Business Naming with Mind Maps

If you’ve followed my blog postings concerning business naming, you’ll know I emphasize going for quantity first.

By getting as many word combinations and approaches to naming as you can – not stopping until you have at least a couple of hundred name candidates – you’ll enjoy two advantages. The first, at least a dozen or so candidates that will work as your company name. The second, and probably most important, are the directions that some of the candidates will lead you. They become catalysts for fresh naming ideas that are relevant but novel, the very characteristics I look for in a business name.

One method of creating that long list of candidates involves building a “mind map” of synonyms and associated words. You begin with a characteristic you’d like your name to possess. In the example below, it’s a “sexy name”.

business naming mind map

Then think of the obvious words that convey sexy: romance, passion, spicy, etc. Make each one a branch from the sexy name root. Then for each of these sub-branches, list their synonyms. Just take them directly from a good thesaurus like Roget’s 21st Century Thesaurus. (I particularly like this one because of the cross references to concepts, i.e. associated words which I can also add.)

You might also add some sub-branches for animals, flowers, colors, scents, etc. that you think convey sexy.

Now begin combining words from one branch with words from a second branch, then a third, etc. It won’t take but 10 to 20 minutes until you have a large list of candidates, each that might be a name or a path to one.

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