Brand Design

Naming

Navigating the creative and legal process of finding a unique moniker for your brand.

What is naming?

Naming is the process of choosing a name for your new or evolved business or product. In a world saturated by businesses it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find a unique moniker. Engaging a professional to help you navigate this process is a great way to ensure you choose a name that is not just suitable for your brand, but is also available, not just as a trademark or registered business name, but also as a URL and consistent username or handle.

Frequently asked questions

What do you need to consider when naming your business?

Choosing a name for your business is an important part of establishing who you are and how you’ll be seen in the marketplace. You’ll need to consider a broad range of things throughout the process. Do you want a literal name (Joe’s Plumbing), one that describes an experience (Honest Plumbers), a portmanteau (Plumbnow), or a made-up word (Cleeno)? How does your name sound? Can you pronounce it easily? Is it confusing when you first hear it? How does it sound when you say it over the phone? How does your name look? Is it readable? Does it use ‘clever’ misspelling that might lead to lost emails or missed sit visits? How will your name work across social media? Might your customers inadvertently tag your competition? Is your name consistent across platforms? Could adding a word to your social handles (plumbing, flowers, building) help secure a unique name and improve search engine optimisation (SEO)?

What do I need to consider when picking a domain?

A clear domain is a key element to your business’s discoverability and success. The clearer, the better! If .com and .com.au are both available — get them. Talk to us about the language you are using to ensure it is clear and consistent with your branding (matching your usernames is even better). Avoid hard-to-remember anagrams or long-winded domains that won’t fit on a business card. You can purchase a domain from a variety of platforms — we recommend Newcastle-based Webolution. There’s no need to purchase hosting at the same time, that can wait until your website is ready to launch.

Do I need a Trademark?

We’ll complete searches both nationally and globally to see if you’re likely to find any roadblocks from existing businesses. IP Australia is a fantastic tool to get your head around some key terms and, once you’ve found your name, getting the application process underway. Trademarking can take some time, so be prepared for a waiting period. You can also choose to trademark just your name, or your logo as well – if you’re not sure, contact IP Australia to be guided you through the steps.

Our naming process

1. Strategy

We begin by getting a good understanding of your business, learning about your offer, goals, audience and competitors. This determines your brand positioning in the broader market and guides the direction of design decisions to come.

2. Peer Analysis

We take the time to understand who your peers are in the space and identifying strong and weak names.

3. Conceptual Development

We draw on information gathered to develop raw concepts; developing three name concepts; and undertaking intellectual property searches.

4. Concept Delivery

Delivery will include three name concepts, each with a short tag-line, and a name strength scorecard that demonstrates the relative strengths of each.

5. Feedback & Refinement

Refinement of a single concept, or development of two further names based on review and feedback.

About Shorthand

A design studio

Shorthand is a design studio based in Newcastle, Australia. We blend expertise in brand, digital and graphic design to help businesses define and communicate their brand. Our name, taken from the classic writing-system of symbolic abbreviation, represents the fundamentals of our work – distilling the essence of a brand and expressing it visually.

Shorthand was founded by Amanda and Scott Kirkman in 2014, when the pair brought several years of experience at top creative agencies in Melbourne back home to Newcastle. We are a design studio, not an agency. We are intentionally small, favouring quality over quantity. We don’t have account managers or a sales team, so you know you will be working directly with us. We bring our big agency experience to projects of all sizes, partnering with brands from Sydney to San Francisco.

Interested in partnering with us on your next project? Let’s talk!

Contact Us