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How to name your business

A guide on how to create a great business name, straight from the branding experts.

What makes a great business name?

A great company or product brand name is one that makes people stop in their tracks (even for just a few seconds) and think “What’s that?”. Mediocre names are easily ignored because they “sound like everything else” in a given industry, but a great name short circuits this process and sets up the person encountering the business to be engaged and ready to hear whatever message the business is presenting. Many of the most powerful names are what we call evocative names, or names that map to and support the positioning of a brand metaphorically, rather than literally and linearly.

BizNameWiz.com homepage illustration
BizNameWiz.com homepage illustration

Do a thorough analysis of your competitors

Doing a competitor analysis will help you map out the territory of what’s already out there in your space and how most of your competitors are blending in with each other instead of standing out. Next, only consider names that stand out from the competition, that look and sound good, are easy to pronounce, and, as a bonus provided by evocative names, have deep layers of meaning and history behind them, allowing you to tell a compelling story that will empower your brand marketing efforts for years to come.

The name you choose should also be extensible, able to work with sub-branded products or as a company name for whatever you may be doing in five or ten years, not just today.

Avoid the typical business naming mistakes

The biggest mistake businesses typically make is to think that the name somehow has to either describe what the company or product does, such as “speed” or “flexibility.” After the company realizes that all such direct names are already in use in their (and every!) industry, their next step is usually a trip to the thesaurus to generate synonyms for those words.

Then when they realize those names are also all taken, they start creating mashups of word parts of these synonyms, until they have a name that they are able to trademark. What they are left with is a name that may be technically “unique” and trademarkable, but that may be ugly to look at, difficult to pronounce, impossible to remember, and thus has almost zero brand value!

BizNameWiz.com homepage illustration

How to name your business

A guide on how to create a great business name, straight from the branding experts.

BizNameWiz.com homepage illustration

What makes a great business name?

A great company or product brand name is one that makes people stop in their tracks (even for just a few seconds) and think “What’s that?”. Mediocre names are easily ignored because they “sound like everything else” in a given industry, but a great name short circuits this process and sets up the person encountering the business to be engaged and ready to hear whatever message the business is presenting. Many of the most powerful names are what we call evocative names, or names that map to and support the positioning of a brand metaphorically, rather than literally and linearly.

BizNameWiz.com homepage illustration

Do a thorough analysis of your competitors

Doing a competitor analysis will help you map out the territory of what’s already out there in your space and how most of your competitors are blending in with each other instead of standing out. Next, only consider names that stand out from the competition, that look and sound good, are easy to pronounce, and, as a bonus provided by evocative names, have deep layers of meaning and history behind them, allowing you to tell a compelling story that will empower your brand marketing efforts for years to come.

The name you choose should also be extensible, able to work with sub-branded products or as a company name for whatever you may be doing in five or ten years, not just today.

BizNameWiz.com homepage illustration

Avoid the typical business naming mistakes

The biggest mistake businesses typically make is to think that the name somehow has to either describe what the company or product does, such as “speed” or “flexibility.” After the company realizes that all such direct names are already in use in their (and every!) industry, their next step is usually a trip to the thesaurus to generate synonyms for those words.

Then when they realize those names are also all taken, they start creating mashups of word parts of these synonyms, until they have a name that they are able to trademark. What they are left with is a name that may be technically “unique” and trademarkable, but that may be ugly to look at, difficult to pronounce, impossible to remember, and thus has almost zero brand value!

Latest business naming guides

Checkout the latest business naming guides and ideas lists written by our team of branding experts.

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