10 ways how to come up with a company name


Nowadays, when there’s a trend to be an entrepreneur, it gets more and more difficult to come up with a unique brand name. More than 100 million domain names have been registered in the international .com zone to date.

It’s difficult because:

1. A huge number of startup brands are launched on the market every day. The generation of millennials doesn’t want to work for hire. For them, it is fashionable to be businessmen. Each of them asks themselves: how to come up with a brand name?

2. Using the Internet and social networks it’s very easy and fast to spread the information about your business. 50 years ago, we simply didn’t know about the existence of brands in Europe and the US (except for international ones that were present on our market). Now, it’s different.

The name is the most static element when designing a brand. Positioning and visual identity can be changed at will. Naming is rarely changed. Therefore, the question «how to come up with a company name?» is strategically important.

Protectability is the main criterion at the stage of naming creation.

A protectable name is a name distinctive among others, which is subject to registration, in the proper classes of ICGS (International Classification of Goods and Services). If a brand doesn’t have a registered name, then there’s no brand itself.

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Let’s discuss the concepts of brand and trademark

A brand is not a legal term, but a marketing term.
Now, the concept of an organization name, trademark, or company name is becoming less and less common. The term commonly used at the moment is a brand naming. Branding is a combination of actions of the owner, company managers, branding, and marketing specialists. Their actions are aimed at creating certain positive impressions and emotions. They create needed associations in the mind of the consumer about a product or service. The brand helps to get a loyal target audience, as well as get increased margins.
A trademark – is a legal term. It is a trademark that is registered.

There are branches of science that study name creation.

Semenemics (from the Greek, semon — sign + nemein — aim) is an art, a way of creating commercial names for companies.

Onomastics – is the art of giving a name (onomastike).

Each company asks a question how to name the enterprise, what interesting names accurately reflect the positioning of the company. It is an extremely important stage, it helps gain trust of the target audience. There are two options.

  • Option 1: Name development in the branding agency.
    Specialists will help you to come up with the company name. You will be asked to fill out a brief on the name development. It is likely you’ll be offered a research as a separate stage of the development. They will allow you to understand who your audience is. Who are your target consumers? What images have they become accustomed to seeing? What language do they speak? What are their values and in general, how do they live? Also, the specialists explore the market, trends, and competitors. The audience is very sensitive, so you need to get to the goal and create trust and confidence. Creating cool names is not quick. It is time-consuming but interesting. Creative names are developed by the team. Initially, the team does research, then generate ideas, and later test the name according to euphony and other criteria. The final stage is the verification of protectability, that is, whether the name is subject to patent. The naming development usually takes 15-30 days. The agency will offer you options for company names to choose from. You should choose from the list. You can contact us and order a name for the company. We have developed beautiful company and brand names. See our portfolio.
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  • Option 2: To come up with a name yourself.
    When there is a business idea, founders often come up with a brand name themselves. Entrepreneurs are in many ways, marketers. They have a business soul, and they can generate such a name so that a company, brand, book or network of stores becomes successful! According to statistics, most names are created by the founders themselves. But naming creation is not an easy process as it seems at first glance. It’s not just a word. You need to create a unique and beautiful name, which will reflect your main idea and company. Creating naming is time-consuming. Its development has many pitfalls. If the consumer doesn’t believe the company’s verbal messages, it may adversely affect the development of the brand. To return trust is long, resource-intensive, and difficult.

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Are you thinking about how to name the company? Below we will tell you how to come up with a beautiful company name. Let us discuss their types: anthroponym (name or surname at the base of the brand name), assonance, alliteration, abbreviation, metaphor, association, a method of connection, truncation (a method involving the use of a word not associated with the product).

Generating names

  • Anthroponym
    Anthroponym is a name or the whole of names. It is the case when the firm receives the name of the owner or owner’s relatives. You have to be careful, in this case, it will be difficult to stand out against competitors, and it’s not easy to register. Surely, every city in Ukraine has a store Aleksandr, a shopping center Volodymyr and a cafe At Olga’s. Anthroponym fits well when creating a personal brand. It’s better to use the Latin alphabet, but you need to see first who the target audience is. Let’s recall examples: Victoria’s Secret, Louis Vuitton, Mary Kay, Bic.
    The best method is when the surname lies in the basis of naming. It is unique and suitable not only for a personal brand but also for a store network, clothes collection etc.. The surname lies at the base of the world-famous brands: Gucci, Philips, Hermes, Cinzano, Porshe. Perhaps your surname will become a global brand!
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  • Latin
    We’re searching for beautiful latin words according to their meaning. We are looking for names in Latin and in the languages that originated from it. You can also find innovative and brand new names. For example, if the product character is open and friendly, the company can be called Soprus (friendship in Estonian), Unity (unity, friendship), Vinur (a friend in Icelandic).
  • Abbreviation
    Creatively different company names are created using the abbreviation. It is a method of word reduction when the initials in the name create a new word. MADEU — Most Ambitious Design Event in Ukraine. NASA — National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
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  • Metaphor
    A great way to get great names is to use a metaphor.
    It is a figurative comparison of things, association, the representation of one through the image of the other. In branding, the metaphor translates the narrative into a figurative domain of understanding. It provides direction for the brand verbal identity and visual communications. For example, the insurance company services are compared to an umbrella. Powerful, large companies can be compared to a cruiser. Having such images, you can come up with beautiful names. The main thing is that the consumer should understand the metaphor, at least on a subconscious level.
  • Connection method
    Joining two or more parts of a word. Combining existing words can create brand new works They are called neologisms. In the end, we get a new word. Laba, Milka, Adidas, Lego. You can connect beautiful foreign words close to the product and get the name of the company.
  • Alliteration
    Alliteration is a method where identical consonants are repeated. Many well-known brands have creative names created by alliteration. Alliteration formed the basis of the brands Coca-Cola, KitKat, M&M’s.
  • Assonance
    Assonance is a method when identical vowels are repeated. Assonance is a consonance. Assonance helps create an easy-to-pronounce word. Example: coloro.
  • Metonymy
    Metonymy is naming from one class, transferred to a related class [OA1]. It will give an interesting name for the company. From the particular to the general works great, and vice versa. Examples: Evening Bells, Planeta Kino, and the shopping mall Empire of Style are, probably, in every city.
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  • Words not related to the product
    Beautiful names for the company can be obtained using words that are not directly related to the product. Generating naming is possible with the help of words that you like, and that are close to you. You can use the name of a mountain or a river that is near the place you live or use your favorite hero, as Starbucks did. The founder of the coffee house really liked the Moby Dick novel and its main character Starbeck. Starbeck was crazy about coffee. So the name of the company appeared, which is now known all over the world.
  • Truncation method
    It’s a way to get the brand name by truncating syllables, letters or cutting out the necessary syllables in a word. This method gives a lot of options and provides uniqueness. Creation of the famous Japanese brand name, Konica, was obtained by merging the truncated name of Konishuroku (camera brand) and the word camera. The world-known pharmaceutical company Pfizer ordered development of naming in the agency and received Latin names — 40 options. The company chose Viagra. The word Viagra consists of the first syllable of the word vitality (life force) and the truncated word Niagara (waterfall). Thus, the word Viagra means a vital force, powerful as a waterfall.

