How to Name Your Business: A Step-By-Step Guide

Are you struggling to name your business or your brand? Do you want to pick the perfect name?

I have named hundreds of items between products, brands and companies (my own and others). Today, I use a basic formula that is easy to follow and helps me determine a name every time. It takes about a few days, but the time invested is worthwhile.

  1. Make a list of as many names as possible. Write down everything you can think of, even ridiculous names. Aim for a list of at least 100-200 names.
  2. Over the course of 3-5 days, cross off the names that no longer appeal to you. Keep crossing off names until fewer than 10 remain (25 if you listed a lot of animal or flower names). Taking your time is important here. The more you see a name, the more it will either resonate or bother you.
  3. Search for all of your remaining names in Google, Bing, and Duck Duck Go. Cross off any names on your list that appear over-used based on the searches you conduct.
  4. Search for the remaining names your state or local incorporation office, and the US Trademark office. Cross off any names on your list that are an exact match for another company in your state or industry.
  5. Search for potential domain names for your brand. I do this by typing them into the url bar, but you can also search through a domain seller. I've read that every single word .com domain is taken, so your might end up with some variation on your name or even a .somethingelse domain. This is totally fine. People are used to that by now.
  6. If you have a name left that still appeals to you, that is your name. If not, repeat the process from the beginning. Seriously, start over with the list. If you crossed something off the first time, you probably still don't want to use it.

Naming can seem difficult, but don't let it overwhelm you. A name is just that. Remember, your products and services will ultimately deliver value to your customers, not your name.

Good luck! I hope you find a name you love.


Need help with other aspects of your launch? Silver Shade Group can help. We cover this and other topics in detail in the Brand Builder Bootcamp ecourse.