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Naming a Business – Ideas and Tips for Choosing Names

Transcript

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– Are you stuck trying to name something in your business?
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Whether or not it’s your actual business,
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a product, a service, your method
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or anything else that’s in your business,
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naming is incredibly important
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because it not only creates a first impression for people
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but it’s something that you own.
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It’s not something that anybody else can have.
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So having a very powerful name is a very strategic advantage
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for your brand.
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My name is Kaye Putnam.
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I’m the psychology-driven brand strategist
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and in this video, I’m going to share
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my best tips, tricks, tools and techniques
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for naming your brand or anything related to your brand.
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So let’s quickly review
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the advice that you’ve probably heard already.
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A quick Google search will tell you
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that your name should be easy to spell,
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easy to say and easy to remember.
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That’s kind of a given.
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Second, you want to make sure that the name is available.
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So this means different things in different arenas.
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So first of all, for social media and your website URL,
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you’re going to want to make sure
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that there’s some form of your name that is available.
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One of my favorite clothing companies, ADAY,
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they don’t actually have aday.com.
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They use thisisaday.com and they also use that handle
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for a lot of their social media accounts.
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So even if your specific name isn’t exactly available,
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you can sometimes work around that piece.
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Now, the second part is more important
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and I’m not a lawyer so I can’t give you the exact advice
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but you definitely want to check your name
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against the trademark registries in your country
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whether you’re in the US or the UK
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or wherever you are in the world
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to make sure that somebody in your space,
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in a related industry is not using your name already
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or it’s not protected legally.
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And lastly, you want the name to be something
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that’s meaningful to you and your business.
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So you want it to communicate something
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that tells people a little bit about your business
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or at the very least is something that holds a special place
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in your heart so that you have a chance to use your name
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as a jumping off point
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for stories that you tell about your brand.
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If you connect your brand name to your why
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behind your business instead of the how,
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it can grow and scale with you even if your exact products
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and services change over time.
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Okay, so now that we have the tried and true advice
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out of the way, let’s talk about some different techniques
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that you can use to name your brand,
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business, product, market, method,
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anything that you’re naming in your business.
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You can always make up words
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or even combine two existing words to create a new one.
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So you can think of brands like FedEx, Yahoo.
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I did this for my Brandfluency archetype courses.
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I of course combined brand and fluency
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to tell people that the course is helping them getting,
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to get fluent in the language,
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emotional language of their ideal clients.
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So that’s definitely an option.
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You have to be a little bit wary
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of the memorability of your word,
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how you’re spelling it to make sure that people
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aren’t going to misspell it all of the time
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and the cheese factor.
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So sometimes when you squish two words together,
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it can be a little cheesy.
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So depending on what your brand personality is,
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that may or may not be a good fit for you.
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Next, it can be descriptive
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and this doesn’t mean that you have to be ABC Plumbing.
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You can choose something that is descriptive of your brand,
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values, the brand experience that your provide
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or even the type of client that you work with.
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Some big brands that you’ll recognize
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that use this technique are like Land Rover,
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Discovery Channel and Pampers.
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Another technique that seems to work very well
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especially for a lot of really big companies
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is to choose a word that is real
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and is either really loosely related to what you’re doing
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or not related at all, at least on the surface.
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So Apple does this clearly.
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You wouldn’t think of the fruit being related to technology
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on first impression.
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Also, Caterpillar, the,
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I mean, they’re a conglomerate so they have,
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they’re mostly known for their construction equipment
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but they also do financial services and a few other things
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but that doesn’t seem to be related either
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but it’s at least a word that people know and recognize
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and it also gives you a chance to tell a story
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about whatever word that you choose.
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Now, if you’re a freelancer, author, consultant,
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advisor, coach, mentor, that type of person
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and you’re basing your business around your genius,
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your skills and perhaps even your time in the business,
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naming your business after yourself can be a clear option.
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So you’ll notice that my primary business is kayeputnam.com
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because it is the brand strategy,
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the impressions that I have,
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it’s the way that I interact with the market
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and I also will name things
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that are underneath my main brand.
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So there’s some benefits to this.
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If you are a personal brand,
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it gives you the ability to pivot if you need to.
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So if I tomorrow decide
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that I am no longer doing brand strategy,
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I’m going to become a Facebook ads strategist,
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I could do that and preserve some of the brand equity
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that I’ve built over time.
