We are often engaged to develop innovative and meaningful new names for companies, services and products. This process can be enjoyable, however it also takes strategic thinking and a lot of time. Here are some helpful tips to developing an innovative and memorable name.
In this day and age when the branding industry is backed by such high-concept phrases as speech stream visibility, multilingual functionality and phonetic transparency, we’d like to translate concepts like these into plain speak:
- To start: Assuming you have reviewed your business category for competitive companies, products and services to avoid name duplication, you can begin by creating a list of names that you like. Ask others to come up with a few names they like. This will give you a great base to the creative juices flowing.
- Create words – Think of Google, Skype and Twitter. These names meant nothing before these companies. Yet as sounds each evoke particular feelings and images. It is also beneficial to use ”created” words because the trademark and domain name will more likely be available.
- Get rooted in Latin – Let’s say you are starting a biotech company and want to be portrayed as an innovative, unique, industry leader. Look up Latin roots that have similar meanings. For Instance, “forc” is Latin for strong and “duct” means to lead. ForcDuct means “strong lead.” You can do the same with other languages.
- Consider the story behind the name – Just because you are not in the rare gem business doesn’t mean you cannot create a name after one. Especially if what you are describing is like a rare gem. For example, you want your company to be seen as unique and high-end, consider using a name like “Red Beryl” one of the most rare of emeralds in the world. Or “Thomas Range”, the mountain range where these rare gems are found.
- Combining meaningful word forms – Think of two or even three words that best represent the attributes you want to portray. Word combinations can make really strong names. For example, if you are a technology company wishing to present that your company’s vision to make products that optimize performance, combine words like Optiguide (leader in optimizing).
- Personal names – Personal names can be very strong. Think of Merrill Lynch or De Beers. You can use your children’s name, your name or even the name of someone you really like. It gives the feeling that someone important is behind the company.
- Change the spelling – Instead of Phalanx, try Falanx or change Elusive to EluSiv.
- Start a cursory search on your top 10 names:
Go to: http://tess2.uspto.gov/bin/gate.exe?f=tess&state=4002:o9ehn5.1.1 to find out if your name has already been trademarked in the United States. Use the basic search mechanism. Only look at the trademarks that are “live”. Also, the name can be trademarked, but if it is not in your particular product category, you may still be able to use the name.
- Go to: http://tess2.uspto.gov/bin/gate.exe?f=tess&state=4002:o9ehn5.1.1 to find out if your name has already been trademarked in the United States. Use the basic search mechanism. Only look at the trademarks that are “live”. Also, the name can be trademarked, but if it is not in your particular product category, you may still be able to use the name.
- Do a domain name search:
We like the website Register.com You can type in the name you would like to use and see if the domain name is taken.Adding Suffixes:
Do not be discouraged if your domain name is taken. The easiest way to get around that is by adding a suffix. For instance, Marrs.com is taken, you could use Marrstech.com. Also adding suffixes such .usa or .net can make the domain available.
- Last Step:
After you have chosen a name, we would recommend hiring a trademark attorney. Especially before plastering the name on billboards and packaging. This only describes a cursory search process. Your attorney will be able to really research the name to a greater depth and eliminate any problems for the future.
Check back in the future for more information on naming global companies, products and services.