How to Come Up With a Brand Name

Alex Galindo

7 mins read

Believe or not, an average person, including yourself, is exposed to around 4,000 to 10,000 advertisements each day. This explains why people tend to be easily desensitized to the constant bombardment of messaging, making it difficult for any one ad to stand out and be remembered. Thus, to combat all the noise and create a lasting impression, you need to make sure your brand has a strong identity that is unique, memorable, and differentiated.

And this all starts with having a great brand name.

But how exactly do you come up with a brand name that will help your business stand out? In this article, we’ll share with you 15 creative ways to come up with one that will resonate with your target audience and help build your business’ identity. Let’s get started!

How Important is Your Brand Name, Really?

Before we give you all the tips and tricks on how to come up with the perfect brand name, let’s first discuss why it matters.

A brand name is more than just a name; it’s the first impression of your brand and what will help you build brand equity. In fact, according to Crowdspring, around 77% of shoppers base their purchasing decisions on a brand’s name.

This just goes to show how important it is to have a name that accurately represents your business, resonates with your target market, and gives the right impression.

Furthermore, your marketing efforts will be more successful if you have a strong brand name that is easy to remember, pronounce, and spell. After all, people are more likely to purchase from brands they can easily get familiar with. Just think about the brands that you’re loyal to — chances are, their names have been etched into your memory because they’re easy to recall.

15 Ways You Can Brainstorm the Perfect Brand Name For Your Business

Whether you’re just starting out or looking to revamp your current business, thinking of a brand name can be quite challenging. Because once it’s set, it’s not something you can easily change.

To help jumpstart your brainstorming process, we’ve listed down 15 ways you can come up with the perfect brand name for your business:

Dig Deep Into Your Why

Sometimes, you don’t really have to look further than within yourself to come up with a great brand name. After all, your business is a reflection of who you are, what you stand for, and your mission and values.

To get started, ask yourself these questions:

  • What inspired you to start your business?
  • Why do you do what you do?
  • What do you want your business to be known for?

Let’s say you’re a fitness trainer who specializes in helping people who are recovering from injuries. A great name for your business could be “Rebound Fitness” – it’s simple, easy to remember, and accurately reflects your why.

Know Your Roots

In line with the previous tip, another way to come up with a brand name is to look back at your roots and origins. This could be the place you grew up in, your family name, or anything else that’s personal to you.

For example, your business is an online bake shop that sells homemade pies. You can name it after your grandmother who taught you how to bake or the street you grew up on. This can give not only you a sense of nostalgia, but also your target market who can see a part of themselves in your brand.

Make it Punny 

With the thousands of memes getting circulated online each day, there’s no doubt that humor can get you noticed. If you want your brand to have a light and approachable tone, consider coming up with a punny name.

“Lord of the Rinse”, “Tequila Mockingbird”, and “Pho Real” are just some of the businesses that have taken this route with their playful brand names.

However, keep in mind that not everyone appreciates a good pun. Before deciding on a name, put yourself in your target market’s shoes and see if it’s something they would actually find funny.

Get Creative With Alliterations

Alliterations are when two or more words start with the same sound. They’re often used in children’s stories and poems to help with memory retention. But did you know that they can also be used to create catchy brand names?

Some examples of businesses that have used alliterations in their names are Krispy Kreme, Coca-Cola, and Dunkin’ Donuts.

If you’re using alliterations, just make sure that the words you use actually make sense together and flow well. You don’t want your brand name to sound like something that’s been put together haphazardly.

Know Your Products & Services

Your brand name should give people an idea of what your business is all about. So, a good place to start would be to list down all the products and services you offer. From there, you can start thinking of names that would accurately represent what you have to offer.

Let’s say you own a pet store. A name like “Pawsome Pets” would let people know right away that you sell pet-related products.

Consider Your Target Market

A brand that knows its target market well is more likely to come up with a name that resonates with them. When thinking of a name, put yourself in their shoes and see what would appeal to them.

For instance, if you’re targeting working moms, a name like “The Balanced Life” or “The Wellness Connection” would let them know that you understand their needs and can provide solutions that fit into their busy lifestyles.

Use a Foreign or Made-Up Word

Want to try something different? Then consider using a foreign or made-up word in your brand name. This can make your business sound more unique and interesting. In fact, according to some statistics, 72% of the most popular brand names are either acronyms or made-up words.

Some examples of businesses that have used this tactic are Tumblr, Google, and Skype.

