The Process of Naming

Things to consider for business names.

Naming a business or a product is considered a critical component in the branding process. The branding process is the establishment of a brand or identity for a product or a business. The brand is supposed to be a distinct identity that will market and promote the product.

Product names establish a brand by setting the service or good apart from similar offerings in the marketplace. A successful business name idea displays a number of attributes that achieves this purpose. These attributes include:

  • Create customer loyalty by establishing an image that customers can relate to.
  • Demonstrate the brand’s benefit or implied benefit to customers.
  • Establish an identity that will appeal to a target audience.
  • Create an image the customers want to buy.
  • It can be copyrighted for legal protection.
  • Distinguishes the product from the competition.
  • Tells potential customers about the company’s values and mission.

The Purpose of the Naming Process

You should always keep these attributes in mind when you employ a product name generator or a company name generator. Names designed by computer algorithms may not achieve these purposes. All such computer programs do is to slam words together.

Using such a business name generator can defeat the purpose of the naming process because it can create a name that doesn’t meet these criteria. It can also create a meaningless name which is the last thing that you want.

The purpose of the naming process is always to set your product or your business apart from the competition. That can only be achieved with business names that establish a unique or original identity.

Use the Naming Process

The challenge that the naming process poses for business owners is to create a unique identity. Unfortunately a lot of entrepreneurs fail miserably because they ignore the naming process and don’t understand it.

Fortunately there are several tools that can enable persons who know little or nothing about the naming process to take advantage of it. One of the best is to hold a naming contest in which a prize is given to the writer that comes up with the best potential name for a company or product.

Such contests make the naming process easy and almost fool proof because creative individuals do the actual work. Persons who actually understand the process will be doing the actual work.

Contests and the Naming Process

The more time and effort that you put into the naming process the better the name and the brand you will come up with. If you hold such a contest and take care to choose the winners you will achieve the goal of establishing a unique identity for your product or organization.

Therefore you should think carefully about what you want in a name because it establishes your brand image before you set up the contest. A contest can help you because it will give you access to creative minds and other business name ideas that you may not have thought of.

Time, money and effort invested in the naming process and naming contests will pay off in the form of a new identity for your business. Try making that investment today if you want a successful naming process.


What’s in a Name?

Naming a business or a boat can be a difficult proposition for even the most creative people. Coming up with a truly original product or company name can be almost impossible.

Sadly enough far too many entrepreneurs simply ignore this important aspect of business creation. They spend just a few seconds thinking up a name for their start up then concentrate on those aspects of the business that interest them more.

Don’t Make Your Business Look Silly

That is why we see so many terrible business names around these days. There are businesses including trucking companies that look as if they were named by a four-year old. A classic example is a trucking business called Trucks-4-U.

That name makes the business look childish and amateurish. The owner might think it sounds playful or up to date but it isn’t, it just sounds silly. Surely somebody that can spend a large amount of money on trucks could afford to invest a few dollars in a naming contest.

Many business owners destroy their company’s reputation before they get started by picking a terrible name. They think they are being clever but all they are really doing is making their enterprise look silly and in some cases ridiculous.

Names Should Inspire Trust

Customers are not going to entrust their money to an organization that sounds or looks silly and ridiculous. Yet many small business owners end up choosing company names that sound silly.

These people forget that business names should inspire trust. Customers are entrusting cargo to a trucking company. They want to know that the trucker can be relied upon to deliver the cargo safely and on time. The same goes for many other firms including investment advisers, contractors, repair shops and service businesses. These organizations need names that inspire trust and advertise reliability.

Tapping into the Creativity of Others

A good way to avoid the dilemma of having a terrible business name is to tap into the creativity of others. A business name generator is not necessarily the solution because it is nothing but a computer algorithm that slams words together.

A naming contest in which you offer a prize for the best name is the perfect solution for this dilemma. Organizing such a contest is simple yet it can pay some big dividends.

How to Plan a Naming Contest

A successful naming contest begins with a goal in mind. Before launching the contest sit down and write out a list of the aspects or values of your business you want to convey to potential customers. These can be your strengths or the service you intend to offer.

Then put this list before the contestants to see what they can create. You might write something like this: “Our tire store offers the most value to customers. We would like a name that conveys that value.”

