BrandingChoosing a name for a business or logo these days is very difficult. In fact, coming up with good brandable names has always been difficult. One needs to come up with a strong term which is suggestive of the product or service without being too limiting. The process is fulfilling, but more tedious that it seems.

Take one of the strongest business names to date: International Business Machines, or IBM. This company started making type writers and now makes the most complex of business computer systems. A name that was as relevant 100 years ago as it is today. Remarkable really. Back then you had to worry about trademarking a name, along with consumer receptivity. Today you need to worry about domain name availability and a much more saturated landscape of taken or generic names.

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The best branding these days comes from unique uses of existing words, or modifications of existing words. The tech and internet world has brought forth the greatest ingenuity in name branding in the last 10 years. Names like Yahoo, eBay, and Google, are either existing words, arbitrary tech nominers, or respelling of obscure words. This is the trend as complex branding has made it difficult to effectively trademark all but the most abstract of terms and phrases.

Beyond that, one has an international market to deal with. Because top level internet domains (.com, .net, etc…) are world accessible. You will have to fight with people using different languages and spellings for a whole host of new and interesting business names, logos, and catch phrases.

An effective business name is whimsical yet professional sounding. You want to target the broadest audience, and your name should have some relation back to what you are selling or providing. The best way to start is by taking some blank pieces of paper and writing down terms associated with your product or service. As you write these terms down, start combining and messing around with the words. Draw them in interest ways, and have fun drawing. Don’t limit yourself to a word processor. Next, take terms you like and Google them. If a term is not used much, you might be on to something. If at first you do not succeed, just remember that good branding is a process, and the right term will come to you. Try not to settle on terms that are too generic or common. You will not have a good business name by just placing an “e” or “i” in front a common word.

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In the end have fun. Name brainstorming is the best part of branding. Because perception is at least 50% of business, taking the time to think of a good brandable business name is worth every moment of time you put into it.

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