various logos

The most valuable business asset?

Its name.

If done correctly a brand name can be worth billions and connect with customers in ways marketing can’t.

But most brand names suck.

Here’s a framework to supercharge your business with the right name.

A must-read for startups


There are essentially six types of names

1. Founders names

2. Descriptive

3. Fabricated

4. Metaphorical

5. Acronymic

6. Real words


Here’s the process to make sure you get the right one.

First: Revisit your brand strategy.

Internal Brand

What are you doing?

Why are you doing what you are doing?

What is your purpose?

What is your mission?

What are your values?


Positioning & Offering

Who are your customers?

What are their values?

Who are your competitors?

What is your industry?

What is your position in it?

What is your unique selling proposition?


External Brand

What is your brand’s character?

What are the keywords associated with your brand?


Brand Experience

What are your main touchpoints?

What are your key messages at each touchpoint?


Naming Criteria

Once you have revisited your brand strategy it’s time to look at the criteria for a good name.

This has been put together by Marty Neumeier who is really a hero of branding.

Let’s go.


1. Distinctiveness
Does it stand out?

2. Size
Is it short enough to be remembered?

3. Appropriateness
Is it a good fit for the business? Does it really make sense?

4. Easy to spell and pronounce
Can most people spell it once they have heard it?

5. Likability
Will people enjoy saying it?

6. Extendibility
Will it look good when the visual identity has been created?

7. Protectability
Can it be trademarked? is it available on social media and can you get the URL?

Now you have revisited your strategy and considered the criteria for a good name you can now brainstorm names.


Super important things to consider

Brainstorm names for all 6 types at the beginning.

Please, please don’t forget your brand strategy.

This HAS to lead everything you do.

Does your name indicate what you do?

How you do it?
Why you do it?


Does it indicate your brand personality really well?

Consider all parts of your strategy.



Think about the narrative


A story in a name?


Every good name has a compelling story behind it.

Once people know the story they will remember it AND remember the brand.

Your name should directly connect with your what, how & why.


Make sure the name is simple.

If you confuse people, you lose people.

And we don’t want that.


Be careful of deceptive names that might hide the origin of the product.

For example.

What is this?

Is it butter?

Who knows.

Be careful of acronyms.

Most of the time they don’t work or if they do they sound really boring.

OR they are hiding something.

You will also have to spend a fortune educating people about what your stupid acronym means.


Some examples.

KFC – Hiding the fact that the chicken is fried

UFC – Ultimate Fighting Championship sounds stupid so they changed to UFC

SEC – Securities and Exchange Commission – BORING!


Make sure you consider how you will grow and evolve as a company.

You don’t want your name to be the thing you used to do.

That would be… awkward.


Some examples



Great name

It means ‘play well’ in Danish so very fitting for a toy company. It’s short, easy to spell and memorable. Nice work lego!


Wow, nice.

Feels fast, doesn’t it? Which is their USP for their product. Connecting people, fast.


Cool name for a dog brand! It ties directly into their character. Cool. Short.

Memorable. Easy to spell. It works.

Now you have everything you need to create the best brand name ever.

Write down as many possible names as you can think of.


In summary

1. Don’t forget your brand strategy
2. Remember the criteria for a good name (shown above)
3. Be careful of acronyms
4. Think of lots of examples