This week, we’re bringing you the final installment of our “Brand Love Language” series. If you’ve missed any part of the series, we invite you to catch up on Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4. Plus, we have a few special gifts for you. Read to the end for the surprises!
Ever had a business name you wanted to use only to discover someone else is already using it? How about the endless search for a decent domain name these days? Or, has a U.S. Trademark Application been rejected because your mark is “confusingly similar” to another? Bringing this series full circle, I’m going to show you how to use the words in your toolbox for brainstorming and finding meaningful, original business names that aren’t already taken.
I’m going to tell you a little secret. Before I traded in my sling-back heels for TOMS and my starchy-white blouses for t-shirts in pursuit of my dreams as a maker, I worked in the corporate world of trademark law. Briefcase in hand, I’d peddle my way through the bustling streets of Manhattan to my office on Park Avenue to discuss business and product names with some of the largest companies in the world. In the five years working in this capacity, do you want to know the most important thing I learned? When it comes to selecting words and names for your business – be creative! Be refreshingly unique. Sounds simple, I know. But, you’d be surprised by the slew of trademark inquiries I reviewed for generic, descriptive words that offered very little value for the business.
Think about Pepsi, Kodak, Apple, Nike and Google – what do these trademarks have in common? They’re distinctive, original and – in many cases – entirely made up words. This brings me to the gold nugget in this last part of the series: Use your favorite words from your toolbox as a launching pad, then play with juxtaposition, add or subtract prefixes or suffixes, merge words, use derivatives, dissect syllables – simply play with words until you come up with names that are different than your competitors. The more original, the better, because those words create valuable assets, make stronger, more protectable trademarks, and make it easier for clients to find, remember and buy from you. Some examples of creative business names from the maker community I’m loving, include Merriweather Council (jewelry), Little Low (greeting cards), and For Strange Woman (perfume). Unique, refreshing names. What are some of your favorites?
There are some great internet resources that can help you with the naming process, too. Check out Wordoid, an online tool for creating high-quality, made-up words. Or try the Morpheme Machine, another cool resource for creating unique names from random word elements.
Once you’ve narrowed down your search of potential names, I recommend a thorough search of the word on Google and other major search engines as well as online at the United States Patent & Trademark Office (“USPTO”). For domain name availability, also try a search at domaintools to get recommendations, see what is available or discover what businesses might already be using the name. These searches will help determine how valuable and distinctive the words are in the marketplace and if they’re truly a potential option for you. Lastly, keep scrupulous notes of your naming process, printouts of your web and USPTO searches. These are all great supportive documents that may come in handy should you ever have a name dispute.
Part 5: Mistletoe & Fruit Cake
Now that you know how to find or create valuable product names, we have a few surprises left for you …
In each part of this series, I’ve posted hundreds of themed words for you to download for your toolbox. In this final part, I’m adding one more word list for you to mull over. It’s a winter-themed, holiday word list, called Mistletoe & Fruit Cake. Packed full of joyful treasures, this list of words will add sparkle to your messages during the biggest buying season of the year.
Plus! One BIG surprise! The holiday word list is included with your very own Lucky Break Word Keeper containing the word lists from every part of the series in one complete collection + bonus materials for you. The journal includes a brainstorming sheet for you to work on ideas, a word-spiration sheet for you to jot down new words and a complete go-to resource of all the tools I’ve listed throughout this series to help you along the way.
If you found the word tools valuable and you love your free Lucky Break Word Keeper, please post, pin or tweet the resource to a friend or maker and let’s all spread a little more love around. Download your very own “Word Keeper” journal by clicking that image above, with our gratitude for playing along with us on the wordspiration journey!