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Once upon a NameStormers

1985: Salinon (a cool math symbol but terrible moniker for a naming company) was founded by four ex-Nielsen Market Research executives, including Mike Carr.

1986: We developed and launched the first commercially available name generator for PCs with 11 naming methods and databases, including an AI module.

1991-1992: Our Windows-based solution, NamePro, was unveiled. While thousands of copies of the software were sold, customers started requesting name consulting services. Software name generators were and continue to be too simplistic. Clients needed names that reflected their mindsets and motivators, incorporating human-based insights that considered cultural nuances, the competitive environment & language etymology, and that were legally vetted & market-tested.

1993-2022: Mike and business partner Kay purchased the naming business from Salinon and launched NameStormers, leveraging the latest creative techniques and research technology. Today, after 1,000+ successful engagements, NameStormers continues to help clients get the opportunities they deserve with engaging, memorable names.

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Company Naming Consultants

As you can see from our timeline, brand naming is in our DNA. We’re obsessed with helping companies develop names for businesses, products, and services that immediately make them stand out in their industry.

But there’s more to creating a compelling brand identity than mere brainstorming. It also requires careful research with your target to make sure it engages and resonates. It must spark brand loyalty, which can be challenging for a new company to develop. And it has to be emotionally compelling for the people seeing it for the first time, which is not always straightforward.

That’s where our services can help. Choosing us to guide your naming process gives you access to experienced professionals with decades of experience creating some of the most celebrated brands in the U.S. and beyond.

Business and product naming requires more than pulling names out of a hat. It demands thinking at length about the brand experience you want to create while reducing the risk of trademark infringement. Whether developing a new brand or refining an old one, your name is critical to make that right first impression.

What A Brand Name Should Achieve

As a branding agency, we believe brand names should achieve various objectives.

Legally Protectable

Any new brand or domain name should be legally protectable and avoid trademark infringement. It also shouldn’t create any confusion with existing brands. Every name proposed should be unique and sufficiently dissimilar from already existing ones.

Adaptable And Flexible

A great brand should also be adaptable and flexible to market conditions. It shouldn’t lock you into a current fad or trend that becomes passe or dated tomorrow. You need to be able to add products and services without having to change your name or brand positioning.


Brand naming should also be coherent. Any choice should align with your corporate identity, allowing you to create a unified communication strategy across channels.


The branding process should also aim to create a meaningful name that communicates the core value offered to customers. The target audience should be able to identify the benefits of spending money immediately.


Finally, a professional brand should be distinctive and original. Memorable names perform better because customers can more easily recall and associate them with a specific product or service.

How We Help To Create An Incredible Brand Name

The brand naming process is complex. Leading companies often spend months naming services and products before launch. However, there are numerous strategies you can use when trying to cook up compelling company names or product names.

Define Your Objective

The first step is to define the brand type you want to create. Do you want to name your company, create a new sub-brand, or find a new descriptor?

Figuring out which of these apply is essential. Ensuring everyone is on the same page increases the likelihood of accessing the best and most relevant ideas.

Expand Your Horizons

It’s also critical to expand your horizons. A strong brand should be able to cross borders and go beyond the local areas as the business changes.

Many once-local brands have incorporated this “brand stretching” into their naming strategies. For instance, the Holt Tractor Company transformed into Caterpillar, while the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company became 3M.

Play With Words

Another technique to create an incredible brand is to play with words, particularly when naming products or services. Trying out various combinations can help inspire new ideas and introduce you to patterns you wouldn’t have considered otherwise.

If you explore the topic of corporate branding more deeply, you’ll notice that many companies adopt this strategy: taking snippets from here and there to create something new. For instance, the sports brand Adidas gets its name from its founder. Adolph Dassler combined his nickname “Adi” with “Das” from his last name to create the iconic brand.

Combine Creative Enterprises

You can also try combining various creative outlets to increase the likelihood of success. Instead of sitting in a room and using nothing more than your mind, you could include AI tools, field trips (a trip to your local ice cream store can really get the creative juices flowing, naming services (like ours), and brand consultants in the naming effort. Operating multiple creative channels makes a breakthrough more likely.

Add Personality

Another ingredient of brand strategy is to add an element of personality. The most successful brands tend to have an “edge” or distinct character.

Again, you have likely encountered this effect as a consumer. Edgy business names include Red Bull, ASOS, Urban Outfitters, and Missguided.

Reduce Length

You can also create an incredible brand name by reducing its length and abiding by the principle “less is more.” Brand equity tends to increase when simplified and focused, because it tends to cut through the clutter more effectively.

Throughout history, brands changed their names to make their corporate identity more recognizable. For example, the British business, T E Stockwell and J Cohen Ltd. became Tesco. Closer to home, Kentucky Fried Chicken became the now-ubiquitous KFC. And the Financial Times now goes primarily by the name FT.

If shortening doesn’t work for you, you can experiment with an alternative related handle. For example, the Yellow Pages chose the domain name Yell (yes, even a baby name might work), and American Express opted for the abbreviation Amex.

Check If It Is Protectable

While cooking up names, you should also check if the brand is protectable. There’s no point coming up with a great name if you can’t defend it.

Fortunately, a naming agency can help with this process. Professionals can search existing trademarked names and tell you whether your naming effort conflicts with them. You can also find out if you are liable to encounter any legal trouble, even if the proposed name isn’t identical.

