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How To Name Your Brand: BTS of Brand Naming

There’s no easy way around it: brand naming is challenging, but it can also be fun if you have the right process behind you. In helping my clients name their businesses, I become their brainstorming partner, guiding them along the brand naming discovery process so they can come away with an incredible brand name that represents what they do beautifully.

Whether you have a personal brand and you’re ready to evolve with a brand name that represents your business or you’re starting an entirely new business, these tips will guide you!

Read on to discover how to name your brand.

1. BRAINSTORM CORE CONCEPTS.

Sometimes my clients approach me with themes in mind, something that layers over their work, from architecture to astrology. If it is appropriate to who you are as a professional and a business owner, themes can be a beautiful way to distill higher-level messaging concepts into a concise name that evokes the magic of what you do. However, if you don’t have a theme, that’s totally okay, too. In the discovery process, we often find your metaphor. 

If you’re lost, do a brain dump of words that inspire you, create a moodboard on Pinterest, or go a little deeper into that special WHY behind your business. Is there a place, a number, a belief, a career that guided you here? Anything goes at this stage of the process!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

2. FIND YOUR METAPHOR.

Brand names can be a beautiful way to evoke metaphors that are already at work in your brand. In my own business, I named my brand The Literary Co because I have a master’s degree in English, and I’m a lifelong writer and reader who loves all things ‘literary’. 

When I was operating as a personal brand, I felt that my business didn’t fully represent my capabilities as a copywriter or my business goals. Simply working under my first and last name made me feel like just another copywriter instead of an expert. I thought, why can’t copywriting sparkle with a literary quality? That’s where The Literary Co was born. 

Guided by my studies in literature, as well as my experience writing for magazines, publishing stories & essays, and, of course, my work with 100+ creative brands, I help you book more clients through the power of words and storytelling. The theme is baked right in! 

You can do this with your own brand name, too, by thinking about your studies, career path, passions, and approaches within your work. All of these elements are fruitful places to start in terms of developing directions for your brand name.

3. LET YOUR CREATIVITY RUN WILD WHEN BRAND NAMING.

In the brainstorming process, don’t be afraid to let your creativity run wild. Get paper and pen involved. Open a Google Doc. Write anything that comes to mind. I recommend doing a brain dump, and then researching words in the dictionary or thesaurus. Simply play at this stage. Don’t force yourself to edit or delete anything. Don’t worry that it sounds dumb or no one will like it. Just iterate.

Once you have some possibilities, begin narrowing down your favorites. I recommend playing around with different combinations. For example, have single-word brand names (think: Voluspa, Minted, Anthropologie), as well as options that are 2-3 words long (like Rifle Paper Co, Drop Bottle, Bare Minerals). Generally, I don’t recommend going longer. Who wants to remember (or type in) a sentence-long brand name?!

4. DO YOUR BRAND NAMING RESEARCH.

Did the brainstorming process turn up some magical possibilities? Before you get your heart set on any specific name, check for (1) domain names and (2) social media handles. 

Do your research to make sure that another business doesn’t have a similar name to yours, especially if they are in your industry. The last thing you want is a name that creates confusion. 

5. THINK OF YOUR DREAM CLIENTS.

Ok, I know you hear this one everywhere, for good reason. If your clients don’t get your business name or it doesn’t resonate with them, you risk losing out on clients and turning people away who would otherwise love to work with you.

It may be tempting to change the spelling of your brand name to sound cool, fun, or quirky (or because someone else has the name already), but please don’t, for the sake of your clients. Try to create a name that will be somewhat easy for your ideal clients to spell, pronounce, and share about.

6. CHECK FOR TRADEMARKS.

After you have brainstormed and checked for domains and social handles, I recommend doing a basic word mark search to see if others have already trademarked a brand name. 

Typically, you won’t be able to see applications that are already in process, but note that people that have filed first have precedence over the brand name, so if this is something you’re planning on, consult a legal professional. It’s always a good idea to ensure that you can actually own your business name, even if this isn’t something you’re ready to do right now.

(Quick disclaimer: The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice.)

7. FILE YOUR LLC or DBA.

Now you’re all ready to file your LLC (or other business legal structure). This ensures that you can legally do business in your state.

If you already have an LLC, file a DBA (“Doing Business As”) so that you can legally and professionally move forward with your new business name.

7. CELEBRATE IN STYLE.

After naming your business, I always recommend hiring a brand designer or finding a pre-made brand kit that will suit your needs. When your brand is all ready to go, launch it in style! Check out how my brand naming, messaging, and website copywriting client Carly at Schematic Design Co announced her rebrand on Instagram.

Are you ready for a phenomenal brand name that truly encompasses all that you do? Contact us to get started!

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