Naming a Brand vs. Naming a Baby

Blog / April 29, 2017

If you're in my circle of friends and family, you know wife and I have our first child arriving in a couple months. As we are tossing around names for our baby boy and trying to decide on the perfect name, I can't help but realize how similar the process is to naming one of our clients’ new business. Both instances demand a lot of thought. So let's see how the naming process at Avidity compares to naming our baby.

The obvious similarity between naming a baby and a business is the importance. For most entrepreneurs their business is their baby. A good business name can make your brand great. However, the name you give your child will be with them their whole life, whether they like it or not. A business always has the option to change their name. Which is more important? It's a toss up. 

The first time you hear a person’s name you start to build a picture in your mind of what that person is like. Right or wrong, you use previous experiences you've had with someone of the same name to base your opinions. Similarly, a business name might remind you of another business and might impact your opinion. 

So how do we come up with the perfect name? Let's compare the process.


Step One

Find All The Names

Baby: My wife and I (mostly her) went through countless lists of baby names. We took note of every name we liked and compiled a big list. Side note, I never knew how many ways there are to spell Braden. 

Business: After learning about the business and the target audience, we begin by listing as many possibilities as we can. We list adjectives, acronyms, verbs, alternate spellings and more.

Step Two

Narrow The List

Baby: We eliminated names that gave us bad memories and associations. Surprise! Neither of us wanted a name that reminded us of past relationships or a former coworker who we scuffled with. We kept names that gave us a “Hey, I like that!” feeling. 

Business: Next, we remove all the business names that create the wrong vibe. Anything that sounds similar to another business that could confuse your customer is taken out.

Step Three

Test The Best Names

Baby: Now that we have a small group of names we let them sit with us for a while. We say them out loud. We write them down to see how they look with our last name. We determine if the name is too popular for us. After all, there's already enough Michaels in the world. 

Business: The narrowed list of names we choose is tested for availability. Can we find an available website domain? We also rest the names with your target audience and find out what things they think of when hearing the names. Perhaps a few of the remaining names lend themselves to obvious logo designs that would work well – typically short names.

Step Four

Pick The Name

Baby: The day comes. We need to decide a name. We've narrowed down to only a few and let them sit with us for awhile. Now, “the one” has felt right and it all makes sense. But, do we tell anyone? I think we will wait. 

Business: There's always a couple names that pass all the tests. They're unique. They're engaging. They fit your brand. There's always one that just seems to be the one. Let's go with that one. 

Now that we have the name, what's next? For the business it's time to get started on the logo design and the rest of your identity. For the baby… I suppose we stock up on diapers and food, but I'm new to this.

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