Naming Is Hell

Maybe it’s just me but nameinventing names is hard. Painfully hard. After countless frustrated hours you find a good sounding name. But soon you  discover it means something sh***y in another language. Or possibly someone has already trademarked your name. If all else fails you can be almost sure that someone has reserved your desired .com domain name long time ago and is willing to part with it – for a fee.


If you ever need to find a name for new company, product or brand I have some tips for you. I hope this helps you to speed up your naming process – drastically.

  • Try collecting some suitable keywords relevant to your service and combining them together in various ways. Maybe you will get lucky and find an excellent name. Some helpful tools (1, 2, 3) might assist you in this. Alternatively you can try inventing brandable name with little specific meaning. If you are really ambitious you can seek a word which can also be used as a verb.
  • Make sure your name is short enough and simple to pronounce. If you just say this name over the phone will the other person be able to correctly write the name down? How would your name sound if someone would say it in foreign language?
  • Google your name idea. You *really* need to do this to avoid embarrassing connotations and associations.
  • If you need a domain name associated with your name make sure to check availability. If you feel that good available names are impossible to find you can purchase a reserved domain name from a domain marketplace. If you want more comprehensive service you can purchase a reserved domain from a curated domain service (1, 2, 3, 4, 5). Personally I like the curated domain service as they include baseline descriptions and logo proposals. My new startup domain name was purchased from curated domain provider BrandBucket. Thanks to all nice BB people and founder Margot for your innovative and excellent service 🙂
  • In case you have many prospective names you can pick few leading candidates and ask many of your friends to sort them in the order of preference. Aggregate the results and you’ll likely find that this kind of crowd-voting can pick up clear winning and losing names. If you disagree with the winner you do not need to pick that name, but if your preferred name is one of the losers you better think again!
  • If possible make sure your name is not trademarked. Check out ROMARIN. This is generally a good idea as trademark owner could for example lay claim to your domains and Twitter handle.

2 thoughts on “Naming Is Hell

  1. Hi Vesa,
    Great article and really useful tips. I tried the crowd voting thing you talked about to help me decide on a company name. I found it a bit difficult doing it with friends though because they already knew which names I liked and some even helped me brainstorm them so it was hard to get really objective answers. I was looking online for some other options and I cam across this online tool for market testing called Crowdpicker, you can find it at I found it was really easy to use and the results I got from asking a few questions using different name options really helped me narrow down my choices and finally pick the best one. I really like the crowd voting idea and I was happy to find such an easy tool for it. I’ll probably use it again to name future products, definitely makes the process much easier!

  2. Hi Samm

    I’m very glad to hear that you found the article and tips useful. The Crowdpicker seems like a nice tool and it’s also very affordable. Will give it a try in future for sure.

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