How to Decide on a Brand Name: A Step by Step Guide

by Zaara 01, Jul 2019

When incorporating a business, the first and foremost thing to do is to decide a name for the business. This is a very crucial decision as the name should not only provide an idea to the customers as to what product and services the company provides but should also be flexible enough so that it could be used after the company gets success.

Selecting a brand name could be a complex and time-intensive task but when done properly would give you a huge return. Let us first understand the different types of names.

Types of Brand Name

All brand names can be divided into five categories. These categories help in deciding the type of name you would like the company to have. The categories are:

1.Generic Name

This is the simplest and easiest kind of a name that a company could use for itself. This does not require much brainstorming and is a fairly simple name. It is very difficult for a generic name to get a trademark as these are identical to the product or services that they are attached to. For example, giving the name ‘Apple’ to a company selling apples will be a very generic name.  

2.Descriptive Name

Similar to the generic names, descriptive names too are difficult to trademark. They can acquire trademark only after they prove that they have a different or secondary meaning. Usually, to make a generic brand name, an adjective is added in the front or back of the main word. For example, names such as Awesome Shirts or Unique Cars describe the actual product but can be confused with other products which are similar to ours. Thus it is a very risky name to be put.

3.Suggestive Name

The suggestive names provide clue related to the aspect and quality of the product. These have a better chance of getting trademark protection. These kind of names are easily recognizable and whenever people hear these terms, in their mind, they associate the company with the products. These have longevity in the industry and can be easily legally protected.

4.Coined Name

Coined words have a positive side and a negative side to them. The positive is that since it is a made up name, it is totally unique and therefore, very easy to trademark. Such words may or may not have any meaning or are based on Greek or Latin or any other word unknown to the public. The negative is that since it is a totally made up word, people may not find it easy to understand and associate it with a brand. Some examples of such word are Google, Twitter, Sony, etc.

5.Arbitrary Name

These brand names may sound very generic but are trademarked as these are used in a very different way than normally imagined. Some of the examples of companies having arbitrary names are “Shell” and “Apple”. In this case, the above-mentioned companies do not sell either seashells or fruits, and it is because of this the names are arbitrary.

All in all, choosing the name for business will require a lot of time and brainstorming. The name would represent your company for the complete life of the company and thus requires to be given a lot of time. Choosing the name of a company is one of the most important and significant things which should be done before setting up a company.

How to Choose a Brand Name?

Choosing a name for the business can be a very daunting task as the company would be recognized with this name. Here is a step by step guide which will help you to figure out the appropriate name for your company.

1.Figure Out Your Core Values

This would include figuring out your mission and vision statements. This would set up a baseline and would help in narrowing down what feature of your business makes it different from other competitors. This understanding of your company will be your first stepping stone to giving an appropriate name to your business.

2.Market Research

Now you may have understood the values of your company but you still don’t have the necessary information to start brainstorming about names. You need to now conduct market research. This trademark searchwould provide you withclarity as to what names are preferred by the customers and what are the options available to you.


After gathering all the necessary data, you can conduct a brainstorming session which would provide you with a number of names and alternatives to choose from. During a brainstorming session, one needs to jot down all the names that come to mind without thinking about its viability.

4.Select from Alternatives

When all the names are at a place, we can start refining the list. This is done by scrutinizing each and every name according to the viability and availability of the name. many of the names could be removed just by seeing them. This would substantially reduce the alternatives and would leave us with 8-10 names.

5.Checking Availability

We need to check for the availability of each name that has been finalised. If the name has been already then it cannot be used by you. It should also be made sure that the chosen names do not actually violate any rules or regulation as stipulated by the government of the country.

6.Final Decision

After checking the availability, there would be some more names on the list that would be removed. This would further shorten your list of names. From the remaining number of names, you will be required to choose the name of the company. This name should aptly represent the company and its vision for the future.

Once the final decision has been taken, you need to make the logos, trademark symbols and the packaging of the products utilizing the brand name very creatively. The more creative the name is, the better would be the brand value of the company.

We at Commitbiz would take care of all your business incorporation queries and would leave you without any worries so that you can focus more freely on giving your business a personal touch. We provide world-class management advisory services and can handle any kind of business related query. For more details on the various services we provide, do contact us- we would be happy to help.