come up with unique business name ideas

How to Come Up with Unique Business Name Ideas


Why your business matters

You’re here because you have a good idea for a business. Your thoughtfulness matters—a unique business name can make or break customers who turn into leads. Your business name is often the first chance to connect with people. You can invoke curiosity, connection, and memory with a business name. The right name drives people to your business, creating brand loyalty and recognition.

The power of a business name

There’s a lot of power in a name. A unique business name shares this influence in the same way, people can emotionally respond to a person’s name before even meeting them, from prior association to that name or simply how it sounds. The right name can impact how people respond to your business and even spark interest from investors.

An infamous example of the power in a business name is the chaotic story of Theranos, a health tech business that combined the words “therapy” and “diagnose.” It’s marketable, easy to remember, and conveys what the product sought to answer (albeit failing miserably.) The business idea, name, and story were so alluring that Theranos secured more than $700 million from private investors and venture capitalists.

What are the different types of business names?

There are a few categories for the different types of business names to choose from. You might be surprised to learn where some of the most popular brand names originate from and utilize the story behind them as inspiration. As you’ll see below, there are many types of business names—consider which makes the most sense for your project.

  • Descriptive brand names use the business name to convey the offerings or features. Some descriptive brand names include Whole Foods, Toys R Us, and Insomnia Cookies.
  • Evocative brand names seek to draw an emotional response or image. Examples include Dove or Subaru Outback.
  • Founder brand names use the person or family who created the brand as their identity, such as Johnson & Johnson, Ford, or Ben & Jerry’s.
  • Acronym names use the first letters of words to create a concise name, sometimes focusing on how the letters sound together, such as H&M and DSW.
  • Playful brand names are memorable due to their creativity. Examples include Monster or Funky Pigeon.
  • The fun aspect of invented names is that they sound right, but you might not know they are entirely made up. Some inventive brand names include Sony, Xerox, and Häagen-Dazs.
  • Alphanumeric names include letters and numbers, such as Five Guys or 7 Up.
  • Lexical brand names can be puns or focused on sound. Examples include Hubba Bubba and Fruit Loops.
  • Compound brand names fuse two words to create a name, such as Weetabix or YouTube.
  • Metaphor names paint a strong image or association in customer’s minds. Examples of metaphor names are Amazon, Jaguar, and Apple.
  • Geographic brand names create an association with a specific place, such as American Airlines or The North Face.

How to come up with unique names for your business: four tips for Brainstorming

Struggling to name your business? A branding agency can be instrumental. You can also use AI to name your business by entering a prompt with your core brand details. AI can help provide significant pithy name suggestions, as you’ll want to keep your name simple. Here are a few brainstorming tips.

  1. Your brand name can help you convey your identity. Before choosing a name, consider your brand story—who are you? What do you offer? Who do you help? Why do you offer what you do? These questions can help you distill your identity and choose a proper name to convey it. The brand name BetterHelp, for example, clearly speaks to its brand story—creating an accessible and quality option for online therapy. You might want to make a list of 10 words that describe your business to help you zone in on your values.
  2. Your brand name is the first chance you have to connect with people. Consider the feelings you want to elicit, such as calming, luxurious, or accessible. Ensure that your name is consumer-friendly and has human appeal.
  3. Sound symbolism represents a word through sound; in other words, it sounds like what it is. The word “thump” is an example. When brainstorming, you’ll want to consider the musicality of a word and what it conveys, such as the brands Kit-Kat or Mercedes.
  4. ChatGPT can save time by acting as a sounding board and an AI name generator, providing appropriate suggestions based on the details you enter. It can then also help with your domain search.

How to narrow your list

After a brainstorming session, you’ll likely have a few workable ideas floating around. When making your final business name decision, you’ll want to consider a few core elements.

Brandable: Is the name you're considering relevant, timely, and identifiable?
Marketable: Does it flow seamlessly across your marketing channels? Does it speak to your demographic?
Memorable: Is it fun to say? Does it stick?
Simple: Is it easy enough for someone to say without them responding, “come again?” To keep your business name simple, avoid multiple pronunciations. You’ll also want to avoid names that are tough to spell, which can harm your digital marketing efforts. Steer clear of repeating letters, like three Ls in a row, which can lead to typos.

Making a final choice

When you make a final choice on your brand name, ensure it’s one your business can grow into. While specificity can be useful, you also don’t want to limit your future ability to expand. It’s like buying clothes for a child in a growth spurt; a little room is okay.

Practicality is the last piece, and a crucial one, of your decision. You’ll want to ensure that someone doesn’t already have your idea or that it’s not too similar to other brand names. Start by plugging your brand name idea into a search engine and looking at the results. It’s essential to check for existing trademarks on your business name. Next, you’ll want to confirm that relevant domain names for your business are available.

A business name is an invaluable asset. With some thought and creativity, you can optimize your business name to communicate your values or identity, stay at the forefront of customers' minds, and sound seamless. Once you start looking for domains, look no further than our domain search, which provides instant domain search results as you type.