How to come up with a product name and not look strange?

  • Descriptive
    Do not use descriptive names — Furs, Products, Women’s Clothing. Such names have no originality. There is no expression of individuality. Your company must be unique and have an identity. Imagine that over time your business from one store will grow into a sales network. The name should be long-term and cause trust. Make sure that it can grow with the business.
  • №1
    The company must have a creatively different name. Drugstore №1, Hairdresser’s №1 — you won’t surprise anyone with such a name. Think globally that over time your company will grow into a big brand, the store — into a network. Creating faceless names is not an option at all! The process of creating a name is time-consuming, but in the course of work you will come up with the right idea and you will get the creative word!
  • Off
    You should not use a surname + off with the hope of getting an impressive name like Smirnoff, especially if you have a small company. This method is dead and it does not inspire trust.
  • Long or difficult to write
    A good option of the name is short and euphonious. The football club Cherkasy Dnipro — Belozerye Academy contains 32 letters. It’s not the best idea! If you get a too long name, the best solution is to generate abbreviations, truncation.

Trademark — functions

  • The audience identifies the product as unique through the brand name.
  • The company describes its product or its emotional values through the name.
  • It should be easy to remember and pronounce.
  • A trademark must have a name that can be applied in any country, in any market, without cultural deviations.
  • Your trademark must be protected, serve as a legal barrier to the creation of counterfeits.
  • The name should positively impress the consumer.
  • A company that has a registered mark, trademark owns a measurable asset.

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Whatever method you choose-

  • literary devices (anthroponym, assonance, alliteration);
  • surname, or name in the base;
  • method of truncation or connection.

remember naming is an extremely important step in creating a brand! Any idea that comes to your mind has the right to life. Create multiple name options. Don’t forget the testing phase before releasing the name to the market. A question may pop up in your mind: how to choose the company name, what criteria to use?

Naming brands — criteria and requirements for the name development

  • Conciseness.
    Short company names in 2-3 syllables are remembered better than long ones. If you have a long word, you can, as an option, apply the truncation method. Save the energy of people who will pronounce it. If the company has a name of more than 4 syllables, it will be reflexively cut at the first opportunity.
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  • Euphony.
    The names are positively perceived if they don’t contain complex alphabetic and sound combinations.
  • Uniqueness.
    If the name is not unique, it is difficult to achieve recognition and identity. The brand will be confused with others.
  • The ability to register.
    It is a very important criterion. If the word you invented cannot be registered, you’ll be sorry for the work done and the time spent. The consumer can love your naming but if it cannot be patented, it doesn’t make any sense. Test the invented names in google and Yandex. You can get unexpected results.
  • High level of memorability.
    Some words are well-remembered by ear, and others are remembered worse. It is important that the name is memorized easily. Test each option! Let the potential audience help you in this. You should choose the option that is memorable.
  • The absence of negative emotions.
    Try to create the names that cause positive emotions. They should aspire listeners to feel positivity, warmth, good mood, inspiration when the name is pronounced. In this case, the company has high chances to get trust. An example of an unfortunate name: ticket offices “Ada” (literally means “of hell”) , Glukobay pills.
  • Domain name.
    The development of a name implies the ability to register a domain. It’s great when the domain is in the international zone .com. The international domain zone is especially needed when you work on the international market. If you work on the domestic one, local domain zones are OK. You can have thematic domains, as linnikov.agency. Nowadays, every company must be presented on the Internet.
  • Appropriate to the price segment.
    Have you ever encountered cases when the brand from the economical price segment was called pompously? For example, a shopping market with vegetables, fruits with the name Fruit Boutique. Developing a name is not an easy process. Try to create such a company name so that your company, price segment, and name were in harmony. The audience will feel it if you are dishonest.

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You still don’t know how to come up with a name? As an option, contact a specialist. They will analyze the market, determine who your consumer is, and will choose the best way to create a naming, and check the protectability. They’ll provide options for how to name the company. You only will have to choose the naming, and your company is ready for the next step in branding. The next stage after the name creation is a generation of the tag-line, text style, but you’ll get to know about this in the next article.

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