How to Choose a Brand Name For Your Business: Best Examples And Ideas

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The best way to connect with your customers is by creating a brand. A brand is an image that represents everything about your business, from the product or service you offer to how it makes people feel when they use it.

Most entrepreneurs know that turning their business into a brand can enable them to increase retention, but very few understand how important this step is and what should be considered. 

Creating a brand, and a brand story, is one of the best ways to turn your business into something people really care about - it turns customers into fans. While the creative process itself is in reverse, in the customer's eyes, it all starts with a catchy name.

So without further ado, here are some ideas and guidelines on how to choose a brand name for your business.

1. A clear vision

Having a clear vision about where you want to take your business in the next two, three, and even twenty years is important. One of the most important things about branding is consistency. You don't want to spend time, money, and energy on establishing your brand only to have to do it all over again in five years' time. 

How to Choose a Brand Name For Your Business

More than that, though, your brand name should emphasize what you do and what your goals are to the customers in an attractive way. As the branding consultants from NameStormers have explained succinctly - if you don't have a good brand name, your target audience will simply pass you by. As an example of what a brand name that showcases the company's vision looks like, let's go back to the one we just mentioned.

NameStormers is an effective name - once you hear it, you are likely to be intrigued by it. Not only that, but it states their purpose really well. Other examples of successful brand names that state their purpose clearly would be Burger King, Dunkin' Donuts, and KFC. 

2. Stand out from the crowd

The trouble with stating your purpose in a clear manner through your brand name is that a lot of names are already taken, and the ones available would be too similar. If you own a pizzeria, thinking of a name that would stand out from the well-established crowd of Pizza Hut, Papa John's Pizza, and the like would be a real challenge. 

Stand out from the crowd

That is why you should consider how to choose a brand name that opens the doors to the most opportunities for your business going forward.

Pro-tip: Consider using a business name generator for insight into developing memorable and relevant names for your brand.

In order for your brand to flourish, you need to increase brand awareness, and being unique and creative will make it much easier to do so. Brand names have gotten too generic lately, but there are still some unique ones out there, even if they are not always available.

Some examples of great brand names that give entrepreneurs the chance to set themselves apart from their competition would be Beats by Dre or Starbucks. 

3. Wordplay

A good way to come up with a brand name is by using wordplay. This can be a tricky one, as it is usually harder to trademark puns or other types of clever wordplay. A good way to go about this is to not make the pun too obvious but do it elegantly instead. Using words that have a double meaning instead of being obvious about it is a great way to make your brand memorable.

A great example would be the clothing company called Ivy Park. Not only does the name sound like a high-end retailer, but the wordplay also suggests that the clothes are made from natural materials. Depending on different associations, it could also be reminiscent of the Ivy League colleges, which brings luxury and quality to mind as well. Clever, right? 

4. Symbolism 

Symbolism is a more complicated way of naming your business, but it can be worth the extra effort. Some great examples of this would be Tesla, Apple, and Fox. No matter how you may feel about any of these, in particular, they are among the most recognizable brands in the entire world. None of those names states what the company is about in a clear manner, and yet once you know a little something about the business, it becomes clear where the name came from.

Tesla is named after Nikola Tesla, a prominent investor, and electrical engineer. An apple is also easily identified as a symbol of knowledge and a desire to learn more - hence Apple. The name Fox was chosen because a fox represents wisdom. It is a great way to make your brand stand out, however, it's important to keep in mind that you shouldn't make your audience guess for too long. A word that has a widely accepted symbolism works best in cases like this. 

5. Real word acronym

Another way to think of a brand name that would suit your business well is by thinking of a word that could be turned into an acronym. There are many examples of this, however, let's explore a fan favorite from the movies - (Agents Of) S.H.I.E.L.D.  This is an acronym for Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement, and Logistics Division. It rolls of the tongue easily and sounds very official.

Another great example would be GEICO, which stands for Government Employees Insurance Company. Both of these acronyms are easy to say, and since they represent real things, they offer an easy visual path for the path to go on when it comes to their logos. 

6. Visual

The last way to choose a brand name is by thinking of something with an interesting visual representation. A lot of the companies we already mentioned have that as well - GEICO, and Apple, certainly come to mind. However, Shell is another great example. It is clear what the brand does, but it also reminds you of the sea and fossils - which makes sense considering that they are an oil company. 

How to Choose a Brand Name Visual

This way of naming your business can be tricky because you need to make sure everyone will know what your logo means. Even if it isn't super obvious, you want to make your audience think about your company in a positive way. While the brand name doesn't have to have an immediate specific visual connotation, it's always a good idea to choose one that leaves the option open for you if you want to explore it.

In other words, picking a brand name that is too specific can limit your opportunities in the future - which is good when it comes to distinctiveness but has some downsides as well.

7. How the name translates in different markets

If you're looking to expand overseas, it's also wise to keep the name you choose in mind. Is it easy to spell? Does it have a nice ring in other languages? Choosing a widely spread and understood term in languages that are spoken in most parts of the world (like Spanish and English) is always a safe bet.

Monster is a great example of this, as it is easily translatable and has a similar ring in other languages. Another great option would be Coca-Cola, which sounds the same no matter what language you speak it is - important for an international company. On the other hand, if you don't plan to enter foreign markets in the next few years, it could make sense to focus on what works in your market.

Once you establish yourself there and build a strong presence, you'll have enough resources to expand overseas without having to worry about the translation of your brand name. Huawei is a great example of this - they started in China, and only entered the global market years later. Some companies even decide on different brand names for different markets. For example, the Harry Potter series had different headlines in the UK and in the US. 

8. Creating your own word

Creating your brand name yourself - by creating your own word that doesn't otherwise exist is another way to go about things, but also one that requires careful thought. It needs to be influential enough that people start using it in the right way and it needs to be easy to remember. 

Creating your own word

This is what Google did when they first started out - they used a made-up word, Googol, which is a number (1 followed by 100 zeroes). Not only was it memorable, but people also started using it as an actual verb in the English language. While it's not a brand, another example would be to stan someone - a verb that didn't exist before Eminem's song, Stan.

You could also go down the route of completely making up a name by putting letters together that sounds great when you say them but don't have any meaning behind them. It's a risky strategy, but if successful, one that's sure to have people talking about your brand. 

Conclusion: How to choose a brand name for your business: best examples and ideas

Now that you know a little bit more about how to choose a brand name for your business, it's time to get started! Just make sure to keep these things in mind, so you can create something that is both unique and memorable. 

Of course, if you're still stuck on coming up with something great yourself, you shouldn't hesitate to reach out to professionals and get their opinion as well.

About the author 

Peter Keszegh

Most people write this part in the third person but I won't. You're at the right place if you want to start or grow your online business. When I'm not busy scaling up my own or other people' businesses, you'll find me trying out new things and discovering new places. Connect with me on Facebook, just let me know how I can help.

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