You should also tell the entrants what you want to avoid. If you don’t want a silly name you should come out and say so. If you want to avoid words like discount or budget which convey a sense of cheapness say so.

Avoiding a terrible business name is easy if you just use a little creativity. A naming contest can give you that creativity at a really good price.


Business names change throughout the years in an attempt to modernize and gain new customers.

One of the main reasons for changing or updating your company or product name is to simplify it. Simple names are often more dramatic easier to remember and more effective as marketing tools.

Exxon is not only shorter than Standard Oil Company of New Jersey (the company’s original name) it is also more dramatic. A company name that is both simple and bold can greatly enhance or modernize an organization’s image.

The Canadian government for example now calls its ministry of health, Health Canada. That sounds more dramatic than ministry of health and it is also easier to remember. It also adds a modern image to a very old fashioned and traditional institution: a government department.

Acronyms and Nicknames

Another means of simplifying business names is to use the acronym rather than the full name of the company. The Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway often goes by BNSF rather than its full name which is both cumbersome and long. DHL the delivery company actually has no meaning for its acronym.

DHL’s competitor Federal Express changed its company name to FedEx in order to take advantage of a popular nickname for the business. FedEx was shorter and easier to understand as well as being friendly than the full name.

The United Parcel Service has not changed its name but usually uses the acronym UPS because it is just so well known. If your business has a popular nickname you might consider making official.

Controlling Your Image

Something to remember about business names is the image that is sent out to customers and the public. You obviously want to control your business’s image yet when you adopt a popular nickname as the official title for your business.

Therefore you have to ask yourself what message your product name is sending out to customers and potential customers. Part of the reason why Federal Express changed its business name was to project a friendlier image to customers.

Many businesses lose control of their image because they lose control of their name or how it is used. McDonald’s has a real image problem because its company name is often used as a metaphor for conformity, cheapness or blandness. Hence phrases like “McMansion,” and “McJobs.” Yet the company cannot change its name because it is so well known.

Image and Simplification

You need to think about your company’s image when you attempt to simplify your company name. JC Penny lost a lot of business in the last year when it tried to change its name to JCP. That move seemed to offend a lot of the department store chain’s long time shoppers.

That means it is often a good idea to put potential product names or business name ideas before a test audience before using them. One way to do it might be to email a proposed name change to a batch of good customers and ask them what they think about it. Their reactions can tell you if you’re headed in the right direction or not.

A good way to find a simplified name for your organization would be to hold a naming contest. Then run some of the winners past a test audience to see what they think. That way you won’t get any nasty surprises from your new name.


The Names We Remember

chipotleNaming a business is often hard for those who are not creative. Practical business people often have a hard time coming up with a great or memorable business or product name.

This doesn’t always lead to failure some highly profitable and successful companies have had terrible business names. Wal-Mart, Google, Costco, Apple and CVS Caremark have still grown into huge successful enterprises despite terrible or questionable names.

On the other hand it’s hard to imagine Target’s success without the memorable or dramatic name. Part of the reason for the giant discount store’s success is its’ simple but dramatic name. A similar statement can be made about Whole Foods Market, Chipotle and Trader Joe’s all of those successful brands are partially built on memorable business names that reflect the nature of the company.

Simplicity in a Name

Having a very simple name such as Target, Google or Apple does help. Part of the reason why Target is such a good name is that it has no specific meaning. It implies nothing to the potential customer. It makes no promise but it doesn’t exclude anybody.

The problem with a simple name is that it can be easy to associate with somebody or something. Most of us associate Tide with laundry detergent even though the word has a completely different meaning. The name is that simple and memorable. A person who sees a business called the Tide Laundry would associate it with the laundry detergent even if it were a dry cleaning shop.

Names Imply Value

The best business name ideas convey some sort of value to the customer. Whole Foods Market and Apple imply that the products those companies sell are simple, natural, elegant and wholesome. Google implies that something is funky and offbeat. True Value Hardware tries to distinguish itself by saying it offers real value.

Tide of course implies a tide or surge of water that sweeps in and washes everything clean. Chipotle is dramatic but it also sounds simple and wholesome. Motorola and Nokia sound dramatic and futuristic. Target has militaristic and dramatic overtones to it that the discount store chain likes to downplay, possibly because they would drive away female customers.

Creating Memories with Names

The process of naming a business or a product is an attempt to place a stamp on a customer’s or potential customer’s memory. Ideally you want your business to be the first thing that your customers think of when they think of your good or service.

