An Unconventional Guide to Naming Your New Business


How I named my business & How you can name yours

When I finally decided that I wanted to start my own design business, I had no idea what to name it. Nope, I’m not someone who has always been dreaming about having my own business. I hadn’t ever planned on entrepreneurship, or dreamed about opening a quaint corner shop bakery that smelled of freshly baked breads 24/7 (these are things other people dream about right?) The idea of kickin’ it on my own actually kind of came to me over night. And being the impulsive person I am (emphasis on impulsive) I wanted to get started on it, like, yesterday.

But, I didn’t have a business name. And I needed a business name. I knew exactly what I wanted to do, what services I wanted to offer, I knew what I wanted it to look like, but I didn’t have a name. I was at a standstill. I couldn’t move forward without a business name.

So I did what any reasonable millennial would do and started Googling away, looking at name generators and reading blogs like “name your business in 5 easy steps” and “top tips for a top name” (I know you’re probably thinking, "why are you writing a blog talking about other blogs like this blog…" Stay with me here)

For the first time in my life, Google failed me. None of my Googling or Pinning helped and at was at a loss. I can’t remember the last time I typed a question into Google and didn’t get the exact answer I was looking for (probably never).

Additionally, I said to myself, "when I start writing a blog I have to make one about creating a business name to help a younger, more excited, less wrinkly me!"

I had been taking in everyone else's business names and considering how they may have decided on them. A lot of people in my industry, or small business owners and bloggers had named their businesses after themselves, which was completely reasonable, except my name just sorta sucks. It really doesn’t roll off the tongue well, it’s not memorable (#basic) and written out it’s aesthetically displeasing - I know this because I’ve had to write my own name out probably a million times in my life and it’s never looked good. Even when I try really hard. I actually never really considered using it.

All of the other brand names that I liked were a bit more abstract. At the end of the day, I don’t think you need to take it too seriously. Because it’s not about your brand name, it’s about your brand. For example: Apple. If I had stumbled onto a blog called “Apple”, I probably would have grunted and said something intelligent like “that’s kinda lame”. But now Apple is a household name and I was proven wrong, Apple isn’t lame at all. So I decided - as long as it wasn’t offensive - to call my brand whatever the hell I wanted. Because it probably didn’t matter all too much - what matters is what my brand stands for and the quality of the services I offer.

So if you’re in the same pickle as I am, here’s the low-down on what I did.

  1. I went old school, and got notebook and a pen (stay with me here…)

  2. I started listing off a broad range of things that I liked
    It went something like:

    Yup, I’m talking BROAD. And yes, I’m a modern day hippy.

  3. From there, I got specific.
    Absolutely any word that came to my mind to do with Forest, I wrote it down.
    Like: Forest: Trees - Pine - Oak - Cedar - Leaves - Grove - Jungle - Woods
    I did this for all of the main words and soon my page was filled with plenty of strange words.. Seriously, write them alllll down.

  4. Now get creative. Cross off the words you hate, circle the ones you like (or even kind of like) and try matching some of them up.

  5. Once you’ve chosen some you like, try them with a word that describes your industry. For example, I added "creative" onto the end of mine, because it covers all bases of what I offer and I also like the way it all sounded together.

    On the tail end of my Forest saga, I came up with a few names like Woodland Media, Wildwood Media, Tree House Studio, Jungle House Media - obviously none of these made the cut, but it’s a good example of how many names I was able to come up with that I thought reasonably reflected my style and personality.

    Here’s some examples of an industry word that you could use:
    Company, Media, Creations, Copywriting, & Co, Publishing, Design, Digital, Studio, Solutions, Creative Solutions, Shop, Workshop, Management, Consulting, Tutorials, Boutique etc


I guess you're at the end of this and either thinking “wow I’m going to go try this now!”, or, more likely, “srsly who is this girl and why is she basically telling me to do a mind map”. Either way, I hope it helps you somehow and let me know in the comments what you’re thinking of for your new business name!


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