What’s in a name? Tips for choosing a killer business name. - The Design Order

What’s in a name? Tips for choosing a killer business name.

What’s in a name? Tips for choosing a killer business name.

Photo by Kvalifik on Unsplash


That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet.

…or would it?!

One of the very first things we do when we meet someone is tell them our name. It’s our label and it’s how people identify us in a group. Similarly, when you tell people you run a business, one of the first things they ask about is its name.

When you choose your brand name, there are a myriad of factors to consider. You want it to be memorable but simple, you want to spark conversation without being too controversial and, you want it to be thought provoking.

With that in mind, how the heck do you come up with a name which achieves all of these things?! When I’ve had to choose a business name or I’ve helped clients choose one as part of their business branding, I find that mind mapping is a super helpful way to do it.


How to create a mind map

There are a variety of ways you can do your mind map but, I’ll take you through the one which works for me.

I like to make my way through a few different categories, jotting down everything that comes to mind. Remember, this is one of the only times when quantity trumps quality. The main goal is to get the ideas flowing and, in time, you’ll be able to pluck out some gold.

The categories which I suggest including are:

          What your business does – the product or service you provide.

          What you’d like your customers to feel when they work with you.

          The core values of your business.

          Words which describe your business.

Now that you’ve got these, you’ll start noticing words which stand out to you. Maybe they just sound good or, perhaps they really resonate with what you’re trying to project. Circle the standouts and start working on other words which you associate with them. It could be a word which sounds the same but means something completely different or it could be a word which means the same thing but is spelled differently.

From there, begin pulling apart the words you like and combine them with other words to make a whole new word or phrase. Before you know it, you’ll likely have started forming combinations which make up a new proper name. Again, if you see something you like here, repeat the exercise of playing around with it, tweaking it to see what you can come up with.

This whole process should be fairly free-flowing and, to me anyways, pretty darn fun! While you’re working through it, however, there are a few things which are important to remember:

          SEO – I mean, let’s be honest, you need to think about your search engine optimisation a LOT so it makes sense that the rule would stand when you’re choosing your business brand name. Obviously you don’t want to name your business Best Plumber Sydney but, it’s a good idea to try and incorporate a killer keyword or, at least keep it relevant to what you do.

          Taglines – if you’ve come up with an awesome word or phrase to use but it doesn’t quite make it clear what you do, you should consider using a tagline. Adding an extra couple of words to really hammer home your concept or idea is a clever way to add weight to your business branding.

          Spelling – when you’re choosing a name, you might be tempted to make it unique by getting creative with your spelling. Don’t. When you keep your business brand name simple, it makes it easy to find and, if you’ve incorporated that SEO keyword, higher ranked by Google. Besides, we all know how poor Niamh feels when she has to explain many times each day, “…it’s actually pronounced Neev.” Show your creativity with clever word choice, not with a too-hard-to-spell name.


Once you’ve made your way through this process for choosing a killer business brand name, I’d love to hear what you’ve come up with! Or, perhaps you’d like a little help nailing your business branding. Either way, I’d love to hear from you.



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