How to Name Your Business

by Norma

How you choose to name your new business can impact its future financial success.

If you choose well, potential customers will find you, identify with you, and buy from you. If you choose poorly, you’ll confuse potential customers and suppliers, and thus ultimately hurt your business. So don’t take naming lightly. Use a well-thought out, disciplined approach to get your business off on the right foot.


  • Write down the overall customer experience you expect your current and future products andservices will provide.
  • Write down the key benefits of your products and services.
  • Write down the features of your key products and services.


  • Assemble a group of at least 10 persons, i.e. customers, staff, associates, friends, family, etc.
  • Rule: everyone suspends judgment on any names suggested. The key to good brainstorming is freedom to create a list of ideas inspired at the moment.
  • Start by brainstorming 100 names around the benefits, features, and customer experience.
  • Go broader and brainstorm 100 names around intuitive and associative feelings i.e. visual, audio, smell, touch, and taste.
  • What imaginary or visceral associations come to mind when they think of your business or product benefits. For example, does it make you think of a cool calm sea? A tiger? Relief? Bitter taste?
  • Ask why people suggested the names so far, and continue to build names from their inspiration.

Initial Filter

  • Avoid names that are more than 2 or 3 syllables.
  • Eliminate names that are difficult to pronounce or spell.
  • Delete names that cannot be trademarked or are too generic.
  • Watch out for names that limit the potential scope of your current and future business.

Second Filter

  • Take out names where an internet domain name is not available.
  • Eliminate names that are already trademarked in your industry.
  • Choose names that differentiate you from competitors, but connect well with potential customers.
  • Highlight names that allow the potential growth of your company.


  • Discuss the pros and cons of your final list of names with colleagues, staff, friends, family,associates, and potential customers.
  • Proudly say each name aloud and see if it resonates with you.
  • Choose the name.


Do not ask your co-workers to participate.

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How did you choose your business name? Doing it over again, would you choose a different name? Why? Why not? What tips do you for someone trying to pick a business name? Please tell us about it with a comment or email

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