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Say My Name: ways to arrive at naming your company

Coming up with a name can be a long process. The name isn't as important as the brand as a whole, what it represents and how you communicate. Your brand name can be an important element in whether or not you become a memorable entity.

Your name does not need to be directly related to your product or service. It definitely can relate, and in the right circumstance might make the most sense. Whether you're selling to consumers, B2B or building a trendy retail shop - sometimes you just have to get creative when it comes to naming.

It's probably easiest to start off close to home. Our company name Jackson Wynne  - where it came from and what that's all about.

We've heard a few variations on our name. Jackson is the easy part, but Wynne is a bit less common. We've heard some pronounce it as "Wine" or just straight up ask us how to say it.

How to pronounce Jackson Wynne:

Jack - Sun - Win

The Jackson Wynne brand has a strong relationship with heritage. We often reminisce on family history and how it has inspired us. Be it grandparents' stories & family traditions, or simply the "good old days".

We can appreciate the old with the new. In fact, our name exemplifies this very fact — "Jackson" is based on childhood student nickname of partner Jack Shepherd, while "Wynne" continues the teaching legacy of Paul Phillips' grandmother, inspiring generations.

Lifetime students, and occasional teachers, the essence of the Jackson Wynne name. For us it made sense to have some meaning and history in the name, all while sounding good, something we can stand behind.

Before we agreed on any name we went through various rounds before we finally settled. It's been a while but I vaguely remember a few that we juggled around including "taste creative" and something like bristol jacobs.

Creating a name worked for us and we're still running with it.

Coming up with a name

There are a few different ways of coming up with a name. It helps to step back and try a few different methods. Let's take a look at a few:

Create something that is uncommon or does not exist
This doesn't have to be too obscure that it's confusing. Google, Yahoo! and so on are good examples. A lot of startups go this route, something short & catchy that is 100% unique with no lengthy trademark battles in sight (hopefully).

Acronym
If your company name is a mouthful you may want a short form version. Large financial institutions, lawyers and so on may consider this direction.

Word fusion
Merge two words together and what do you get? Starbucks - or something else like that.

Person's name
If there's a star behind the brand it makes a lot of sense. A lot of fashion brands go this route and build a brand around the celebrity. Speaking of celebrity, on the other end of it many artists come up with a pen name or something that represents their work or could relate to a broader audience. Robert Zimmerman vs. Bob Dylan.

Random
The more random the better. A lot of bands go this route. The more obscure & memorable the better. Alexis on Fire ?

Alias
Could work well for freelancers who want to create a persona and maybe they don't like using their name.

Considerations

What works for one is not going to work for another. Explore your options and keep an open mind. Sometimes you are too close to it and have to take a step back to come to the answer. As far as time goes, it will vary for everyone. As we did it for Jackson Wynne, we had the luxury of time and mulled it over until we set a deadline for ourselves to come up with the final answer.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Coming up with your own name can be difficult. Sometimes you'll already have one or it'll come to you quick. Sometimes you need a little help.

How did you come up with your company name?

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Jack Shepherd
Written By

Jack Shepherd

Co-founder, Partner and Design Director at Jackson Wynne

@jacksheps
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