So you’ve got a great idea for a business. You’re sure it’s the next big thing, and you’re ready to start bringing it to life.
But first you need a name.
If you were Evan Williams, you’d already have come up with a name like Odeo or Twitter.
Instead, you’ve had 100 name ideas–and they were all terrible. Now you’re looking for some outside help.
Naming your startup is hard, but as it happens, there are some useful tools out there that can help you find the brand that’ll make you famous.
Here’s a look at five of the best (plus a few bonus tools that didn’t quite make the cut).
The first step in the naming process is to search for a base or root word for your brand name, which you can modify or extend to create your final brand name.
Once you have a base word in mind, it’s a good idea to search for alternatives that might work better as a brand name. This is where Visual Thesaurus comes in!
Following in Evan’s footsteps, you may want to go with “audio” if you are starting a podcasting company, and the visual thesaurus gives you a range words that are synonyms or similar to the meaning of the root word.
Although this is a paid service, it offers a 14-day risk free trial.
If you are going to start an online product, why not name it something that people already search for? UberSuggest tells you exactly that.
Enter your base word and UberSuggest attaches letters and numbers to it, and then checks for suggestions. It shows you what people usually search for containing your base word, arranged in alphabetical order.
UberSuggest recursively searches for suggestions, which means that if you click on one suggestion, you are shown further suggestions based on that and so on.
You can shortlist terms as you go through the list, then transfer the list to your clipboard later.
A portmanteau is generated by combining two or more words together and joining the shared letters or sounds. Pinterest (pin and interest) is an example of a portmanteau.
WerdMerge helps you generate portmanteaus, starting with your base word.
You can click on suggested words in WerdMerge to generate additional portmanteaus.
If portmanteaus aren’t working out, you might try Impossibility, a tool that finds unregistered domains by appending or prepending adjectives, nouns or verbs of a certain length to your base word. Let’s try it out on our base word, “audio.”
You can customize whether to add the words at the beginning or end of your base word, as well as the length and nature of the new word.
Once you are fairly certain of a name, you should start wondering about registering domains and social accounts for the name. NameChk does that for you while you sit back and relax. Just enter your potential name and NameChk tells you if those usernames are available on different social networks and possible domain names you could register. Let us pick up one portmanteau and check its availability across different websites.
NameChk is a huge timesaver. Once you’ve narrowed your list down to a few favorites, run them through NameChk to avoid unpleasant surprises later.
No name yet? Here are a few extra tools that are also useful–or just plain fun.
FAKE WORD is a random name generator, which, as the title suggests, generates meaningless terms like “kuzzooroo” or “azoofile”.
Wordoid is a naming tool that generates catchy names, which are either random or contain a specified word. Unfortunately, it also shows the domain names that are taken!
Sloganizer can help you come up with a tagline to go with your new name. Just enter your brand and watch the magic.
Sloganizer generates slogans based on a random set, so you should be careful before using them. Also, some of the generated lines are really funny. How about “Ooo La La, audiodorant!”?
A tough but important task
Choosing a great brand name is not an easy job, but it really matters in the long run.
Tools like these can be a big help when you get stuck.
What process did you follow to successfully name your brand? Did you use any of these tools to help you?
Let us know in the comments below!