Updated at 2014-11-15 03:33

This note is about naming products, brands and companies. Related to branding.

Avoid having placeholder name. Rebranding is not cheap and easy.

The name should be easy to pronounce so it is easy to talk about the brand. Make it easy to pronounce in the local language and in English e.g. Heroku and Zappos. You get bonus points if name correlates with your brand values e.g. fuddle or blimp if your brand voice is laid-back.

Avoid any special characters and filler words. "The" and "get" are bad, especially in domain names. Even hyphens (-) are bad. People will forget that the name has it.

The name must be easy to write so it is easy to search on the web. Thus it should be written as it is read e.g. karwash is not good, dribbble is not good.

Have the name do some marketing for you. Prefer descriptive names that are logical for your customers e.g. could be a gaming site and 42floors sells office space. This also means that you should name your startup after having the idea.

Great names sound different. If your brand is named Claris and your competitors are Claritin, Clara and Clarins, you make being brand loyal really difficult.

Prefer names that start with letters early in alphabetical order Benefits are questionable and minor but possible. Absolutely avoid words that start with rare letters like Z or X.

Prefer short names over long names, especially if they are nonsense. Etsy is good, etsymapoditus is not. Dollar is not very good, blue dollar club is good.

Avoid negative words. Debt Eye is a bad name, Spring Coin is a good name.

Make sure that domains, Twitter account and Facebook page is available with that name.

Name brainstorming sessions are not smart investment but get feedback on your names. See how future customers react to the name. See how employees react to the name.

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