The ideal of course is Tide many people think of it when they think of laundry. It’s taken generations of advertising, marketing and the manufacture of a quality product to reach that point. Yet the dramatic name obviously helps sell the product.

The Challenge you face

The challenge that you face when you try to name a business is to create memories. That is why you need to put some real time and effort into the naming process and why you should enlist as many creative individuals as possible.

Try holding a naming contest in order to come up with a dramatic and memorable name for your business. All you need to do is give the contestants a few basic criteria such as I want a simple and bold name that my customer will remember and they’ll do the rest.

Taking the trouble to create such a name can be the best marketing move that you can make. A contest can enable you to concentrate on launching your enterprise while creative people think up the name.

Acronyms are great, but not when another company/organization has the same one.

Acronyms are great, but not when another company/organization has the same one.

Organizations of all shapes and sizes change their names all the times. Even churches change their names. In 2001 the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (RLDS) changed its name to the Community of Christ.

The RLDS changed its name for a reason many business owners would understand so it wouldn’t be confused with a similar organization the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (the Mormons or LDS). Other entities change their business names to sound more modern or up to date. Thus the old fashioned Public Service Company of Colorado became Xcel Energy Inc.

Part of the reason why Xcel changed its name was to distance itself from an old fashioned business model. Another was because it was no longer based in Colorado it was now part of a multistate combine.

Names and Business Models

Another famous example of renaming a business was the venerable World Wrestling Federation or WWF which famously rebranded itself as the World Wrestling Entertainment or WWE. This move was taken for two reasons to avoid confusion with the World Wildlife Fund a respected charity that also used the acronym WWF and to reflect a new business model. The WWE wanted to emphasize that it was in the entertainment rather than the sports business.

Other organizations might adopt new business names in order to escape negative connotations. Some college sports teams have dropped names taken from Native American tribes because some people find those business names offensive.

Sometimes business names are changed to more accurately reflect the nature of their business. The Children’s Medical Center in Dayton, Ohio, recently changed its name to Dayton Children’s Hospital or Dayton Children’s. This name does a better job of telling what the hospital does. Medical Center sounds like a doctor’s office rather than a hospital. It is also associated with a positive image namely children.

New Business Name Ideas and Customers

The first thing that you will need when you change a business are business name ideas. If you have an established brand name that customers are familiar with the new name will have to sound similar to the old one. The World Wrestling Federation had to keep the names World and Wrestling in its new name because fans were familiar with the old name.

On the other hand Public Service could change its name completely because its customers were locked in. Xcel is a gas and power company, its customers have no choice but to buy its products. That of course raises another problem with changing a business name: will your customers resent it? After all they might be familiar and comfortable with the old name.

This means you have to take a lot of care when you change a business name. You must carefully evaluate your existing name and the old name. After all you will have costs associated with it including signage, marketing, advertising, stationary, packaging etc.

That means it is a great idea to evaluate several new names for your business. You can get many suggestions for a new business name by holding a naming contest. When you hold such a contest make sure you tell the contestants your existing name and the reason you want to change it. That way you can create a new business name that accurately reflects the nature of your organization.


Business name ideas and boat names should reflect the personality of the individuals and organizations involved. The name of a service organization should emphasize the ideals of service for example.

A business that is dedicated to fun should have a fun name. A perfect example of this is Google which has a reputation as a fun and offbeat company. Google is of course a fun and offbeat name much like Apple. The name reflects the organization’s personality and more importantly communicates it to the world.

An organization with a name that emphasizes its’ values is Whole Foods Market. Whole Foods is dedicated to providing high quality organic food to the public and promoting the ideals of capitalism and the free market. Hence the name “Whole Foods Market” which tells the public what the organization is all about – in other words, its personality.

Boat Names and Personality

A boat name should reflect the personality of the owner or operator of the boat and the vessel’s purpose. A vessel named for a flower such as a rose emphasizes feminine values and comfort. A vessel with a more aggressive name such as Shark emphasizes male values and competitiveness.

During World War II American submarines were named after predatory fish such as Tiger Shark in an attempt to give them a sense of competiveness. British warships were famously given aggressive sounding names such as Victory, Victorious, Courageous, Hercules and Warsprite to promote aggressive values.