Test Names Internationally

Cultural and linguistic screening is another essential aspect of the process. Any company name you choose should work in foreign languages, particularly if you intend to sell to the global market.

For instance, British automaker Rolls Royce had to change the name of its vehicle, Silver Mist, to Silver Shadow because of the vulgar meaning of the word “mist” in German. Mitsubishi encountered a similar problem with the Pajero. The word means “someone who talks trash.” Unsurprisingly, the vehicle didn’t sell well. Microsoft also got into trouble when it released Windows Vista in parts of Eastern Europe. Vista means “chicken” in Latvian.

Try Names In Various Typefaces

Finally, the most intelligent companies trial names in various typefaces to see what they look like first before automatically rejecting them. While some brand names might seem out of place written in Arial, they often make more sense when written in a complementary font.

The brand name “FT” doesn’t have much impact alone, but it communicates the brand’s image when written in block text. The same goes for Coca-Cola in handwritten script.

The Benefits Of Using A Brand Naming Agency

While you can cook up your own brand names, you often need help. Fortunately, a naming service, like NameStormers, can provide support. These make it far more likely to get a name that fits your brand architecture.

More Memorability

The ability to generate a more memorable name is perhaps the biggest benefit of using naming agencies. Professional naming teams inherently understand which words are most likely to grab attention and win the affection of audiences. Social media knowledge enables them to predict which words will lead to brand awareness.

Comprehensive Research And Analysis

A brand naming company can also conduct research and analysis to determine whether a name is relevant, appealing, and legally available in the target market. The consultancy checks if the new name meets your enterprise’s objectives through various approaches.

For instance, a naming agency can provide audience-tested brand names with proven marketplace recognition. Instead of jumping in with a phrase without precedent, you can hedge your bets by trying something similar to what’s worked before (or not, depending on your budget and appetite for risk-taking).

You can also use the branding company to go through the long process of checking the legal permissibility of the new brand. Agents perform relevant database and paperwork checks on your behalf, saving you time and money.

Strategic Guidance

Your brand naming agency can also offer strategic guidance. A brand strategy helps you craft a name that reflects your brand’s identity and values, protecting you against a mismatch between your stated goals and brand naming.

For instance, you might create a company name that sounds great but subtly works against the image you want to convey. The syntax, symbolism, or lettering might conflict with the image you’re after, creating a disconnect with your targets.

Similarly, some brands choose names that fail to align with their long-term aspirations. Here, again, using a naming service can help. Consultants can probe names across multiple dimensions, checking they fit your business plan.

Pitfall Avoidance

Working with an agency also helps with brand, service, and product naming pitfalls. As discussed above, many brands fail to perform adequate language screening, causing them to release products in some geographies that sell poorly because of a deficient name choice.

However, there are many other pitfalls. For instance, some brands can fall into the trap of making their new name confusing. Mistakes include:

  • Using the wrong type of typeface
  • Including too many words or descriptors
  • Creating a name with negative associations
  • Making the name ambiguous

You can also fall into the trap of making the branding too tepid for fear of offending. Striking a middle ground is essential and is something many successful brands do.


You can also use naming firms for validation or getting assurances from various stakeholders that the name makes sense. For example, aside from audience testing, agencies can also check if your name suits employees, senior executives, investors, and any other parties with a vested interest. You may discover that a name that sounds great on paper doesn’t work emotionally when you implement it.


Finally, a branding agency can assist with implementation or putting a new company name into practice. Agencies can assist with taglines, logos, website pages, and marketing materials. Bringing everything together gives you a 360-degree view of your brand name and how to implement it for maximum effect.

Our Naming Process

NameStormers adopts a unique approach to naming designed to ensure you can put your business’s best foot forward.

The first step is to gather information about your firm. Just complete a thorough questionnaire or Zoom call with us about your brand, rivals, mission, goals, values, and people, and we will take all of this critical information into account.

Next, we start the ideation process. This stage considers ideas that leverage your brand story and make sense for your audience.

Once we finish imagining, we move on to screening. This stage ensures your company name doesn’t conflict with other trademarks. We also check domain name availability and whether the brand is suitable for other languages globally.

If you have an existing brand name, we look for ways to build on this, providing hints to your current audience while providing your firm with something more compelling. Creating a link to your old name helps customers transition to the new one while giving your firm a new lease on life.

After ideation and filtering comes the pitch. Here, we present a new company name and our reasons for choosing it. We discuss why it might work in your context and how it could help you build the type of enterprise you want to develop. You’ll receive a rationale for our choices and why we made them, giving you justification for the new name.

Next comes fine-tuning. This stage of the process is where we listen to comments and suggestions from you and your team. If you want amendments, we modify them accordingly.

Finally, we test the return on investment on any names we provide. Our goal is to ensure your organization increases its margins and becomes more profitable as a result of the name changes we make.

Get in touch with our team to learn more. We can assist with a single company name or help you develop entire branding families for your organization. Partner with us to effectively communicate your brand and give your business a big boost.

We want to help you be insanely successful!

Download our free eBook:

The Method and Process of Creating Business Names

This eBook shows you our step-by-step process for naming CarMax®, Angry Orchard®, Canon Powershot®, and many other iconic names.


  • Time-saving naming tips
  • Common pitfalls to avoid
  • Inspiration for professional naming

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