What’s in a name?

Choosing a name is intimidating. Every name tells a story and becomes a part of our collective lexicon. So it is important to select a name with resonance and strength. The more of the following characteristics a name has, the stronger the name will be:

  • design inspiration
  • disruptiveness
  • emotionality
  • layers of meaning
  • memorability
  • musicality
  • originality
  • personality & positioning
  • simplicity
  • storytelling
  • wit & wordplay


Of all these, simplicity is a key component. Rhythm and rhyme are also important as they help people to remember names. The naming process begins with competitive research, including observing naming trends in the space the business or product occupies in the marketplace. There are a number of categories and styles in naming that are helpful in generating ideas.


Naming Categories & Styles

  • appropriated
  • benefit-driven
  • coined
  • function-driven
  • emotional/feeling
  • evocative
  • experiential
  • figurative/abstract
  • hybrid/portmanteau
  • idiomatic
  • literal/straightforward
  • non-associative
  • shelf evident
  • story driven
  • wordplay/puns


Ask questions about the characteristics and personality of the business or product to identify attributes that help generate ideas and find different directions to go in as you think of potential names. After the brainstorming session,  narrow down the options and evaluate the strength of the top choices of the characteristics you’ve selected that resonate well with the target audience. The strongest names will then undergo a domain and trademark check to assess the viability of the options. Never fall in love with a name before you find out if it is available.

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