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Naming your business can be difficult! Let's dive into one thing you can do to make it a bit easier on yourself — understanding the 5 most common types of brand names you have to choose from in the first place.

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Name your business — the most common types of names and when to use them

What’s in a name? Well, as it turns out, quite a lot!

Your brand name will often be the first thing that your potential customer will learn about you and at that very moment, they’ll start forming an opinion.

So, while naming your business can be really tough, it’s gotta be good. No pressure, right?!

Let’s dive into one thing you can do to make it a bit easier on yourself — that’s to understand the 5 most common types of brand names you have to choose from in the first place.

1. Descriptive

First up are descriptive names. These names state what the product or service is, like General Motors and The Travel Channel.

Sometimes you see these in the form of acronyms, like the United Parcel Service or UPS. Other times these names are also location-specific, like Bank of America and Rochester Gas and Electric.

Descriptive names are great for letting your audience know exactly what it is that you do…there’s no room for interpretation. However, they don’t let you know anything about the brand’s personality which is why these names often have a tagline that runs alongside them.

2. Evocative

Evocative names on the other hand do suggest the positioning of the brand. They allow for more interpretation because the names are often more creative and unique, and allow you to stand out in their industry.

A few examples of evocative names are Apple, Nike, and Amazon.

While an evocative name does create an impact, connecting meaning to the name can be a challenge and can be a long process.

3. Experiential

Experiential names describe the experience your client or customer will have or maybe a benefit they’ll receive. For example: Infoseek, Safari, and Best Buy.

These names are great for letting your audience know what they can expect when they work with you.

4. Founder named

4th on the list are businesses named after their founder, which is something that’s been done all throughout history. Think about the Gutenberg Printing Press, Walt Disney, and Ford.

While founder-based names are less common today for large companies, many solopreneurs and small business owners do stick to using their own name.

And if you’re going to be the center of your brand, or if you plan to write books, do speaking engagements, or provide one-on-one services like coaching or training, it makes total sense to use your given name for your business name because you’ll be the face of the company.

5. Invented

If all else fails, and you can’t find a word that works for your business, good news — you can make one up!

Invented names are often built from root words or constructed from parts of actual words to help evoke a brand’s personality.

While trademarking an invented name would be easy, keep in mind that you’ll have to work harder to build brand equity and make it memorable.

So you can see that each type of name has pros and cons, and some may fit with your business strategy better than others. No matter which type you choose though, there’s no doubt that it’s one of the first things you do when starting a business.

Now, if you’re wondering, “Got it. Check. So what is the next step in the plan?” Great question and that’s why I created my free 30 Days to Launch Playbook.

It’s a checkable calendar and guide so that you know exactly what steps you need to take and in what order when starting or restarting your business online.

Head over to to get it.

Alli McAuley

Hi, I'm Alli McAuley.

I help passionate entrepreneurs, like you, create a strategic brand and website that stands out to your dream clients so you can run a successful business online.

My ultimate goal is to empower you with the tools you need to live your best life by doing the work your love.