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Popular Types of Brand Names

The types of brand names for a business usually fall into one of the following categories. Just remember that you're not limited to anything: You want your brand name to be distinct and memorable.

  • The owner’s name or names: An owner’s name can serve as the basis for a business name, such as Joe Smith’s Piano Tuning Service. Especially for small business sole proprietors, building a new brand on the name of an owner is an easy and effective approach.

  • Abbreviation names: Unless you’re willing to invest a lot of time and money into brand recognition, avoid this route. Either you’ll end up with a string of initials that mean little to consumers, or you’ll end up with a generic name like ABC Equipment Rental, which exudes no personality or promise.

  • Geographically anchored names: These are dime-a-dozen names that work to capitalize on a known local landmark or geographic indicator (examples would include the following: Windy City Piano Tuning Service, The Pacific Coast Piano Tuners, or Black Hills Piano Tuners): Most names of this kind blur into a group of like-named entities.

  • Descriptive names: These are names that describe a business’s offering or brand promise.

  • Borrowed interest names: These are names that use existing words that don’t directly reflect the brand’s offerings or promise but that can be linked to a brand’s essence and promise through marketing efforts rather than through direct translation.

  • Fabricated-word names: These are names that combine acronyms, words, or syllables to form previously unknown words and brand names. Because they’re newly invented words, fabricated names are usually available for trademark protection, and the domain names that contain them are likely to be available, too.

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