NameStation Blog

Looking for a business name – how to start?

What is the most common difficulty that people come up with when looking for an ideal business name? You probably think that the question itself is rather senseless, since there is no single problem; moreover, there seems to be a huge load of aspects to consider, none of which can be disregarded. Most naming specialists agree that a good name should be short, memorable, relatively easy to spell and pronounce; it should be neither too general nor too restrictive and what is even more important, it should be brandable – whatever that means. Here at NameStation, we are of the opinion that while it is good to keep such criteria at the back of your head, you shouldn’t go crazy following the rules, which are rather subjective in the first place. First find a name that you like and then see which rules it follows, which it disregards and whether it matters or not.

How to begin?

As a starting point, take the main ideas you want your name to forward to your customers. What is it about your business that makes it special? Think of what the company does, how it does it and who is the target customer. When brainstorming you probably come up with a list of keywords on the matter. Actually, the longer the list the better. Don’t be bothered if the majority of words seem unusable because you never know which of them could eventually turn out to be inspirational.


Do not forget that a name in isolation cannot transmit all the associations and values that your company represents and that you would like to be present in the name. Therefore, you need to prioritize and deside which ideas are the most important to convey. With the help of branding and marketing you can of course add more associations to the name but this only matters for people who have already heard of your company. Others can only work with the information the name directly does or does not provide.

Do not confuse your customers

Make sure your business name does not mislead potential customers or create confusion. A rough example would be Taco Bell that didn’t serve tacos or CreditSuisse that didn’t have anything to do with money or Switzerland. With famous brands such as Apple or Caterpillar it is of course an arguable matter whether the names are misleading or not. On the other hand, with enough marketing resources almost everything can be done – as we can see, it is even possible to make us think of computers when someone says „I have an Apple“. However, if you do not possess such resources, it is better to stay on the safe side. An important point to remember is that name generation is just one aspect of your overall marketing strategy. In order to stay focused and make the strategy a whole, it is advisable to put together a marketing plan (at least lay down the basics) already before you begin your name searches.

About Tauno

CEO of NameStation
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