Naming Your Killer Brands Guide for Entrepreneurs

Naming your baby (brand) is not the easiest task in the world. The name is going to with it forever, after all. Aren't you tempted to look for the non-existence 'perfect' name that describes it all? I was. But ideas are too dynamic for a static name. Both, babies and business, evolve over time and if the name is too descriptive then the business cannot expand in new directions and dies (well not the babies, they are smart). So why not give them a meaningless name so we are free to give the name any meaning we choose? All top brands are on that line. What does Adidas means anyways? Isn't Apple (or Blackberry) supposed to be a fruit?

Tips for Naming

Here are some tips for naming your business / brand / venture / start-up... or whatever fancy pigeon hole you have for it.

Make it Clueless

Go with the name that has nothing to with the working of brand. The more meaningless it is - the more it will work. But don't go absurd. There is a huge difference between absurd [Khajkkuna] and unrelated [Starbucks]. Often you'd find a name that really touches the heart of your brand but that is just a sign that there is better name out there. This very site was about to be named 'Entrepreneur's Notes' but then I dreamt of 64 Notes, better. Some Examples: FireFox, Opera, HP, Nike, Parker, LG, Nokia, Google etc.

Ease & Flow

Make it easy to say I love 'Lays' and 'Coke'. 'CokaCola' and 'Uncle Chips' take too much effort to say. 'Gucci' was never a good idea either, at least not for non-French people.

Ditch the Industry Standards

This is so clear. People add words that every company in their niche has. 'Solutions' is like a must for Tech companies in Asia. And so is 'Pizza' for pizza sellers in US. Ditch those words and you will ditch the prejudice people carry about those standards.


You can combine one related and one unrelated word: HostGator, LoveBug, InDesign, FireFox etc are some good examples. The second word is usually a metaphor or indicative of something special - your USP perhaps?

Create Newords

Create new words. Take two words that are about you and combine then to make a new one. It really does take a lot of creativity i.e. you need to relax and let these names flow in and not trying to hard to think them. Good examples are: Blogussion, Createens, and Photoshop etc.

Brand v/s SEO

Biggest debates that goes over naming is that people want 'keywords' in their name thinking that they will rank better. And guess what? It never works! None of those 'keyword rich' domains or brand-names gets much trust. Anyways, it's so much easier to rank for your name than a keyword. Once people love you, they will Google your name not the keyword. And soon enough (like a month or so) Google will relate your name to keyword and you will rank higher for the keyword too. A well branded name, get's SEO juices too. Google itself is following this rule, isn't it? But if you can create a new

Why use unrelated names?

If I were to say 'business' you will have a prejudiced image of how I work and what I do. However 'Asnio' has no prejudiced image or feeling. That gives you so much more power over what people think about you. You make them feel and not the words making them feel. Don't be afraid to name your brand with unrelated words. And never ever ask your friends. As soon as you come to love it - which will take a day or two, others will love it too. With a meaningless name, you have more freedom over what meaning you give to it. And remember, the meaning is not yours to give - it's give by experience you create.
Photo by Hiddenloop

You are reading a post that I wrote a long time backā€”at least 14 years ago. Take it with a bag of salt.

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