The Definitive Guide to Naming your Business

Cosmin Milea
Published on Aug 14, 2017

The Definitive Guide to Naming your Business

Have a great idea for a business, but don’t know what to call it? Strategically and successfully naming your business is one of the hardest steps in the branding process, and it is arguably one of the most important decisions. When naming a business, you have to be thorough and analytical, as well as creative. You want the name to catch the eye of your audience, and be an asset to your company’s brand.
At Pacific 54, we develop a framework to assist you in naming your business. With our direction, clients stress less over finding the perfect name. Below, you will be taken through the framework of naming a business, with examples of our strategy as it pertains to a client in the Financial Industry, who turned to Pacific 54 for guidance in naming their new business.

Brand Vision

To begin the naming process, we ask the company to tell us more about themselves. Specifically, clients are asked about their business, their brand, and their target market. Below are some of the important questions we have clients answer before we dive into the naming process.
About your Business:

  • Which industry does your business operate in?
  • Who are your main competitors?
  • What is the single most important thing that sets your business apart from the competition?

About your Brand:

  • What is your mission?
  • If your brand was a person, how would you describe them?

About your Target Market:

  • What is the age and gender of your target market?
  • How will they learn about your brand?
  • What else can you tell us about your customers?

Personality Brainstorming

The next step towards coming up with the company name and persona is performing a personality brainstorm. At this stage, there are no bad ideas. We referenced the industry the clients were working in (Finance), related national publications (like Forbes), a thesaurus for added inspiration, and industry specific lists and articles. With all of these resources, we formed a comprehensive word bank of phrases related to the business.

Naming Framework

After brainstorming, we then outline possible name types and associations for the business. We started with Industry Types, and came up with the categories of “Financial”, “Corporate” and “Technology” that fit this business. After that, different name categories reflecting business values were decided upon (ex: Quality, Community and Transparency). From there, we started the process of brainstorming names to align with each category.
Once we had a substantial list of name ideas, we narrowed the list down to the top 20 – 30 favorite choices.

Evaluation and Selection

The last step in naming your business is to evaluate each name option on our list of favorite ideas. When we evaluate a name at Pacific 54, we look at availability in four categories: domain name (.com or .co), app names for iOS and Android devices, social media handles and international domains, and we use Panabee to help us find that information! From there, the list of name ideas is ranked based on a 4-point scale, with one point given for each section that is available with that specific name idea. A new list is created with the name ideas that scored 4 out of 4 points.
Now, we have a list of name ideas meet all of the criteria that our client wants. From there, it is up to the business owner(s) to decide which of the names they connect with. If they are still indecisive, a few more questions often to help clarify the remaining names for them. Some of the questions we may ask are:

  • Is your first impression of the name strong?
  • Does it sound good?
  • Is it easy to understand?
  • Use it in a few sentences, does it feel right?
  • Does it relate to your positioning or who you are?

Finally, it is time for the client to narrow down the choices and decide on a name!

Need help naming your business, or looking for a digital agency to help you get started with marketing your brand? Contact Pacific 54 today for all of your digital marketing needs.

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