So you have a great idea for a new business and you are hungry to get started. But there is one problem, you have no idea how to come up with a brand name! You will have no doubt searched for creative business name generators only to find that these names are already taken.
Let me tell you, I have been in this EXACT position! And not just once or twice. I face the problem of creating catchy business names EVERY time I start a new company. And I have done this a lot.
In this article I am going to teach my tried and tested method to not only generate catchy business name ideas. But also how to ensure that it is 100% unique and owned by you!
Let’s Dive right in…
How to come up with a brand name
Wouldn’t it be great if deciding on your brand name was as simple as writing it on a shop front. Times have changed and with them, we have to change too.
In 2019, your brand name is about your identity. It tells your customer who you are, and what you do. It is the first thing they see and the name that they will tell others about.
So you have to get it right!
That being said, I want to be very clear. It should NOT stop you creating your products or launching your business. Don’t use it as an excuse not to get started! Use it as an opportunity to support your new company’s image.
Where to begin
The first thing to do is research your target market. There is no use trying to sell a pink makeup bag to ‘Big Gazza’ that drinks motor oil and dead lifts family saloon cars. Therefore, your company name needs to reflect this!
So how to do you come up with a name for a new company?
Top 3 ways to come up with a business name yourself…
These are great ways to come up with a simple catchy name for your brand. Try using the first letter of each word to build our your business name. Notable brands that have done similar include:
Using Foreign Words
This is a very simple way of building out your initial name. Simply write down all of the words that relate to your brand. For example, if you were a brand that sold decks of cards you could write:
- Card Games
Then take this list and translate them into multiple other languages. A foreign sounding business name can be very memorable to consumers.
Use your personal name
Ok, this one is a risky strategy. Bear in mind that when you do this you will forever be tied to the business you are creating. In some cases, the company will outgrow you and this will not be an issue. Think, Marks and Spencer or John Lewis .
But in some cases, as an SME you will be heavily linked to your business. This could prove detrimental when you look to move away from the business in the future.
Business Name Generators
Another fantastic way to find catchy business names is to use business name generators. These are great tools that will allow you to use a number of methods, such as putting in two related words. They will then ‘spew’ out some great (and some not so great) business names for you to choose from.
I have collated a list of my favourite name generators below:
- Shopify – This is probably the best name generator as it first allows you to chose based on industry. The only downside to this one is that it will only generate names based on one word.
- NameLix – This company offer a free name generator service that is incredibly simple.
- Oberlo – Offers a wide variety of names, based on one word.
- Masterpiece Generator – This is a great tool as it allows you to plug in the names of directors, business activities and locations!
Choosing your brand name
So you have finally chosen your name. Time to celebrate… right?
I’m afraid not. Now you need to make sure that you can own it… FULLY.
This is a step that is missed out by lots of small businesses. And it can be very damaging to your brand as you grow.
Step 1: Create your list…again
Now that you have an option for a business name, build out more! Using the methods shown earlier in this article. You are going to need a list of at least 10x business names that you would be happy with choosing.
Once you have these decided on, you need to conduct these 3 checks:
- Ensure that the domain is not already owned
- Confirm that the company name is not already registered
- Check there are no open trademarks for the brand name
Step 2: Checking the domain name
This is the first and easiest check in your search:
- Go to Who.Is
- Type in the brand name you wish to register
- Who is, will then show you what domains are available. Typically, you will want the .co.uk or .com domain
- If your desired domains are not available, then scratch them off your list!
Step 3: Check the name is not already registered
You have now confirmed all of the names that you can get a domain for. But now you must check that your new company name is available, in order to set up a company.
- Visit Companies house
- Click ‘Find Company Information’
- Hit ‘Start Now’
- Search the company name you wish to set up
- Scroll down the list to ensure that no-one already owns a company of this name
Step 4: Check the trademark register
Now you are onto the final step. You list has whittled down to the last few business names that you can choose from. And the end is in sight!
So keep your fingers and toes tightly crossed, because this is the last step in deciding the future of your business name…
- Visit the Trademark Register – WARNING, only use the link with the .GOV domain. There are plenty of companies out there that will charge you and they will submit your trademark request for you. DON’T DO THIS. It is inexpensive and fairly easy to do yourself, and you will save yourself a lot of money not using them.
- Next search ‘Keyword, Phrase or Image’
- Now you need to scroll down to where it reads ‘Search Word(s)’. There is a lot of text on this page, so don’t get confused and just find this one field.
- Now you will hit ‘Search’. And similar to how you checked for company names, you will now search to see if there are any trademarks under your chosen company name.
And there you have it…
You now have the quick and easy way to come up with a brand name. And more importantly, verify that you can keep that brand name forever.
Remember, if you don’t conduct these checks you could find yourself having to change your name further down the line as you grow your business. This can damage your reputation, hurt your bottom line and is EASILY avoidable by following the steps in this article.