10 Tips for Creating a Catchy Business Name
Now that you're ready to find a name for your business, here are ten tips that you can experiment with to create a brand name that will catch your audience's attention and stick in their mind.
1. Make Up A Word
Some of the most creative businesses today have made up, invented names. Companies such as Google. Yahoo, Zappos, and Sony all eschewed conventional keyword names in favor of name that meant nothing initially.
Using an invented name for your business has a few advantages:
- Built for catchiness -- since they aren’t based on a word, they can be built to be as catchy as possible.
- Easily trademarkable -- Invented names are unique, so they are much easier to trademark.
- Highly Brandable -- Invented names don't have built in connotations that keyword names do. This means you have a blank canvas on which to tell your brand story.
When done well, this tactic can work wonders. Yet of all the tips on this list, it's probably the hardest to pull off. Remember, when you make up a word, you want it to be easy to spell, easy to pronounce, and easy to remember.
Many of the names available on our website are invented and will help you get started.
Browse this list of creative business names for ideas.
2. Make Use Of Alliteration
While the word "alliteration" may conjure up bad memories of English class, it's a useful tactic when naming a business. Alliteration is the repetition of consonant sounds in each word. That usually means that they start with the same letter, but it doesn’t have to:
Brand names that use alliteration are the definition of catchy: they're fun to say and easy to remember.
Some famous examples of businesses that have used an alliterative approach:
Chuck E. Cheese's
A common way to use alliteration in business naming is to take your core product or service, and pair it with a favorable adjective that indicates your brand positioning. Do you make travel equipment that's weightless? Light Luggage might work for you. Do you specialize in creating awe-inspiring documents? Consider a name like Perfect Presentations.
3. Make It Memorable
If there's one thing your business name should be, it's memorable. Boring business names like Bob's Pest Control, Matherson Digital Agency, and E-Z-Buy Car Lot are entirely forgettable. They have no staying power and nothing that demands that a future customer remember them at all.
To test if your name is memorable enough, try telling a handful of people about the business name you're considering. A few days later, ask them if they remember what it was. If no one can recall the name, move on.
4. Make It Short And Sweet
Some of the catchiest business names in use today are extremely simple:
When you choose a simple business name, it conveys that your business will be easy to work with. And one thing is for sure—consumers love easy.
Are you looking for a short brand name? Browse a list of our short domain names, each paired with an innovative logo, to see if any might work for your brand.
5. Make It Easy To Spell
If you're in the beginning phases of building brand equity, do you want to make it harder for people to get to you?
Making your business name easy to spell is very important for people to be able to find your website, phone number, and address when trying to look you up.
6. Avoid Slang
It can be tempting for some businesses to incorporate a slang word into their business name to come across as cool or trendy. The urge to use slang is especially strong for businesses with a younger target audience.
However, if you hope to build a business that lasts, it's a near guarantee that whatever slang word you choose now will be old and used up in a few years. And once that happens, your business will come across as the exact opposite of what you had originally intended.
7. Combine Words
A few years ago, the media started combining the names of two celebrities who were dating as a fun way to refer to the couple. Bennifer. Brangelina. This same trick can apply to company names.
Also known as a portmanteau, the combining of two or more words is a great way to come up with a catchy business name.
Pinterest - combines the words pin and interest.
Accenture- combines the words accent and future.
Fudgsicle - combines the words fudge and popsicle.
What portmanteau could work for your business? Try choosing two meaningful words that describe your business well and play around with combining them. You could also try incorporating two business partners' names or the owner's last name and a word. The possibilities are endless.
8. Drop A Letter
Taking a letter out of a word is a simple way to make a bland business name interesting. For example, dropping an "e" at the end of a word is an effortless way to create catchy business names. In a short word, you may also try removing all of the vowels. This tactic works best with high-tech companies or app creators.
Digital library Scribd did this when they took the final "e" out of the word "scribed". Flickr also took advantage of this trend when they dropped the last "e" in the word "flicker".
9. Use Compound Words
Similar to the portmanteau, you can combine two words to come up with catchy business names instead of dropping part of each word to make a new one. This tactic is especially popular in the realm of social media, with giants like Facebook, Snapchat, and Foursquare using this naming method.
For a company that offers virtual reality driving experiences, they could call themselves DigitalDrive or VirtualVroom. A manufacturer or washing machines could try something like WashingWhizz. What two words could you combine to create a catchy brand name that represent your business?
10. Add New Meaning To An Existing Word
If all else fails, trying thumbing through a dictionary to find an interesting word that could represent your business. One of the wealthiest companies in the world, Amazon, did this when they named their business after a river in South America. Babble named their digital publication after a word that means "to utter sounds or words imperfectly, indistinctly, or without meaning". And Aetna was named after a volcano in Italy.
Once you've come up with a name you think will work for your business, make sure that you investigate the name in search engines, social media, and domain name registration services. You should also search your local division of corporations to ensure no one has already registered the name you're considering. The last thing you want to do is compete with an existing brand over your name.
Still stuck on naming your business? At Brand Bucket, we've created a huge database of brand names and logos to make naming your business a breeze. Search some of our business name ideas to find the perfect one for your new brand.