Do you hate coming up with names for your business? Every time you want to launch something, you’ve got to come up with a clever new name. For most of us, that’s a challenge. It takes time to brainstorm the perfect name that’s going to catch the attention of your ideal client.
But it’s work worth doing because the right name can pay off. Like any other piece of copy, names are marketing tools. You want them to make an impression, be memorable, and get people interested. A rose by any other name might smell as sweet, but your program with a lame name might not sell well.
Even if you don’t think you’re creative, you can come up with a killer name. Here’s a few tips to help you next time you’re brainstorming names for your next product, service, or program.
Get Some Inspiration
When you’re feeling like your creativity is tapped out, it’s time to get some naming inspiration. My favorite way to get started on a new name is to play with name generators. Two of my favorites are Wordlab Name Generators and Hipster Business Name.
These generators spout out completely random names and word pairs. The names they pick probably won’t be word for word what you want, but it could give you some ideas to use as a starting point.
Sometimes you’ll hit on a word that’s the perfect idea, but not the right word. That’s when it’s time to pull out the thesaurus. Visual Thesaurus is my favorite. You can use it to look up synonyms in a clickable word map that shows you how the words are related.
Word Play for the Win
A name that plays with words in an unusual way is going to be memorable. Our brains love surprises and notice the unexpected.
One especially sticky way to stay in people’s minds is with a rhyming name. They’re fun, they’re catchy, and they’re also memorable. Use a rhyming dictionary like RhymeZone to find the perfect words for your next name.
Another way to create a clever name is with puns. Some people hate puns. I am not one of those people. They’re a great way to show off your personality, especially in creative industries.
They’re super fun for product and service names too. One of my favorite punny product names is MMMHops. (Yes, the Hanson brothers make beer now.) I don’t even like beer, but that name has stuck with me since I saw it at a friend’s barbeque last summer. That’s the kind of sticking power you want in a name!
Play around with rhymes, puns, and alliteration to find a name your clients won’t forget.
Keep it Simple
You want people talking about you, right? Make it easy for them by picking words that are easy to say and spell. You don’t have to use just common words, but think twice before picking a difficult to say word or an untraditional spelling.
Before I was a copywriter, I sold yarn on Etsy. When I was brainstorming names for my yarn business, I almost named my shop Ingenue Knits. But the more I thought about the name, I realized ingenue is not a common word (and even I was misspelling it). With some more brainstorming I came up with January Yarns, which is much easier to say and spell!
Use a Tagline
Sometimes you come up with a name you like, but it doesn’t really tell people anything about your business. You don’t have to scrap the name and go with the obvious. Instead add a tagline to help people understand what you’re offering.
The name of my opt-in is a perfect example. I called it “Home Page Hook”, because you want a home page that hooks in visitors. From the name alone, you might not know what you’re actually getting. But when I add the tagline “A free step-by-step guide to writing persuasive home page copy”, it explains the offer and shows the benefit you get when you sign up.
Make a List
When you only need one name, it’s tempting to stop as soon as you hit on one you kind of like. Try to brainstorm several names, so you have plenty of options. The perfect name might be the fifth one you try!
It’s also good to give yourself options in case your first choice isn’t available. You might fall in love with a name only to discover it’s really close to a competitor’s name. Give yourself choices and if you have time, let them sit for a day or two before you pick the winner.
Next time you’re naming something for your business, use these tips to help you hit on the perfect name. Take your time brainstorming and you’ll be surprised at all the creative names you come up with!
Sarah Anderson is the copywriter behind Spitfire Scribe. She works with creative entrepreneurs and coaches to craft irresistible web copy that sells, with a side of personality. Sarah believes sales should be fun and there’s room for everyone to succeed online.When she’s not writing, you might find her sipping on iced lattes, having a Hamilton sing along, or re-watching Gilmore Girls for the 10th time.