You’ve got the killer business idea.
Now you just need some creative business names…
But it feels like all the good names are taken right?
Especially the dot com domain names.
Fear not my soon-to-be-founder friend!
With this handy guide you’ll be busting out business names in no time!
Before we jump into the creative business naming techniques, we need to cover the do’s and don’ts of business naming.
Let’s get to it.
The do’s of business naming
- Do make the business name as short as possible
- Do say the business name out loud a few times
- Do test the name with friends and family
- Do check if the business name is already being used
- Do ‘sleep on’ your business name at least over night
The don’ts of business naming
- Don’t make your business name hard to pronounce
- Don’t make your business name hard to spell
- Don’t use a business name that means something silly in another language
- Don’t create a business name that is too similar to another business name
15 Creative business naming techniques
Now you know the do’s and don’ts of business naming, let’s get onto the business naming techniques!
1. Combine two words
A sure-fire way to create new business names is two combine two words.
There are countless successful businesses out there that have made a new business name by combining two words.
Microsoft, YouTube and Facebook are all great examples of business names that combine two words.
Think about two words that sum up your business and put them together. It’s that simple.
You are bound to come up with endless options for business names using this method.
2. Add letters to the beginning of words
One way of getting around the fact that your business name is already taken is to add some letters to the start of the word.
Some great examples of this include UpWork, USwitch and MySpace.
Adding a letter or letters is a great way to create a new word.
It also allows you to use a commonly used word in your business name that would not normally be available.
Just pick a bunch of words that describe your business and start adding letters to the beginning of it.
Some examples of words and letters can include ‘My’ ‘Try’ ‘In’ ‘Up’ and ‘O’.
3. Add letters to the end of words
Some of the most successful examples of business names are when the founder gets creative and starts adding letters to the end of a word.
Some great examples of this include Logobly, Spotify and Friendster.
There are all types of suffixes or end letters you can add to create an original name.
There are letters you can use, for example, ‘ful’ ‘ist’ ‘ster’ ‘ly’ and ‘sta’.
So grab a word you like for your business name and start by adding some playful letters to the end of it to create a whole bunch of fun new business names.
4. Use alternative spelling
You can have some real fun with business names if you start to play around with the spelling of a word.
Some great examples of this include Lyft, Dribbble and Klout.
Think of your ideal word or business name and simply start playing around with the spelling.
This can be a real source for creative business names and also a way to find available dot com domain names for your new venture.
5. Use a real name
Back in the day, everyone used to name their business after themselves.
It’s not as common these days but it still is an option when it comes to generating business names.
Some great examples of using real names in a business name are Warby Parker, Calvin Klien and Levi Strauss.
Using your real name may seem old school and more of a fashion-related thing, but there certainly some successful businesses that have done so over the years.
6. Shorten words
If your favourite business names and domain names are already taken, why not try shortening the name.
For example, Twitter used to be Twittr. Shortening or taking letters out of a business name is a great way to get the business name you’re after.
Although not as popular as it used to be, it can give your business a younger feel which may appeal to your audience more.
You’ll also find that the dot com domain names are often still available for a reasonable price.
If not, just get really successful and buy the full word just like Twitter did.
7. Use a well-known phrase
One of the most creative business names I’ve ever seen was I Hate Ironing.
Yes, there is a company called IHateIroning.com and they are really successful.
Using phrases people say in their everyday language is a great way to generate new business names.
The best way is to think of phrases that people say in and around your particular industry.
Another famous example is LastMinute.com.
These names can sound long, but they certainly are distinctive and will relate to your target market.
Why not try using a well-known phrase as the basis of one of your business names.
8. Make the domain name the name
At the height of the internet era, there was a whole bunch of businesses that used domain names and their business name.
This was and still is a great way to name your business.
Especially if you’re venture is purely internet based. Some great examples today include Booking.com, Fab.com and Match.com.
Yes, it is very difficult to find available dot com domain names, but there is still some out there if you are not going for the really obvious, popular words.
9. Use numbers in your name
Another way to create a unique and creative business name is to use numbers.
Some great examples of this include 888.com, WD40 and Forever21.
The key to using numbers in your business name is to not use too many numbers.
It’s best to keep it as short and memorable as possible.
Using numbers at the beginning or end of your business name is a creative way to get around using a word that you really want.
Just add a number at the beginning or end and you’ve got a new, original business name.
10. Add the word ‘Company’ to the end
One trend I have seen of late is to add the word ‘Company’ to the end of the business name.
I’m sure this was very popular centuries ago. It seems that this has come back into fashion.
It is a way to give your business a more credible sounding name. One such successful business that uses this in its business name is Jessica Alba’s The Honest Company.
Why not try adding Company to the end of one of your favourite business names.
11. Use letters not words
Using just letters can be another way to generate a business name.
There are companies out there who are wildly successful with letters as their business names.
Some examples include DHL, AT&T and IMDB. The challenge with this is finding an available dot com domain name.
If you are not bothered with getting a dot com domain, this may well be a good simple option a business name.
12. Use the domain name extension creatively
One way of getting a new business name and an available domain name is to get creative with the domain name extension.
For example, Content.ly. You get a great name and the domain is available.
The important thing with this business naming technique is make sure you don’t make it too confusing for the reader.
It has to be a simple, natural extension to the name.
13. Add an extra letter
Adding an extra letter is a fun way to create a new business name.
You can often create a new dictionary word name for your business when you get a little cheeky and add an extra letter or two into your business name.
Dribbble is a great example of this.
When you’re creating a new business name by adding an extra letter, make sure you use letters that make sense.
14. Make up a word
When all else fails. Make up a word. A made up word is one way to really make your mark.
The domain name for your made up word will most certainly be available.
So will all of the usernames online.
Some great examples of made up words that have been used for business are Instagram, Reddit, Lululemon and Pinterest.
Start making up words for your business name. Jot them down on a pad. When you’ve got a few you like, just search for them on Google.
If there are no results, you’re good to go.
15. Try a business name generator
If you’re still stuck for creative business names, check out list of the 10 best business name generators right here.
You don’t have to come up with your creative business name overnight.
Write down a bunch of business names using these methods and then sleep on them.
One way to tell if you have ‘the one’ is when you can’t stop thinking about it.
Once you’ve decided on your business name, the first thing you should do is register the dot com domain name.
That way you’ve locked away your domain name at the very least.
From there you can get on with the task of building your new business.
I wish you the best of luck with your new business venture.