A pleasure craft then should have a fun name such as Relaxation or Wave Rider. A humorous name such as Breaking Even or Busted Flush can also add a sense of fun to a boat.

Reflecting Personality

Many people that think up business name ideas fail to realize that part of the purpose of  business names is to convey the enterprise’s personality to the community. A name like Discount or Value can make the business sound cheap or cut-rate.

Yet a name such as Integrity, Peace or American can convey an important message about the organization’s values to the community at large. All of these names emphasize strong values and say something about the organization to the community.

A popular pub in Denver calls itself the British Bulldog in order to emphasize the British atmosphere of the bar. An English immigrant that opened a barbershop in Bailey, Colo., actually called his business “British Hairways” to emphasize his roots.

Personality and Advertising

Business names can tell the public a lot about an establishment. If you saw a restaurant called the Golden Dragon you would probably assume that it offered Chinese or rather traditional Chinese-American cuisine. On the other hand you’d probably think the El Toro offered Mexican food. Joe’s Diner would probably offer traditional American fare.

Putting the wrong name on a business might drive customers or attract the wrong customers. People going into the Golden Dragon Mexican restaurant might storm out when they discover that there is no Kung Pao chicken on the menu. Individuals that walk into the El Toro in search of a burrito might walk out when they realize that it serves only Thai food.

When you set up a business naming contest you need to take the time to convey your organization’s personality to the entrants. A great way to get business names or a boat name that reflects your personality is to hold such a contest today.




Having trouble with business names? Try NameMyBlank!

Having trouble with business names? Try NameMyBlank!

Business name ideas are far harder to think up than many of us realize. Even if you have an original concept, devising an original name for the enterprise can be difficult even for the most creative people. Creating business names that stand out from the crowd can be even harder.

There are millions of businesses out there and very few of them have a creative or original name. Most entrepreneurs don’t put the time and effort that they should into naming the company. In many cases an entrepreneur spends more time and effort in ordering checks or promotional pens than in creating a name.

Make the Name Dramatic

Yet the name is often the most important asset that a business can have. A dramatic name can serve as advertising on its own. A truly dramatic name can often attract more attention than many advertisements. An example of this is Amazon.com which is both simple yet bold.

A dramatic name will often make promotional products such as pens or refrigerator magnets more effective. A prosaic name such as Joe’s Plumbing or Eastside Plumbing will not attract or hold attention. A dramatic name such as One-Hour Plumbing or Action Plumbing might.

Unusual and humorous business names can work to attract attention as well. Drain Busters or Clog Busters is funnier and more attention grabbing than Charley’s Rooter Service. People will pay attention to it, especially if you use a variation of the iconic catchphrase from the classic movie Ghostbusters. You would have a ready made slogan in “Who you gonna call? Drain Busters!! We ain’t afraid of no clog.”

A roofing service in Denver used the interesting name Leak Finders. Such plays on words can be highly effective, especially when they evoke a pop culture icon such as a classic movie or song. If you make a potential customer stop and chuckle, you’ve just etched your company’s name on the customer’s memory.

Creativity is Key

Creativity is the key when you’re naming a business or a boat. The more imagination you use when you create a business name the more effective it will be. Try and imagine what advertising mediums and marketing tools you plan to use then imagine how the name will sound in the advertising.

Obviously a company name generator cannot perform such mental exercises but you can. So can the creative people that participate in naming contests online. Unlike a generator which is simply a computer program those people have imaginations. Such a contest can enable you to have hundreds of creative minds competing to name your business.

Making Use of a Naming Contest

If you make use of a naming contest you should try and give the entrants as much information as possible. In addition to the kind of business and products you need to explain your business philosophy and strategies to them. That way you can have a name that fits in with the business philosophy.

Remember you’re trying to sell the complete package of your business with the name. To do that you’ll need to provide the person that creates the name as much information as possible.

Launch a naming contest as soon as possible and give the entrants as much information as you can. The more information you provide the better the name will be.

The bread era.

The bread era.

Ever wondered where big time companies get their names from? They’re not your typical law firm business names titled after family; they’re different and become a defining factor in their image to us.

A new craze has started among people, and it’s a health craze. One of the companies that has benefited from this craze is a restaurant called Panera. To those unfamiliar with this store, it typically serves soups, salads, and sandwiches, most of which have healthy aspects to it.

