Streamlining Your Brand Name Development: Top 4 Tips for Creating Your Business Name


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Let’s be honest about something: while your business concept, product, and implementation are absolutely crucial to your company’s success, without a dynamic and engaging brand name, there’s a good chance that your business will flounder right from the start. Though coming up with brand name ideas might seem like a fairly simple task, many business owners feel lost when developing a name that represents the ideals and aspirations of their business.

The first thing you should know right from the start is that there is no one-size-fits-all advice for creating your brand name, but there are several tips that you should incorporate into your name development process that are fairly straightforward and easy to implement. So, if you’re having trouble coming up with a brand name for your new business, incorporating these tips into your process will make things much easier on you and ensure that your brand gets off to the best start possible.

1. Understand Your Audience

Knowing who you are pitching your business to is an important baseline for developing your business name. For example, if you’re trying to reach a younger, Millennial or Gen Z audience, it might be better to pick a more modern-sounding or clever name; if you’re targeting an older, more upscale audience, consider a classic brand name that will appeal to their more advanced tastes.

Doing some research on your target audience is essential to developing your brand name, so make sure you consider what your audience wants and what will appeal to them before you start brainstorming your business name.

2. Pick a Brand Name Style that Works for Your Business

Most entrepreneurs are unaware that brand names tend to fall into 5 distinct styles: classic, clever, emotional, modern, and pragmatic.

Let’s dig into these styles:


These are refined, elegant, high-end brand names. A classic brand name makes your business seem trustworthy and timeless and is a great way to establish your ethos right from the start.

Classic examples: Urban Outfitters, Patagonia, Vineyard Vines, Von Maur, Regal Cinemas.


These are whimsical, comical brand names that often use alliteration, rhyme, or puns. They should make your audience feel like your brand is approachable and fun.

Clever examples: Piggly Wiggly, LuLuLemon, Tik Tok, GoDaddy, goop, Squatty Potty.


These are brand names that pluck at your audience’s heartstrings. They’re powerful, nostalgic, sentimental, or influential. Charities, political groups, and not-for-profits benefit from these brand names the most.

Emotional examples: Riot Fest, Salvation Army, The Humane Society, Best Friends Animal Society, Doctors Without Borders, Triumph Motorcycles.


These brand names are edgy, eye-catching, and often more abstract than conventional brand names. A combination of two words, made-up words, or misspelled words often work well with this style.

Modern examples: Accenture, Skullcandy, Hulu, Vimeo, Tinder, Zappos.


These are brand names that describe exactly what the company offers. They should be straight-to-the-point, practical, and clear about the product being offered.

Pragmatic examples: Dollar Shave Club, Weight Watchers, PayPal, Beef Shack, LoanSpring.

3. Get Creative With it

Now that you’ve done some research on your audience and picked a brand style, take some time to brainstorm your brand name. Remember, there are no bad ideas in this process, but if you’re having trouble getting started, what we suggest is that you use several brand name types rather than styles to generate your potential brand name.

What’s the difference? Think of brand name types as the construction of the name itself, rather than the tone that the style conveys.

Some brand name types are:

– Real Word – Apple, Swoop, Slack.
– Misspelled – Lyft, nimbl, Mohawx.
– Metaphoric – Nike, Silverline, LoanSpring, RobinHood.
– This & That – Abercrombie & Fitch, Lydia & Park, Owl and Lark.
– Compound – SnapChat, SplitWav.
– Foreign words – La Brosa, Nomi d’Italia.

4. Test Your Brand Name

Now that you’ve brainstormed your brand names, select a few from the list, and ask yourself or your target audience several questions.

Here are some of the most important:

– Can people easily say the name aloud after reading it?
– Can someone easily spell your name after hearing it?
– Would they be able to Google search it after hearing it once?
– Would somebody be able to clearly understand your brand name if it was spoken in a crowded bar?
– Would they be able to repeat the name back in the same situation?

If you follow these tips, you and your team should be able to come up with a brand name that will capture attention, stick in people’s minds, and stand the test of time.

Grant Polachek
Grant Polachek is the Head of Branding at Inc 500 company, the world's #1 naming platform, with 25,000+ customers from early-stage startups across the globe to the largest corporations including Nestle, Philips, Hilton, Pepsi, and AutoNation.


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