Naming – Our Philosophy & Process

What’s in a name?

Naming your company can feel like naming a baby! It’s a tough task. Therefore, the process can become fraught quickly. Naming is not easy, but we at Seedhouse aim to bring strategic objectivity to the process by establishing parameters and business goals up front.


Our philosophy on naming:

  • Shorter is always better.
  • The company or brand name must be both sticky and memorable.
  • A strong name can help differentiate a brand from its competition.
  • The brand name should be the start of a story you are telling customers, and that story will help create an emotional connection to the brand.
  • It must be ownable – both as a trademark and a URL.
  • While functional names tell a customer what you sell or offer, an evocative name is easier to own while still crafting a compelling story.

What’s the process?

Step 1:

Our naming process starts with an audit of the competitive space to identify category conventions and where opportunity might lie. Once we understand the competition, we develop evaluative criteria – bringing objectivity to the process. The evaluative criteria allow us to measure the seaworthiness of a potential name relative to the target, the category and the business objectives.

Step 2:

Then, we huddle up and as a team, brainstorm to identify creative opportunities or “buckets” for exploration.

Step 3:

To start the creative exploration, we scatter to write, scribble, and search high and low for inspiration. Our inspiration can come from plant names while walking through a conservatory or while reading The New Yorker. We are constantly on the hunt with eyes and ears open for stimuli.

Step 4:

We hold each of the naming candidates up to the evaluative criteria established at the beginning of the phase and cull the list down to a few hundred brand name candidates for vetting.

Step 5:

For each name, we vet the own-ability three ways: URL availability, Google search and UPSTO TESS trademark search. We are not lawyers – and don’t want to be mistaken for one! So we leave the final legal vetting to you. We can also make a referral if need be.

Step 6:

The top 5-10 name candidates that make it through the preliminary Seedhouse vetting get presented to the client, with rationale and identified visual opportunities. Then the arm wrestling begins…just joking.

Seedhouse has more than 40 combined years of naming experience. We have named companies and products for clients such as Solo Cup Co., Quaker, Smead Manufacturing, StratusVue, Westminster FoodsSwift PassportYMCA of the USA, and many others.

We can also help you with tagline developmentnomenclature studies, packaging copy or other content development. To read more about our process, check out our other blog posts. Or get in touch with us!

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