Founder, Designer, Developer, Surfer

Brand Naming Tips

Whether you’re naming a baby or a brand, it’s not a task to be taken lightly. Like a baby named Jack, a bad brand name can negatively effect the life of a business. Naming a brand is a deceivingly difficult process — particularly if your brand has an online presence.

The value is still in the dot com. Sure, other domain extensions such as .net, .org, .me, .us, etc. have their place, are well known or can be used creatively. However, there is no substitute for dot com. Like a great brand, “.com” is imprinted in the psyche of any fool that has ever browsed the internets. When .com meets the naming of a new brand or company, difficulty ensues. Every real, and almost every fake word has already been registered as a .com domain. You really have to get the creative juices flowing to find that perfect name, and I have a few suggestions:

  • Keep it to only 3 syllables per word — max. Preferably 2.
  • Make up a word. Get hooked on phonics and define your company without defining it. Examples are Hulu, Zappos, Acura.
  • Combine 2 short words.
  • Use a thesaurus.
  • Make sure it “rolls off the tongue” like Google or Twitter.
  • Make sure there’s no hidden negative or pornographic meaning. People’s minds wander to dark places, don’t make it any easier for them.
  • Don’t get caught up in the SEO of the name. SEO isn’t worth sacrificing the integrity of the brand. What’s more popular, Zappos or
  • If it’s just you, use your name if you can. Unfortunately for me, there’s thousands and thousands of David Morgan’s.
  • Run it by your friends and family. They’ll let you know if it sounds stupid.
  • If it doesn’t have a meaning, make one up. Muku has several meanings — purity, the crest of a wave, the New Moon phase in Hawaiian…

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