Creative business names

What´s in a name? That which we call a business by any other name gets just as many clients. Correct? Not! If you don´t think business naming is important, consider the consequences of choosing a really inappropriate name without a business name generator. Would you eat at the Golden Shower Restaurant, or patronize a company called Phartronics Engineering? A poorly named business is like a Boy Named Sue.

Your business name tells the world who you are and what you do. There´s also a subtext of how this product or service will make you happy, and business name suggestions are almost always useful. Some business owners immediately come up with a name, but for others, it´s a daunting process. Here´s a step by step approach to developing creative business names.

1. Get Inspired By Other Creative Business Names

The Huffington Post featured an article on the most creative business names. They listed Google, based on the real word googol, which few people knew. The name inspired curiosity, and this is just one of the many business names ideas, which, for a search engine, is a good thing. Under Armour also works well, because it implies a sense of strength and protection. Paypal implies a buddy that gets you your money, and Twitter is just so much fun to say! Think about the business names you like, and analyze why they appeal to you.

2. Study the Different Types of Business Names

Business names take on a variety of forms. Here are some of them:

  1. Unique names, which are usually made up words that convey your business concept
  2. Mainstream names, which use every day words such as Target, Gap and Staples
  3. Name-based, using your own name, or a name that reflects the history of the company
  4. Obvious names, like Bank of America
  5. Trendy names, liked Wired
  6. Abbreviated initials, like IBM
  7. Misspelled words, like Digg, Flikr and Tumblr
  8. Compounds, such as Bubbleshare, LinkedIn, SimplyHired, TripAdvisor
  9. Blends like Zillow, which blends zillions with pillow, and Technorati, which combines technology and literati

3. Evaluate the Different Name Types

Not all of the business names examples listed in step two will suit your style of business. For example, if you have not yet made a name for yourself, using your own name on your business does not describe your product. The same applies to initials. Overly cute or trendy names might turn off older, more conservative clients.

4. Define the Function and Personality of Your Business

Sit down with a pen and a piece of paper and write five words that describe your business, five words about how using your product makes people feel, and five words about why you love producing your product or service.

5. Identify Your Niche Market

People of different genders, age groups, interests and demographics speak their own variation of the English language. Identify your niche market, learn their buzz words, and try to incorporate them into you business name.

6. Conduct a Brainstorming Session

Invite friends, business partners and family members over for a creative business names brainstorming session. Take out your word lists from step three, and try to come up with a name. Write down everyone´s suggestions, and discuss the pros and cons of each.

7. Make Friends with the Thesaurus

After your brainstorming session, you might discover that the suggested names use words that are a bit bland, to say the least. The Thesaurus offers creative alternatives to overly-used words. A creative alternative also makes it less likely that the associated domain name has already been taken. Give it a try!

8. Tell a Story

Your creative business name should also inspire the curiosity of your potential clients. Consider a few name options, and see if they are worthy of an “about our name” page on your website. Choose the name that has the most interesting story behind it.

9. Go Global in Your Language Selections

If your chosen English words are played out, go global, and use a French, Spanish or Italian translation. Keep them short and sweet, and select foreign language words that are easy to remember, and relatively easy to pronounce. You get extra credit if part of your business inspiration developed from a trip overseas. Don´t worry about everyone understanding the meaning. Go back to step seven and tell the story.

10. Check the Availability of a Domain Name

If you have come up with a truly creative business name, there´s a good chance that the domain name will be available. Aim for a dot-com if possible. Then, register your domain name, put up a website and start marketing  your creatively-named business.


Written by Alexis Kestler

A female web designer and programmer - Now is a 36-year IT professional with over 15 years of experience living in NorCal. I enjoy keeping my feet wet in the world of technology through reading, working, and researching topics that pique my interest.