Naming Your Brand

Your brand name – the first, fastest and easiest way that people find you.


Your brand name is the first, fastest and easiest way that people find you, it’s their primary point of navigation, their wayfinder, their point of reference.

If chosen well, your brand name can also be the shortest form of your brand’s story, with a great brand name conveying difference, personality and information.

The start point to your great brand name is your brand story. Without your brand story, your naming process can be nothing more than a frustrating stab in the dark. Keep your story front of mind and following these simple guidelines to naming your brand will be an enjoyable, creative and rewarding process.

Start the naming process with three key steps –

  1. Begin by knowing what it is you’re naming – sum up your business in a single sentence.
  2. Next understand who you want to care about it – form a good picture of your target audience.
  3. Now be confident of what you want to say – define your brands key points and messages.

Now you are ready to shape your creative brief –

  1. What type of name do you prefer? More on this below.
  2. Are there any types of names that you really dislike?
  3. Does your name need stand out from the competition?
  4. Does it need to explain what you do?

During the process try to observe these rules –

  1. Don’t instantly fall in love with a name – it may not make the final cut.
  2. Don’t immediately dismiss a suggestion – give potential names time to percolate.
  3. Don’t test possible names too far out of context – friends and family may not be your target audience.

Now think about the type of name you want –

To help with this decision, what follows are eight different types of brand name, along with well-known examples of each.

Origin names
Derived from founders or history
For example
Johnson & Johnson

Descriptive names
Explains what the brand does
For example
We Buy Any Car
Google Maps

Acronym names
Effective but a bit over-used in branding
For example
International Business Machines – IBM
Ingvar Kamprad Elmtaryd Agunnaryd – IKEA

Invented names
Unique and easier to trademark
For example

Playful names
Stand out and easy to remember
For example
Funky Pigeon

Compound names
Bringing two words together
For example
Wheat Biscuits – Weetabix
Federal Express – FedEx

Metaphor names
Tapping into imagery
For example
Speed and agility – Jaguar
Greek goddess of victory – Nike

Alphanumeric names
Making a name more unique
For example
MS Office 365

In summary, enjoy the process, have fun, and follow these simple do’s and don’ts –

Do –
Create list of key words from info and research.
Develop a broad list of brand name options.
Work with the different brand name types (see above).
Shortlist the best ideas.

Check for domain name availability.
Check social media handles.
Check existing registered companies (Companies House).
Check for existing trademarks ( site).
Make your final shortlist.

Test target audience response.
Make your final choice.

Don’t –
Choose long or overly descriptive names.
Try to say everything in the brand name.

If you would like help naming your brand, contact

Find out more about the power of telling your brand story here.