Sometimes a great name comes along effortlessly. Maybe it appears naturally from a product or service, or perhaps it’s the first idea that a team thinks of—and it’s absolutely perfect.
However, that’s not usually how it works. Behind many of the best brand names is a strategic and expert process. This process incorporates creativity, the human factor, and sophisticated research.
Let’s explore three critical factors for finding a business name that rolls off the tongue and sticks in the mind.
Your Name Should Hit the Bullseye
The name you choose should be directly oriented towards a bullseye, i.e. a specific goal. The goal involves conveying something important about your company or service through your chosen name.
To help zone in on your bullseye, it’s useful to consider the shotgun approach vs. the rifle approach. It’s a useful comparison for articulating any sort of marketing strategy.
|Shotgun Approach vs. Rifle Approach|
|Shotgun Approach||Targeted towards the broadest possible audience|
|Rifle Approach||Targeted precisely at a well-defined audience|
A shotgun fires an entire batch of projectiles. It’s a less precise, more broad attack. A shotgun has its uses, but it’s not a particularly elegant tool.
Taking a “shotgun approach” refers to marketing towards a wide audience. Shotgun approach marketing involves getting your name seen as much as possible by the general public.
A rifle, meanwhile, has a grooved barrel. This causes the bullet to spin, allowing for a more accurate shot. The “rifle approach,” likewise, is all about precision. This approach involves directly targeting a well-defined audience.
The goal of the rifle approach is to hit the bullseye dead-on—and that’s exactly the mission when developing a new name for a business, brand, or product. Naming a product using the rifle approach means creating a name that’s incisive and memorable.
A name hits the bullseye when it zones in on one or two key characteristics or value propositions. The goal is to direct the audience’s attention squarely on those ideas, rather than trying to sum up every positive aspect of your brand.
When NameStormers worked with Hoover, a name was needed for a new vacuum model. The vacuum was lightweight, easily folded, and excellent at accessing tough-to-reach areas.
The chosen name: Agility. In one word, this name sums up the key attributes that were targeted: ease of use, convenient folding design, and dexterous cleaning reach.
Agility doesn’t tell you everything about the vacuum. It doesn’t mention suction power or storage capacity. Those are more generic vacuum attributes, and they weren’t the key selling points for this item.
Once you’ve identified the bullseye that you’re aiming at, your naming journey is well underway.
The Best Names Are Evocative
To be evocative is to conjure up strong imagery, feelings, and memories. That’s exactly what a good name does: it stirs up all sorts of activity in the minds of people who come across it.
When we helped 7-Eleven name a new coffee blend, we knew that coming up with something evocative was a priority.
Coffee drinkers are passionate about their morning cup. However, coffee is everywhere—how can a name help one coffee seem more delicious, more comforting, more enticing than another?
To create an irresistible allure that would differentiate this coffee from all others, 7-Eleven opted for Heavenly Blend. With just two common words, this name evokes all sorts of imagery … a unique and divine brew from the heavens.
Every good name is evocative in its own way. Once you’ve determined the key differentiators for your company, brand, or product, you can begin to search for a name that presses the right buttons.
It’s Okay to Be a Little Bit Risky
Knowing which risks are worth taking is a key component of the entrepreneurial mindset. Sometimes, naming is the appropriate time to embrace a bit of risky spirit.
Risky naming doesn’t need to involve four-letter words, controversy, bad puns, or bizarre word choices. A proper amount of risk simply involves choosing a name that’s a bit unexpected, clever, or edgy.
Case in point: Edge, a line of low-carb salty snacks that we helped name for the Frito Lay Doritos company.
What ideas come to mind when you hear this name? It works because Edge evokes quite a few pertinent suggestions all at once.
- Edge can refer to an advantage—like the advantage of a great-tasting snack that happens to be low in carbs.
- An edge could refer to the extra energy you have when you’re choosing healthier snacks.
- An edge is a margin of superiority—like this chip’s edge over other snacks, or the customer’s edge over whoever they’re in competition with.
- An edge is a transition point, such as the transition from a high-carb to low-carb diet.
- An edge refers to zest and personality, conjuring up the familiar spice and attitude of the Doritos brand.
Staking a claim to a single commonly-used word like Edge is risky. It’s a bold move that’s perhaps only appropriate for a well-established company. By saying “the Edge is ours,” Doritos announced their new product with gusto.
Whether you’re a household name or a tiny startup, naming is a great way to explore the edge of your business’s boundaries. Gauge risk, be bold, and pick a name that flexes your power.
Finding the Perfect Brand Name With NameStormers
Name creation is a moment of opportunity. At NameStormers, our specialty is helping your organization capitalize on that opportunity.
We’ll help you find a name for your product, company, or service—the name that helps you get the opportunities that you deserve. The name that communicates your arrival, your confidence, and the value that you have to offer.
Anyone can think of a name. However, finding the right name can be the difference between success and failure. Between surviving and thriving.
We believe that naming is both a science and an art form. We’re grateful that our efforts are consistently recognized by our clients and their customers. We’re also the proud recipients of a sparkling trophy case of accolades. With our most recent awards, we were:
- Named a “Top Branding Agency” by DesignRush in January 2021
- Identified as one of the Best Branding Agencies in Austin on Expertise.com
- Recognized as a “Top Naming Agency” by Clutch and The Manifest three years in a row
- The recipient of a 2021 Gold Muse Award for our branding work with IntelliDent
- The winner of a 2021 Hermes Gold Award
- The winner of a 2021 NYX Marcom Gold Award
The NameStormers Naming Process
Naming your company can be the most important business decision you ever make. Our expert process is rigorous, befitting the significance of the decision you’ll make.
Naming is about much more than the name itself. We’ll help your team to clarify the lines between your business, brand, and services. A nuanced perspective on these divisions is essential to a modern business approach.
We then consider your audience. The target market, along with investors, employees, and other stakeholders all must be considered. An expert perspective on what clicks with your entire audience is invaluable during this process.
Finally, we’ll create a name that brings your company to life. Of course, we don’t just provide you with a single name. We bring a diverse list of ideas to the table, scored based on availability and potential.
The decision is yours, but we’ll equip you with incredible options and a deeply-researched perspective. Our range of services includes:
- Company naming: creating appealing names that represent your company’s values
- Product and service naming: creating names that portray your company’s vision for products and services, making sure the name is in line with the brand
- Brand naming: creating new brand names that will shape the direction of all of the brand’s other elements, like logos, imagery, and messaging
- Trademark screening: trademark research including state checks, common law usage, and web screenings
- Domain screening: relevant, appropriate, and compliant domain screening
- Linguistic screening: culturally-sensitive screening to ensure that names are appropriate in meaning and pronunciation across different cultures and languages
- Naming research: a brand naming research process that duplicates real-life scenarios to elicit authentic reactions
- Logo creation: a four-step approach that creates an ideal visual representation for your brand
A brilliant name is a key that unlocks your organization’s full potential. For the best possible results from the next name you choose, contact NameStormers.