Create an Acronym or Abbreviation

Speaking of acronyms, another way to come up with a name is to create one from the words that are related to your business. However, make sure that the acronym you use is easy to pronounce and remember. Otherwise, it’ll just end up being confusing for people.

Some of the successful brands that have used acronyms and abbreviations in their names are Nabisco (National Biscuit Company), BMW (Bavarian Motor Works), and M&Ms (Mars & Murrie).

Make a Portmanteau

A portmanteau is when two words are combined to create a new word. Think of it as a mash-up of two different concepts. For example, the word “brunch” is a combination of “breakfast” and “lunch”.

If you want to try this tactic for your brand name, make sure that the two words you choose complement each other and make sense when put together. A good example of a business that has used a portmanteau in its name is Pinterest which is a combination of the words “pin” and “interest”.

Use Your Own Name

If your business is centered around you or your personal brand, then using your own name can be a great way to make it more memorable. After all, it’s the one thing that people will always remember about you.

For example, if you’re a lifestyle coach, you could use your name as your brand like Marie Forleo or Tony Robbins. This is a great way to create a personal connection with your target market and establish yourself as an expert in your field.

Put a Twist on a Common Phrase

We’ve all heard common phrases like “the early bird gets the worm” or “location, location, location”. But what if you put a twist on these well-known sayings? This can be a fun and creative way to come up with a brand name that stands out.

The challenge here is to keep the original meaning of the phrase intact while also making it relevant to your business.

Brainstorm with Friends, Family, and Coworkers

If you’re having trouble coming up with a name on your own, then try involving other people in the brainstorming process. This can help jumpstart your creativity and get you thinking of ideas that you wouldn’t have come up with on your own.

Nonetheless, since it’s still your business, make sure to establish some guidelines before you start brainstorming. This will ensure that everyone is on the same page and that the ideas being generated are actually relevant to the brand image you’re trying to create.

Get Inspiration from Other Brands in Your Industry

It’s not uncommon for businesses in the same industry to have similar brand names. After all, there are only so many ways you can say “pet store” or “pizza place”.

However, while it’s okay to be inspired by other brands in your industry, you don’t want your brand name to be too similar. Otherwise, you’ll just end up getting lost in the shuffle.

A good way to avoid this is to take a look at the competition and see what they’re doing right (and wrong). Then, use this information to come up with a name that’s unique and memorable.

Use a Naming Tool or Generator

If you’ve been racking your brain and still can’t come up with anything, then you might want to try using a tool or generator. While this isn’t the most creative way to come up with a name, the ideas you can get from business name generators like Shopify’s can give you a starting point.

From there, you can tweak the results until you find something that’s perfect for your brand. Just make sure to do a bit of research before settling on a name to make sure it’s available and not already being used by another business.

Go Back to Your Business’ Values

Last but not least, if you’re struggling to come up with a name, it might be helpful to go back to your business’ values. What are the core principles that guide your business? What makes you different from the competition?

After all, your brand name should reflect what your business is all about. For example, one of the main core values of your business is sustainability and environmental responsibility. In that case, your brand name could be somewhere along the lines of “Eco-Friendly Solutions” or “Green Choice”.

How Do You Know if You’ve Nailed Your Brand Name?

Now, you probably have a list of potential brand names that you’re considering. But how do you know if you’ve found the right one?

Well, here are a few things you might want to write down on your checklist:

It Appeals to Your Target Market

This isn’t something you can figure out overnight. But doing an interest check survey and seeing how your target market reacts to the name is a great way to see if you’re on the right track.

It Feels Right

That’s right. Compatibility isn’t only important in relationships. It’s also important when it comes to your brand name. After all, this is something you’ll be living with for a long time.

So, if a name doesn’t feel right, perhaps it doesn’t really reflect the image you’re trying to project. Or maybe, it’s just not a good fit for your business.

It’s Available

A great brand name means nothing if someone else is already using it. So, before you get too attached to a name, make sure to do a quick search online and on social media to see if it’s available.

You can also do a more thorough check by doing a trademark search on the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) website.

And That’s a Wrap!

We hope we’ve helped you fill that blank space on your business card. With a great brand name that your customers can remember and connect with, you’re one step closer to building a successful business. So take your time, be creative, and most importantly, have fun with it!

Affiliate Disclosure:

This blog contains some affiliate links. We may earn a commission if you use these links to buy something (at no added cost to you).

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