How do I come up with an original business name?

How do I come up with an original business name?

Are you about to start or open a company? You've probably already thought about names, but making a decision can be difficult. Finding an original name for a company is not easy, and creating a brand is not either. There are many things to consider during the process. Read here for tips and tricks to give your company the best name!


What makes a good business name?

  • Easy to remember
  • Personality
  • Can easily be turned into a logo
  • Reflects the company's values
  • Timeless
  • Flexible
  • Not easily confused with other companies


Although it may seem contradictory, the name doesn't have to be highly descriptive, nor does it have to have a clear reference to your business activity. Names are never standalone; they are always accompanied by context that provides clues about the company's nature. A slogan, an image, a headline. Instagram is an example of this. The name is clarified by the use of a camera icon. When you see this app, you can immediately tell it has something to do with photos, even though the name itself doesn't specifically refer to it.


A common myth is that a business name should be short. It's helpful to keep it on the shorter side, but it's not a requirement. To determine the best naming approach for you, you should study your competition. If others use a lot of Anglicisms, perhaps your name should go in a different direction. If the competition uses very classical names, it's a good idea to choose a somewhat groundbreaking name.


Types of naming:

1. Descriptive names: These are names that more or less literally explain what you do, such as the CityMapper maps app.

2. Associative names: The goal here is to avoid the most obvious words and go a little further. An example of an associative name is The North Face.

3. Benefit names: These are names that directly depict the benefit of the product or service, like Soupinstant for instant soup.

4. Invented or unrelated names: This approach is commonly used by the Inditex group with brands like Oysho, Bershka, or Pull & Bear. They might have a meaning, but the fact is that 99% of consumers don't know it.


Ideas and techniques:

  • Personal names: Names that have a special meaning or symbolism.
  • Acronyms: Utilize initials, a technique often seen in institutions with long names. For example, HEMA stands for Hollandsche Eenheidsprijzen Maatschappij Amsterdam.
  • Words in other languages: This can give your name a playful touch.
  • Compound names: Combine two ideas to create a new word.
  • Phrases: Names consisting of more than three words.
  • Numbers: Combine words with numbers, like the fashion brand Forever 21.
  • Create a concept map: This technique can help find a less obvious name.


Things that can inspire you:

Ideas can be found everywhere.


- Your personal story: Your own name, personal anecdotes, family, pets, etc.

- Your entrepreneurial history: Why you started your company, for example.

- Your environment: For instance, the geographical location where your company is located.


Considerations when choosing a name for your brand:

  • Be consistent with your company's values. The name should help build your brand, so ensure it doesn't have any unwanted associations or puns that could harm your business.
  • Avoid names that resemble your competition's.
  • Steer clear of strange hyphens or symbols, as they can cause issues when applying the name to social media platforms.
  • Make sure your domain name is available.

Best of luck in finding an original business name!