Tips on How to Navigate the Brand Naming Process

You’ve had an idea for a great company, service or product, but now you need a name. Sounds easy enough, but there are a few things you should consider before jumping in.

To begin with, consider why your name is so important.

Your name has to convey a great many things.

Think of Apple, VISA and Amazon. These companies rely on what their name means to the consumer, and your brand’s name will do the same for people relying on your services. That’s why the brand naming process is so important. It’s a decision that can shape the future of your company.

How to Begin

  • Start by knowing what you want to name. Is it your company as a whole, the product or the service? The answer for a start up business is usually all three. Starting with the company name is usually the way to go.
  • Next identify what makes it unique. What do you want to be known for? This will help you map out a clear idea of what you’re trying to communicate.
  • After that, scope out the competition, know which names are taken and get a sense of how their audience responds.

The Short List

After answering those questions, you should be able to generate a shortlist of ideas. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Short names work best
  • Make sure it’s easy to remember
  • Keep it easy to pronounce and spell

Now comes the fun part, other people’s opinions. This could mean bringing in an actual creative team or just getting the judgment of people you trust.

Let them build off of your list and add names of their own–make this a collaborative effort. Put all ideas on the table. This could be more creative words, acronyms, word combinations, etc. Explore all possibilities.


Once your shortlist gets vetted and improved upon, pick 3 to 5 that you love. Now it is time to find out if they are viable. Do a search to see if they are already in use somewhere. This may eliminate a few possibilities. Check to see if their domains are available for websites. Make sure to research the names in a few languages to see if they have any negative connotations.

Even if you are considering naming your company after yourself, these steps are important. For example, if your name is Rebecca Smith and you are starting an accounting firm that you want to call “Rebecca Smith, CPA”, make sure that name is available. The domain could already be registered and it’s vital there’s not another Rebecca Smith out there who was arrested for fraud.

After the viability process, it’s likely one name will stand above the rest. The brand naming process could make or break your identity. Be patient and realize that it is a true process. If it doesn’t come easy, that’s OK, the reward will be worth the work.

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RUSSO is a strategic branding agency that uses consumer insight to change the conversation; forming emotional connections with your target audience. To learn more, click HERE to subscribe to our podcast.

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