Business Naming Criteria May Depend Upon Situation

Rather than adopt generic company naming criteria, I think you should look at your corporate name within the context of your industry and the markets you serve. And look at the name candidates with the eyes of your major stakeholders.

I believe you should be naming your business with their needs and their reference points in mind, not for your own ego satisfaction.

Out of a well-constructed brand platform come your naming criteria
Out of a well-constructed brand platform come your naming criteria

And so, like all the branding elements you will develop, the name should come from a well-thought-out branding platform. That document, usually derived from a comprehensive business plan, will address corporate mission, vision and core values; your business model and strengths, industry conventions, standards and trends, competitive activity and positioning, market conventions and expectations, and your distinctiveness within the competitive arena.

From this document you should extract the criteria for evaluating name candidates.

With that said, there are several characteristics that will probably be common to any good name. These things can form the foundation of your evaluation. They include:


In addition to those, the following might be major criteria depending upon how and where you’ll be doing business.

Cross-cultural acceptance
Connote a benefit or value
Is pleasant and positive
Reflects the company vision
Contains you core message

And other considerations might crop up in any particular situation.

One more admonition: remember that business naming is a strategic activity.

Hopefully, the name will come to represent all that’s good about your organization. It will be emblematic of your endeavors. So think of how the name you select will “wear” over time. Place the name candidates within your vision statement and test how they might resonate over time. As the company acquires a reputation and a position in the marketplace, visualize how the names might symbolize and bolster your desired position.

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