How to Think of a Brand Name

In this video and blog we take you through the steps of how to think of a brand name.

Naming things can be hard work. We have sweated for weeks in the past trying to come up with an awesome name for something, but over the years we have perfected this process, not only for ourselves but for a countless number of clients and other small businesses too.

So, here’s the 5 steps we ALWAYS take, whenever we are tasked with thinking of an awesome brand name.

Note: when we say brand name, this can apply to anything: companies, products, video series, podcasts etc. The rules still apply.

How to Think of a Brand Name: 5 Steps

Let’s get going…

Step 1: Write a list of words that describe what you are trying to say.

This is an easy starting point. We always start an brand name brainstorm by simply writing a list of as many words we can think of that get across what we are trying to say. It doesn’t matter if these words would make good brand names or not, but it will get you in the creative space of thinking along the same lines. In the video above, we talk about how Innocent Smoothies did this and solved 9 months of deliberation in just 3 seconds.

How to think of a brand name


Step 2: Cut the crap

Let’s be honest, when others before you were asking themselves ‘how to think of brand name?’ They didn’t think very hard. Resulting in messy, long winded, confusing, forgettable brand names.

You need to basically cut the crap when thinking of brand names. A good brand name is simple to remember and simple to pass on, so don’t over think it or overdo it.

Step 3: Ask your peers

This step comes with a big ‘ol caveat… We don’t want you to ask everybody and their dog their opinion for 2 main reasons:

  1. People don’t know what they are talking about. They aren’t in your business, they may not have the full picture, and they won’t know all your goals. What they will have is an opinion. And depending on who you are talking too – that may be quite strong (we all know one of those people right?)
  2. Ask too many people their opinion and you’ll end up with an average. You don’t want to be average. Death by consensus is ALWAYS something to avoid when it comes to creative tasks.

With those 2 reasons to one side, getting a small group of people together to advise, brainstorm and knock around some ideas is always good for creativity. We talked about this in our last article on Creative Ideas for Business.

Finding creative people you can talk to about your business will always pay off for you, when thinking of a brand name or anything else.

Step 4: is your friend

Yes, is an unsung marketing hero in disguise. We think we have probably loaded it up in 90% of our naming sessions.

Why? Because it is basically full of potential brand names. Remember those words you came up with in Step 1. Plug them into and see what it gives you.

It will x100 your inspiration.

Step 5: Let it sit with you

Sometimes the perfect brand name will rise to the top straight away. We thought of Talking Business in a matter of seconds during a conversation with Tiana, and Rule Breakers likewise was one of those names that just hits you, when you know exactly what it is you are trying to say.

However often it can take a bit longer to think of a brand name, and sometimes it need to sit with you for a little while first.

When Andrew first pitched the idea of ‘Andrew and Pete’ to Pete, even though it ticked all the boxes, it still needed to sit with us both for a couple weeks before we decided we loved it.

The same story is true of atomic.

In fact, naming atomic was probably one of our hardest. It took some atomic brain power that’s for sure.

We went through these steps though, we wrote down all the words we wanted atomic to be about (small biz, empowering, marketing, powerful, training, online, fun, creative etc.) we plugged them all into, asked some trusted peers about our favourite ideas, cut out the crap so it was just simple.

It wasn’t till we decided we needed the name to say one thing:

Small but Mighty

That the word atomic came to Pete one day.

Even then, we had to let it sit with us. It’s funny actually – it took Pete a lot longer to love it – even though it was his idea!

So don’t be rash, give yourself a deadline to think of name, and a deadline to mull over names.

So, there you have it – how to think of a brand name – in 5 steps.

It takes some practice, but follow this formula to guide your creativity, and remember you can apply this to naming anything – although we take no responsibility for crazy baby names (looking at you North West).

Want some more?

Andrew and Pete - Brand Name Checklist

Download our Brand Name checklist for FREE by clicking here to make sure your brand name hits the spot!