So you’d like to name your company or product. You’ve had your million-dollar idea, now what are you going to call it? Here at Catchword, we know that naming is tough. Even with our nearly 20 years of naming experience, every project still presents unique challenges. But with some time, elbow grease, and professional naming agency wisdom, we can help you name it like a pro!

1) Take Your Time

Your product or company took a long time to create right? And if you’re naming it, it’s still a work in progress. So our first piece of advice is this: allow ample time for creating your brand name. How long? At least four to six weeks. By the time you’ve assembled your team, developed a creative brief that outlines your name messages and creative directions, and sat down to start brainstorming names, you may find that two weeks have already gone by! Don’t rush. Allow time for multiple rounds of creative development, shortlisting your favorites, and screening name candidates.

2) Involve All Key Stakeholders

We’ve seen it happen too many times. A team finds a name that they love, legally vets it for availability, designs an awesome logo, and brings it to the CEO who… hates it. Back to square one.

Always involve key brand stakeholders from the very beginning of the naming project, making sure they have input in everything from the creative brief to the final name selection. Anyone who has the power to say no to a name should be a part of the process as much as possible.

3) Know Your Audience

Remember in sixth grade when they taught you to identify your audience before starting your essay? Well, in naming and branding, knowing your audience will earn you more than a gold star; it can be the difference between fame and flop.

You’re naming your brand for your customers, not for you, so try to put yourself in their shoes. What do you offer that’s most important to them? What’s their background? What other brands do they like? And, perhaps most importantly, why should they choose you instead of the competition? Answering these questions before you start naming will help you focus your creative toward creating the most robust and relevant names.

4) Don’t Let Dot-Com Be a Hang-Up

So you want a memorable name that’s short, a real word, pronounceable in every language, and available as an exact dot-com. Well, so do several million other businesses. But consider this: not only will an exact dot-com be exorbitantly expensive (up to six figures for highly desirable domains), but it may be completely unnecessary for your brand.

Unless you’re an online consumer brand doing retail directly with customers, you’ll be fine with a domain name modifier. Look at us doing just swimmingly at CatchwordBranding.com. No matter what your name is, these days most people will find you by using a search engine. And if you must have an exact dot-com, there are plenty of sites that offer brandable domains for sale. Check out our own curated collection, JustTheWord.

5) Hedge Your Bets with Multiple Names

So you’ve successfully reached the end of your naming project and now you have a shortlist of names that passed screening and are available as domains in some form. That’s great! The last thing you need to do before you pick and announce your new name is to send several names to a professional legal team for a thorough vetting.

Too many times before we’ve heard of clients who adopted their favorite name only to receive a nasty cease and desist letter from a brand that was already using it. Think of your final name candidates like your children–there may be some who deep down are your favorite, but you love them all equally and unconditionally. That way you can be happy choosing any of the names that pass the final legal hurdle.

Follow these steps and you’ll be on your way to a great new name. But if you’ve read all this and you now realize you really could use some help, give us a call!

So you’d like to name your company or product. You’ve had your million-dollar idea, now what are you going to call it? Here at Catchword, we know that naming is tough. Even with our nearly 20 years of naming experience, every project still presents unique challenges. But with some time, elbow grease, and professional naming agency wisdom, we can help you name it like a pro!