Which Type of Business Name is Best for Your Business?

When you look at all the company names out there, it can be overwhelming. But breaking them into different types results in much more manageable work. The type of name you choose will depend on your businesses industry, positioning, goals, and budget. In this article, we will dive into the different business name types, the reasoning behind them and their key characteristics, so that you can make a more informed choice.

Note: The characteristics described are generalizations. There are of course exceptions to every rule.


Generic Business Names

Generic business names are elevated level catchphrase names that distinguish a whole class of items or administrations: These are the most effortless names for your crowd to comprehend. If you get one of these names, you are offering a strong serious expression.


  • Shoes.com
  • PlaneTickets.com
  • Marketo.com

Key Characteristics of Generic Names

Authority – Generic names can give your brand an immediate authority in your space, just by the nature of the name. If your business name is identical to your business category, people are going to take you seriously.

Impossible to trademark - Generic names are the opposite of distinctive. You can’t trademark an entire business category (unless you created the category).

Type-In Traffic - Names with highly generic keywords also have the benefit of type-in traffic. These are visitors to your site who type in the full URL of a keyword.

Very Expensive - All that built-in value means that generic names are generally very pricey. Not only are they extremely expensive, but the buyers are either large established corporations or nations. Just look at these recent sales:

  • CarInsurance.com - $49.7 million
  • Shoes.com - bought by Walmart for $9 million.
  • Israel.com - bought by the state of Israel for 5.8 million
  • Files.com - $750,000

Tip for Choosing a Generic Name

On the off chance that you choose to go with a generic name, you need to ensure that your business contributions are as expansive as the name portrays. Try not to purchase shoes.com if you just sell one kind of shoe. You will pass up a great deal of that important sort in rush hour gridlock and SEO traffic, and the name won't merit the sticker price. If you just sell shoes, purchase sandals.com.


Descriptive Business Names

There is likelihood between generic and descriptive business names in using keywords, but descriptive type is much more specific. According to intellectual property lawyer Jill Hubbard Bowman, a descriptive name “immediately conveys an idea of the ingredients, qualities or characteristics of the goods or services.


  • CheapTickets
  • SalesForce
  • Facebook
  • TripAdvisor

Descriptive names usually consist of one to three words. If the name consists of more than one word, at least one word conveys the niche or industry of the business. The other words usually either further specify the niche or highlight the main value proposition of the business:

  • CheapTickets: - Cheap (value proposition) + Tickets (Niche)
  • TripAdvisor: - Trip (Niche) + (Value Proposition)
  • SalesForce: Sales (Niche) + Force (Niche)

Key Characteristics of Descriptive Names:

Difficult to Trademark - While descriptive names aren’t as difficult as generic names to trademark, they still utilize fairly common keywords and therefore present a challenge.

Easy to Understand and Retain - Descriptive names are made up of dictionary words, and that makes them easy to understand and retain.

Forgettable - Although they are easy to retain, they can often energy and emotion. So, while a descriptive name may convey to your audience what your business does, it probably won’t get them very excited about it.

Brand Education - A big part of branding is educating your users on what you do. Descriptive names give you a headstart in this respect. The nature of your business, and possibly your entire value proposition, is conveyed right in your name.

Lacking in Uniqueness- Because descriptive names often describe exactly what you do, it’s a good bet that another company in your space will be named similarly. This can lead to confusion and make it hard for your brand to stand out.


Experiential Business Names

Experiential names draw from the experience people might have when using the product or service your business offers. They elevate themselves above descriptive names because their message is more about the experience than the task.

Below mentioned type of business name is most commonly found in the software space. If your business offers a unique user experience, an experiential name may be the way to go.


  • StumbleUpo
  • Safari
  • Explorer
  • Linkedin


 Evocative Business Names

Purchasing choices aren't sensible ones, they're passionate ones. Business watchwords motivate little in the method for passionate affiliation. That is the reason reminiscent names are so incredible.

Reminiscent names will be names that utilization allegory and proposal to inspire a particular inclination. The motivation for these names is drawn not from what a business does, however the experience or situating the business tries to accomplish.


  • Amazon: (conveys vastness)
  • Apple (uncomplicated, unintimidating)
  • Square (simple, trustworthy)
  • Honey (sweet, rewarding, simple).
  • Basecamp (A place to start for projects)

Not all evocative names have to be deep. You can also consolidate evocative words with descriptive words to create a descriptive/evocative hybrid name. The descriptive word can hint at your businesses industry, while the evocative word (usually a color, animal, or part of nature) adds some much needed energy, emotion, and fun. This type of name is particularly effective for businesses with inherently dry or technical subject matter.


  • TaskRabbit (Find local help)
  • PayPal (money transfer)
  • HostGator (web hosting)
  • jumpStock (inventory management)
  • DigitalOcean (scalable cloud)

Key Characteristics of Evocative Names: :

Big Picture- Evocative names help create a brand name that is bigger than the goods and services a company offers. This gives evocative names an aspirational feel that is great for the longevity of your business name.

Easier to Trademark than Descriptive Names - Evocative names rely on keywords, but not commonly used business keywords. The words they use are more abstract. For this reason, trademarking an evocative name is easier than other keyword names.

Emotional Connection - People don’t make buying decisions with their minds they make it with their hearts. Great evocative business names appeal to their target audience emotional associations to catch their attention and keep it.


Portmanteau names

Portmanteau names are the mixture of two dictionary words to form one invented word.


  • Pinteres
  • Amtrack
  • Groupon
  • WhatsApp

According to entrepreneur Daniel Eckler a good portmanteau name is something that sounds like it was a word already. This way it will sound natural and familiar to customers.

Portmanteau names permit to you to utilize catchphrase blends that may not accessible or reasonable something else. For example, GroupCoupon.com is a conventional clear name that would presumably accompany a weighty sticker price. Be that as it may, by joining the two words to make the portmanteau name "Groupon", the authors found a fresher and less exorbitant approach to pass on a similar offer.


Invented Business Names

Invented names will be names that are made-up names that contain no word reference words. Due to their opportunity from show, this kind of names are frequently catchier, shorter and progressively brand able then the remainder of the name types.

Invented names can be derived from an existing word or sound:


  • Vimeo - (Video)
  • Canvaa - (Canvas)
  • Kashoo - (Cash, and Cashew)

Or have no recognizable root words at all:

  • Yahoo
  • Google
  • Asana

However, even this type of name is not completely a blank slate, since sounds can lend themselves to a particular industry. For instance:

Flowing names with lots of vowels and 3-4 syllables work well for global corporations and consulting: Aricent, Celera

  1. Short, sharp sounds indicate science and technology: Kodak, Xerox
  2. Fun sounds are creative and entertaining: Zune, Hulu
  3. Noise/onomatopoeic sounds are exciting and fun: Zynga
  4. Some sounds are even visual: Oreo - two strong "o" sounds leads to thoughts of round circles

Key Characteristics of Invented Names

Easy to Trademark - Because invented names are unique and don’t contain keywords, they are usually a breeze to trademark.

Highly Brand aable - Invented names come with very loose built-in associations, or none at all. This allows you to have a blank slate when creating a brand around your business.

Short and Catchy: These bite-size names roll off the tongue and stick in your head like a great melody.

Less Expensive: These names usually cost less relative to keyword names.

Requires Branding - Because you are starting with a blank slate, you will need to put more effort into educating your audience on your brand's story and value proposition.


In Closing

Since you know the various kinds of business names, it will be a lot simpler to pick the correct sort of name for your business. Try not to be reluctant to think about a couple of various kinds from the start, with the goal that you can discover what fits best. Happy Naming!