The Art of Brainstorming Business Name Ideas

The Art of Brainstorming Business Name Ideas

Gathering your team in a bleak conference room staring at a white board is not where vibrant ideas come from. Getting together with friends over a bottle of wine (or two) is similarly unproductive. Imaginative name ideas don’t materialize out of thin air. That’s why Namerific has decided to give you a helping hand when it comes to brainstorming business name ideas. The following is a list of useful brainstorming techniques:

1. The beauty of the thesaurus treasure chest

It’s amazing how helpful a thesaurus can be! You can be lucky enough to find a treasure trove of synonyms and related words. is probably one of the most popular sites.

2. Familiarise yourself with the lingo

Comb through glossaries of terms, every sport, hobby and industry has its own jargon of interesting and unique words and phrases. You’ll be pleased to know you can find endless amounts of pages online by searching for “glossaries,” “lingo,” “vernacular,” “jargon,” “dictionaries,” “thesaurus,” “terms,” “words” or “slang,” which are essentially the same thing but interestingly will turn up different results in searches.

3. Gather the right people and materials

Get a reliable group in the room — five to eight is just about the right number. It’s always great and helpful to have a mix of team members and outsiders. Invite copywriters or even just friends who are really good with words. Have some way to display all the names being generated in real time. Why not go old school and use huge pieces of paper stuck to the wall and markers. You will also require blank pieces of paper and pens for everyone participating.

4. Loosen up

To get everyone’s creative juices flowing, and generate stimuli for the next step, start with a few word-association exercises. Usually, choosing two to three topics related to the business idea should suffice. So, if for instance you’re launching a business that facilitates mobile payment. You might do one-word association around the idea of “tariff,” and one around the idea of “pay as you go”.

Then you need to encourage everyone in the room to shout out any words that come to mind from these concepts. So for tariff you’d get answers like: money, dollar, package, rate and others. In the meantime, someone should be recording these words in a way that’s visible to everyone.

5. Start generating

Suggest to everyone to individually come up with 10 names in the period of 10 minutes. This is an incredibly short amount of time to come up with 10 names, and that’s on purpose. It’s so people can’t get bogged down trying to come up with the perfect name, and instead just start getting names on paper. No one has time to overthink or be self-conscious. To make things easier, allow them to use words from the first exercise as inspiration.

6. Share and build

As everyone is sharing, people should be encouraged to build upon these names as they’re read aloud. By now, you will have tons of names on the wall, and even more written down on sheets of paper. Many will be terrible, though sometimes gems do emerge. Ask everyone to choose their top three favorites, and then end the meeting.

7. Finalizing

In the following weeks, sort out the names and type your favorites on individual sheets of paper. Later, check whether the URL is available, even though this process can be tedious. At that point, scrutinize the names again. Set short deadlines — perhaps one name per day — for team members to generate five more names each and add them to the list.

Remember that there’s no such thing as the “perfect” name that tells your entire story that everyone will fall in love with on first sight. Choose a good, solid name that is own-able, pronounce-able, spell-able, and doesn’t have any palpable negative undertones.

The art of brainstorming is certainly not a process for the faint hearted, because unique company names are not just thought up over a coffee break. A name is the principal image that reflects a business. It’s also highly emotional. Often quantity trumps quality — at least at the start of the process. It’s only once you’ve picked a handful of solid contenders, you can eventually decide on a brilliant name for your business.

Check our our Namerific blog, we have helpful tips and tricks up our sleeve that will surely aid your brainstorming process.

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