronym/initialism territory).

Jeff Halmos, Brand strategy and identity designer

Don’t use your name. Choose something with meaning. Don’t use English without seeking advice from real English people.

Charlie Felgate, Decathlon

Make sure it reflects a solid brand positioning. And to do that one needs to have done solid strategy work, including a good competitive review that looks at not just the names of other companies, but their positioning as well.

Vinnie Chieco, Brand strategy and naming

Don’t go it alone! Naming a business is serious business. A DIY approach is costly. Confused marketplaces and trademark challenges are not cheap.

Douglas Spencer, President at Spencer Brenneman, LLC

Start with your preference, check domain name availability, test the name among friends and family.

Mahmoud, Loyalty marketing and Naming advisor

The name is the first thing your future clients will see and hear about your product and service. Don’t choose it without giving it a deep thought and consult professionals that will know what’s best for you.

Elvira Alvarez, Branding specialist

I would strongly, strongly advise seeing a ‘word doctor’ (naming specialist) for help with naming your business just as you would, hopefully, see your dentist for a problem with your teeth.

Alan Bennington, Naming, Brandable Domain names, Graphic Design/Logos/Packaging

Future proof. Your business will change and adapt. Don’t lock your name into a specific operation, market or customer. Let your name have enough scope for your business model to evolve in time.

Catherine Phibbs, Brand strategy and Naming at BLOCK CAPITALS

Without being generic or obvious, find a creative way to use real words that express who you are, what you do, or symbolize something interesting about your brand. Being too abstract with spelling or made-up words causes more confusion than intrigue. Using real words will inspire positive emotional responses and improve name recall.

Kartaka Hawkins, Brand/company names and verbal branding at Kartaka

Keep an open mind. That name you’ve been coveting since you first thought to start a business may not be available to you. Even if it is available, it might actually be a terrible choice. There are a lot of ways a business name can go wrong. So work with a professional and keep an open mind.

Kevin Walker, Brand strategy specialist at Boardwalk

Look for how well it will extend into the future. Own the domain. Compare to competition. Evaluate it.

Mya Kramer, Naming & Branding at The M Line

The domain name is an important factor. There are many generative names here. Many of them are cold. Soulless. Do not cling. Don’t mean anything. A set of meaningless letters and syllables. This is understandable. There are millions of domain names out there. I would like to see a little vitality in them. And this is difficult. Very difficult. But you can invent and create domain names with a human face. Although there is nowhere to go from the global technological processes.

Teymur Mammadov, Marketing and Advertising consultant

Set some ideal themes for the name to communicate, develop a list of many many options, narrow your list based on how well the names communicate the themes, check that shortlist for trademark and domain availability, and then make a final decision, again based on which name most strongly communicates your ideals themes.

Aaron Hall, Corporate and Product Naming specialist

Do not bore your audience. Do a preliminary trademark screening. Get the exact .com if possible. Don’t be too analytical, branding is about the transfer of emotions.

Brandon Walder, Domain name specialist at Oyzta

Think long term, knowing that the name is more about capitalization than communication. It is the most enduring and strategic element of the brand.

Beatrice Ferrari, Naming specialist at Synesia

We hope the above information will help you in making informed decisions about your brand. If you want to say hi or have any questions about naming, branding, and domain names get in touch, we’re always happy to hear from you. In the meantime, you can also check our interviews and tips for picking the best name for your new business.

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