A part of what Panera is known for is its bread. All the pastries, bagels, and breads are bakes fresh every day, and its logo even shows a woman, “mother bread,” cradling a loaf of bread in her arms.

At first glance, the name looks like a word that was just made up. But if you split the word Panera into ‘pan’ and ‘era,’ it becomes two words we can recognize. The word ‘pan’ means bread in Spanish, which makes sense for a store known for its fresh bread. The word ‘era,’ however, brings more meaning into what the store’s goals are.

When Panera was started its goal was to be a bakery-café that felt like home. Where people would come in all the time for its bread and create a sense of warmth through food. They brought the importance of food back to the most basic, bread. In using the word ‘era’ it was thought that the company was beginning a new era for bread.

Now that you know a little about where Panera got its name from, you can have our writers come up with business name ideas of your own. From the importance of business names, to the fun of boat names, we’ve got you covered here at NameMyBlank. Move past the era of bread, and into the era of your own company. Open a contest today on NameMyBlank, the ultimate company name generator.

Have any company name origins that you’re curious about? Email us at admin@NameMyBlank.com.


Hungry for a Story?

hungaryEveryone has great stories (one would hope). Here at Name My Blank our writers have stories that will make you cry, scream, and split your pants.  One of our interns has a great story about her last name that reinforces the importance of naming and what a simple name can represent.

Her grandfather was born in a village in Hungry, and lived there in his youth. When the Hungarian Revolution disturbed the country, he took up arms as a rebel, fighting for his rights in the capital. After devastating events, he and his comrades were captured and put on a train to a concentration camp in Russia. During the journey, the train had to make its way up a sharp mountain, causing the train to slow. The men inside had hatched a plan. While the train slowed, her grandfather and some other men ripped up the floor boards and escaped under the moving train. He made his way to another country in Europe – one more free than his own. From there he took a ship over to America, where he was greeted by Lady Liberty on Ellis Island.

Upon his first few months in America, he ran into more problems as his last name, Árokszilasy, was butchered by his fellow Americans. To resolve this problem, he went to a judge where he asked to shorten the name. His wish was granted and it was shortened to the first four letters. The name he created was an original, and became the identity of the family. Those four letters represented the struggle, hardship, and salvation of a man who fought for a better life.  He created a legacy that ran through a simple name, as well as a sense of pride in being one of a kind.

Businesses can be like family. The people are vital to its function, as are the relationships made within. This family identifies itself by its one of a kind last name, business names are no different. Names leave legacies, creating identities that can span the length of time. Great business name ideas live on, just as a simple family name can. The creation of business names is one that should not be left to a judge, but instead to the writers at Name My Blank.


LittleMermaidFew people would buy an iPod if it were named, “MP3 Player Made By Impoverished Chinese Workers.” You’d never buy “Processed Sugar and Other Chemicals That Make You Feel Happy For 5 Seconds.”  But a Twix?  That sounds fun and yummy.

Imagine if the pharmaceutical industry used painfully descriptive literal names.  Just the thought of it makes me want to take two pills of “Swirling Gut Relief Because You Had to Have Those Last 8 Chicken Wings”…err…I mean Tums.

The truth is that product names, business names and, yes, movie names really set the tone and expectation for the consumer.  Christine Gritmon and Nick Nadel had a little fun with that premise and created a series of faux Disney posters that use names that cynically (and with surprising accuracy) describe several classic Disney films.  The result is very funny.

It’s also pretty fascinating.  It shows how the right name and even the wrong name change the way we feel about something.  Whether it’s good ‘ole fashion Disney movies or business names, a new company name or heck, even boat names, the importance of naming something correctly can’t be understated.  Ok, maybe boat names aren’t life or death but you know what we mean.

How would you rename some of your favorite Disney classics?  How would you rename some of the world’s most popular products?  What hilarious name can you come up with in naming a business that’s out there today.  Email us at admin@NameMyBlank.com.  We’d love to hear what you come up with.

While these movie posters are all in good fun, real world business name ideas are critical to success.  That’s why NameMyBlank is proud to be your ultimate company name generator.  Why not open a contest for your new business name?  You’ll get lots of options from talented writers, pay one low cost, and there’s no long period waiting for the work. Even if it’s a boat name. Like the one where Ariel first saw her true love.