Creative Business Names
Whether you’re launching a new company or having to change the name of an existing one for legal or marketing reasons, a creative business name is critical to your success and the most important brand decision you’ll ever make.
While naming your business is not merely a creative exercise, adopting a company name with deep emotional resonance that reflects positively on you as an organization and distinguishes you from your competitors is crucial (ensuring your name is available and protectable as a trademark and linguistically appropriate for your target customers is also extremely important!).
Since 1998, Catchword has been developing creative business names for clients in all industries–from consumer goods and technology to healthcare and finance. We’ve created scores of company names for domestic and global clients, both B2B and B2C.
Our process includes a thorough Immersion phase, multiple rounds of extensive creative naming work (we call it Quantitative Creativity), and extensive screening for trademark and linguistic issues.
Please use the following links to learn more about our approach, team, and naming experience.
Tips for a hugely successful naming project
Speak your mind, express yourself, and provide feedback.
Naming is a subject that even the most seasoned marketers don’t have to address every day, so it’s understandable if you’re a little unsure about how to articulate your brand name preferences initially. However, providing detailed feedback on name ideas, including not just what you like you but why you like it, is the best way to ensure your naming agency delivers brand names that are in line with your stylistic preferences, and that will “wow” you.
Think holistically and consider at least the following aspects of a name:
- The message communicated in the name
- The construction of the name (real, coined, composite)
- How communicative the name is (overt, suggestive, metaphoric, more abstract)
- The tonality of the name (e.g., warm and friendly or more serious)
- The spelling and pronunciation of the name (are they intuitive?)
- The potential for interesting brand identity development and marketing tie-ins
Legal is a bear. Make sure you set team expectations.
If your naming agency has done its job, you’ll complete the process with a great selection of unique and powerful name ideas for trademark evaluation. However, while most naming agencies conduct preliminary trademark screening on the names they present, they don’t generally conduct full, comprehensive trademark evaluations, at least not until your team has identified a short list of highly preferred names.
It’s important to keep in mind that some names will be eliminated after a comprehensive legal evaluation is conducted, and possibly even your single most preferred name! Setting expectations and ensuring members of your team are aware of the legal challenges you’ll face is an important component to a successful naming initiative.
Speaking of team, make sure you’ve assembled the right one.
Sure, everyone wants a part in naming the new company or product, but too large a team can be counter-productive, and make it harder to get to a final name decision.
Generally speaking and depending on the project scope (product versus company naming), a good team will include brand owners (those folks primarily responsible for the product, service or company being named), senior marketers (your CMO, or other marketing head), senior communications specialists, and senior brand directors and product managers. Minimum of four, no more than ten individuals. In addition, if you have an in-house trademark attorney it can be helpful for that individual to participate in meetings.
Let your hair down and have some fun!
Naming is a serious business and branding exercise, but it’s also creative one, and naming meetings can and should be the most fun you have during your workday!
Come to your name review meetings with an open mind, a positive attitude, and the energy of a child and you’ll almost certainly be more productive and leave for your next meeting with a goofy smile on your face.