How to Choose a Killer Business Name - The Design Order

How to Choose a Killer Business Name

How to Choose a Killer Business Name

The Importance of a Business Name


“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, our identifier in a crowd. Similarly, when you tell people you run a business, one of the first things they ask about is its name.

Key Considerations for a Memorable Brand Name


When you choose your brand name, there are a myriad of factors to consider. You want it to be:

  • Memorable but Simple: Easy to recall, spell and pronounce.
  • Conversation-Sparking: Engaging without being too controversial.
  • Thought-Provoking: Reflective of your brand’s ethos and vision.

With that in mind, how the heck do you come up with a name that achieves all of these things?!

Mind Mapping: A Creative Process for Naming


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 using a mind map is the best possible way to brainstorm ideas and come up with something super imaginative and unique that suits the service or product you provide. We have included our very own TDO Mind Map to give you an insight in to how we came up with our own name:


How to Create a Mind Map


There are various ways to do your mind map, but I’ll take you through the one which works for me. What I normally do is start by adding a few words (lets call them categories) that are relevant to your business. These could include:

  1. What Your Business Does: The product or service you provide.
  2. Customer Experience: What you’d like your customers to feel when they work with you.
  3. Core Values: The fundamental principles of your business and/or the kind of culture you are trying to create within
  4. Descriptive Words: Words that describe your business.

Jot down everything that comes to mind – connecting any interrelated ideas like we have done in the example above. 

This is one of the only times when quantity trumps quality and dont worry about it being neat either. The main goal here is to get the ideas flowing, and in time, you’ll be able to pluck out some gold.


Extracting and Combining Ideas

Now that you’ve got these, you’ll start noticing words that stand out. Maybe they just sound good or perhaps they really resonate with what you’re trying to capture. Circle the standouts and start working on other words associated with them. It could be a word that sounds the same but means something completely different, or it could be a word that means the same thing but is spelled differently. Your best friend here will be the thesaurus! We love to use this one

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 that make up a new proper name. Repeat this exercise with any word or phrase that catches your interest.

Additional Tips for Choosing a Business Name

While you’re working through this process, there are a few things which are important to remember:

SEO Considerations

Think about your search engine optimization (SEO) a LOT. It makes sense that the rule would stand when you’re choosing your business brand name. While you don’t want to name your business something generic like “Best Plumber Sydney,” it’s a good idea to incorporate a relevant keyword to help boost your recognition.

The Power of Taglines

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

Keep Spelling Simple

When choosing a name, you might be tempted to make it unique by getting creative with your spelling. Don’t. Keeping your business brand name simple makes it easy to find, and if you’ve incorporated that SEO keyword, it will rank higher on 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.



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