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Now, if you’re doing something like software as a service,
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e-commerce or a business that you know that you want to sell
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and scale really large in the future,
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naming your business after yourself
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probably isn’t the best option
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but even some really large brands have done this.
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I mean, think Michael Kors,
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even something like Larabar is named after the founder
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whose name is Lara.
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Another benefit to doing this
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is that it creates a clear connection
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between you as the founder and the person
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and people that you’re serving.
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Lastly, another type of common name
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that you see are acronyms.
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Now, I don’t necessarily recommend this
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but since there are so many big businesses
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that have acronyms,
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let’s just at least cover that it’s an option.
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So think about H&M, IBM, BMW, MTV.
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These are all massive brands
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that hold a very significant place in our minds
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but for small businesses, it’s going to be very hard
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to make a few combination of letters significant
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and memorable in your ideal clients’ minds.
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Keep in mind that those businesses
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have spent millions and millions of dollars
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on building up the recognition with their brand’s name.
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So now that we’ve talked about the types of brands,
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let’s talk about some techniques and strategies
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that you can use to make them more memorable.
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Like I mentioned in the beginning of the video,
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I am the psychology-driven brand strategist
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so I would be remiss
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to tap in to some of these psychological triggers
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that make your name better.
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So one memory cue is using alliteration in your name.
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Alliteration is when you pair up two words or more
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that have the same letter as the first letter
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so like Coca-Cola, Lululemon, Best Buy.
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These brands all become more memorable
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because the words literally roll off of our tongue
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’cause we’re starting each of the words
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with the same letter.
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Another pattern that you can use
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when you’re naming your business, brand, product, et cetera
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is rhyming to make it more memorable.
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Brands like StubHub, 7-Eleven and Piggly Wiggly
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have all employed this technique
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to make their brands more memorable
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in their ideal clients’ minds.
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Next, you can also take common phrases, cliches or puns
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and modify them to fit your business.
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One of my favorite online entrepreneurs, Ash Ambirge,
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recently, actually not recently,
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I think it was a couple years ago now
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but she sold a course that I purchased
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that was called The Six Appeal Process.
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Obviously a play on words from sex appeal.
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If you employ this technique though,
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be aware that it may not translate cross-culturally.
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So if you’re doing business in one country
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and then you also want to appeal
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to customers in other countries,
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it’s not going to be a direct translation
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so you may lose some of the appeal
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when you’re crossing country borders.
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Another pattern that you see often
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when it comes to naming is using word and word.
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Stop and Shop, Crate and Barrel, The Pig and the Lady
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in Honolulu, Hawaii, one of my favorite restaurants.
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This pairing is used often
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and it creates a fun juxtaposition
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between two different words
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which adds to the meaning
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and to the descriptive quality of the name.
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So one of my best pieces of advice
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when you’re naming your business
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is A, try not to get too frustrated.
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So this is definitely a process.
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Most likely, the first 10, 15 or even 20 names
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that you come up with
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and maybe even fall in love with a little bit
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are probably going to be taken already
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by somebody else who thought of them first.
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So think of this as a brainstorming exercise
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where you’re coming up with as many options
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as humanly possible.
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Try to connect the name to a story,
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to the deeper values and principles that your brand embodies
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not just this superficial thing that you’re selling
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and if you get seriously stuck,
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there are professionals that can help facilitate
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this naming process for you
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and although it’s not the main service
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that I offer for my clients
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as we create their brand strategy,
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I have facilitated this process, this technique of naming
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several times for different clients.
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I have some tools that I have found extremely helpful.
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One of them is onym.co which is an incredible curated list
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of websites and resources and tools
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that you can use to brainstorm lots of options.
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I also like leandomainsearch.com.
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For everybody who feels like
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all of the best domain names are taken,
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this provides some fun options
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and a good brainstorming tool as well.
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I also use panabee.com to check availability
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and also to give me other related options
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when I’m looking at URLs.
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Click the link below this video.
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I’ll link you up to my full blog post
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that explains this entire process in depth.
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If you enter your email address on that page,
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you’ll get additional resources, worksheets and training
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that you can use to name your business
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and above all, enjoy what you’re doing, have fun.
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Kudos to you for expanding your business
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or starting your business,
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whatever exciting stage that you are at
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and I hope that you find the perfect name.

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