The best brand identities are those that are memorable and connect with their audience.

Before even considering a logo for your business, a really important question to ask yourself is:

Have I got the best name for my business?

Coming up with business name ideas can be tricky and a time-consuming process. This article will help entrepreneurs, start-ups and even established businesses who wish to connect on a deeper level with their audience.

Tip One – Brainstorm

Pull out a pen and paper, get your phone out and open up your notes app. Start writing out as many names for your business as you can possibly think of.

You might want to mind map to help you come up with more ideas.

Mind Map

Use books, search the internet, go for a walk … find other sources of inspiration to help you generate business name ideas.

Don’t stop until you have at least 100 names on your list! That’s right – keep going until you can go no more.

Chances are, when you have a huge list of names, you’re going to have at least a few names that are actually really good, feasible business names.

Tip Two – Keep it short

Short names for your business are usually better:

  • They’re more memorable
  • They’re quicker to type into a mobile phone if someone is searching for you
  • It takes up less valuable space (or time) on radio or tv advertising

Tip Three – Be memorable

When you consider your competition, is your name memorable?

Does it stand out from the crowd?

Highlight names on your list that are totally different from anything else you’ve seen before.

Tip Four – Be relevant

A short, memorable name is a great start but is it relevant?

Is it relevant to your customers?

If it is totally unrelated to what you’re looking at or what you’re talking about or what you are selling … cross it off the list.

Tip Five – Be original

This should be an obvious one but if a name is being used by somebody else, take it off the list.

It would be a really good idea to check against trademarks and existing, registered company names at Companies House, the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) or the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), to name a few places in the UK/USA.

If you are intending on trademarking or registering your own business name; it would be advisable to seek help from a solicitor or lawer.

Double check that there aren’t any businesses out there using your already.

Tip Six – Check domain availability

Now that you’ve got your list down to 20 names or so, it’s time to hit the internet.

Open up a browser, go to a domain registrar and start typing your names into the registrar and search for what domain names are actually available.

Missing out this step now could potentially cost you thousands later on if you wanted to buy the name from someone who already owns it.

Here are few registrars that you could try searching:

Tip Seven – Sleep on it

Now that you’ve got a short list, it’s time to sleep on it.

If you wake up the next morning and you still don’t love the names you’ve got there, it’s time to take those names off your list too.

Don’t underestimate the power of using your own name as your business name. You could use your first name (like me) or your last name. Sometimes, having a quirky, fun name just isn’t going to be right.

Tip Eight – Market research

It’s time to go and check with family and friends. Ask them their thoughts and get their feedback on your shortlist of business names.

Even better than the opinion of your family and friends are the opinions of those who are potentially going to be your customers or audience.

Tip Nine – Enlist a brand identity expert

Now that you’ve got a great business name, it’s time to get in touch with a logo designer or brand identity designer. Bring them on your journey and you start to develop and grow your business and your brand.

You can always hire a brand strategist to go through this process for you. They will do all the research needed and present you with a few options to choose from.

BONUS TIP – Buy a business name

An alternative to spending days plowing through hundreds of ideas or even hiring someone to do it for you, is to use business name websites that offer premium domain names for sale or rent.

On you’ll find a great selection of memorable domain names that could be adopted for your business.

If you have any other great ideas for coming up with business names, leave your thoughts in the comments below. I’d love to them and I’m sure you’d be helping others too.

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