How to pick a business name

how to pick a business name

Once upon a time lived a girl who had a dream. A dream to start a business and change her world and the world. She had an amazing idea that she knew was going to be amazing and after a lot of hard work and determination, she was going to get there. But then came the part of naming her business. She froze. One name was too out there and one name was too boring – she needed a name that was just right. 

Queue the hours of brainstorming and second-guessing that followed. Until she came up with the perfect name. One that captured her business and its personality perfectly. One that if people needed her business, they would remember her brand. 

But how did she get there? 

Now if you Google “how to pick a business name” it will come up with things like:

  • Be descriptive but not to general or vague

  • Use related words in a creative way

  • Keep it simple

  • Don’t copy your competitors

  • Choose a name that is scaleable

  • Make sure the domain is there

They are all valid points. But, coming up with a business name doesn’t require certain steps. You shouldn’t listen to articles that say ‘it needs to be this’ or ‘it needs to be that’. Being influenced by different people’s perspectives or opinions can steer you away from what your business is actually about. 

So our biggest business naming tip? Make sure it aligns with your values, vision and voice. 

Want to know how other brands came up with their name? Read below: 

Casey Mason – The Real Her Project

“Naming my business definitely didn’t come easily.  I did Google generators, watched multiple videos with tips and tricks, I wrote out (what felt like) 100 options, but like every great idea, it came to me like a lightbulb moment as I was sitting on the couch watching TV.  I think the background research helped, but sometimes separating yourself and allowing those ideas to come together over a bit of time is the best way to go about it. Don’t put pressure on it, focus on your values and how you want people to feel when they hear your name.  Do your research but don’t put pressure on it and it will all come together over time.”

Kateena Mills – Club Sandwich Co

“It came to me while driving one day. My partner loves sandwiches so I knew if we were going to have a business it should incorporate that, and then the ‘club’ element brings a few extra meanings. Firstly, club sandwiches have multiple layers of bread and filling, like HR has culture and compliance. Secondly, we want to work closely with our clients and be a part of their club! And lastly, to wrap it all together, sandwiches are always better when someone else makes them (just like outsourcing your HR!). “

Erin Green – Greenery and Co

“We inject new ways for business owners to get their ideas and bring their strategies into fruition so we inject greenery – greenery is new, fresh, and really vibrant. Also, my name heavily plays into it, and I love a good dad joke!”

Helen and Jacqui – Two Girls and a Laptop

“So, after many coffees, wines and a catchups at the swings, we thought why not make the leap and just get something off the ground. And we did. Our story starts with us training for a 30km Trek on a miserable rainy day, throwing around names and none of them feeling quite right – and then we realised, we were trying too hard. Our client is just like us, a women who is running their own empire with a laptop. Often tapping away on their keyboard after the bed-time routine has been done, posting on Social Media in bed when all the lights are off (and it’s supposed to be a ‘device free zone’), and running to the post office shipping customer orders whilst still making it to the school pickup on time – we get all of it!

Two Girls and a Laptop is really who we are.

We get together and work on each others kitchen benches – sometimes with kidlets at our feet, always with a cup of tea. We are continuously ‘whats apping’ each other our ideas, and our ‘dropbox folder’ is our holy grail. It’s not glamorous, we don’t get an annual incentive to head over to Fiji, but it works for us, and we are stoked to have worked with the clients we have so far, as they’ve left us feeling excited that our vision and ideas for Two Girls and a Laptop are really coming to life!”

Yiota Athousis – Ola Digital

“I was on my honeymoon in the Amalfi Coast, thinking about how much happier I would be to go home after such an amazing holiday if I had my own business to work towards. But to start a business, I knew I needed to have a name – and a good one at that. My husband and I spitballed ideas after ideas to each other, but I kept coming back to wanting my name to reflect something about my Greek heritage,

That’s when I blurted out OLA! Ola Design, Ola Agency, Ola… Digital! Ola means ‘everything’ in Greek so ‘everything digital’ seemed very fitting to me. I didn’t know how I wanted to refine or evolve the business in the future, so Ola Digital it was.

A proud and memorable moment about where it all began!”

Emma Lewis – Canvast

Canvast is the combination between two words – Canvas and Vast – canvas being that your life is a blank canvast and vast being that it can be as big and magic and wide as you want it to be. I actually wanted to start a glamping business before I started Canvast, and the word canvas was going to be involved in that too, because the tents were obviously made of canvas, but it translated over just as beautifully! I was stuck on it for a really long time, but was reminded that the word nike never had a meaning until it became known worldwide.  I reckon it’ll be the same for Canvast 😉