Naming Name Generation: Beyond Brand X

Naming a business or a product is harder than it sounds. Coming up with a name is easy. Coming up with a good name is more difficult. Coming up with a name that no one else has come up with is harder still, and, finally, coming up with a good name that no one else has thought of and that management can all agree on – well, there you’ve got a challenge.

Anatomy of a good name.

So what makes a good name anyway? We think a good name is:


You can come up with the most catchy name ever, but if you can’t use it because it belongs to someone else, it is useless.


Does the name make sense to your audience? Will your sales guys snicker or cringe whenthey use the name with clients?


Is the name easy to pronounce, read, and spell? Will it pop up when someone types it into a search engine? Will it be confused with another offering in your product line?

An advocate for brand position: 

We feel a name should allude to the offering’s position in the market. For example, if you want to position the product as the most reliable product on the market, don’t give it a flimsy sounding name.

Our road map to name generation.

Pennebaker has a tried and true process for coming up with successful names. We start by digging into your company and market landscape. We want to know the ins and outs of your offering, the names that competitors use and what they say about their wares. Most importantly, we’ll want to look at the market from the perspective of your very best target customers. What are they looking for, and what drives their urgency?

All this information goes into a creative brief summarizing what we want to incorporate and accomplish. At this point, we are all literally on the same page.

Tweak, tweak, tweak.

Some people believe that names come to them in a dream, but we have a more businesslike approach.

Internally, we generate a whole bunch of names that would be appropriate, and a bunch that aren’t so appropriate (don’t even ask). Once we’ve narrowed down this list, we present you with Round 1 of name options, and collect your feedback.

Next we take that feedback and run it past our creative teams, come up with more names and massage some of the names you liked but didn’t love. Then it’s time for Round 2 presentation and feedback. We’ll do a Round 3 if necessary, but most of the time there is some buy-in by the second round. We have a short list of name candidates.

It’s at this point that we vet each name with a Google search and weed out the obvious conflicts. The next step will be for your legal department or our independent attorney to do a more robust trademark search to secure the name.

Executive presentations: Making the case to the C-suite.

Some of our clients like assistance in introducing the name to their executive team. We can help by preparing a presentation that explains the logic and evolution of the chosen name. Or, if you need a bit more support to convince the management team, one of our senior consultants can present the recommendation for you. No worries: we’ve been down the Name Game path many times before.

Here are a few companies we have named.

Nine Signage 1

Nine Energy

Nine Energy is a North-American based completions, wireline and cementing company. They needed a name that stood out in a competitive oilfield market.

Modia Logo Name Copy


We based the name of this audio and video company on the owner's last name but we added a twist to it to add a contemporary feel.

The Preserve Sml Hor Name

The Preserve

The Preserve is a luxury gym and spa that is primarily for women. The atmosphere is relaxing compared to traditional gyms. 

Plantx Logo Color


Plantgistix is the premier provider of industrial logistics and specialty services. Their purpose and passion is simple—to be the success catalyst for everyone they touch.

We also have named a lot of great products for our clients.

Slb Event Bg 2


Schlumberger wanted an intuitive name to convey the large scale of the deep reading measurements associated with their reservoir mapping service. 



RockStorm is an advanced PDC cutter technology that revolutionized drilling performance in difficult formations. 



The SPARK technology delivery platform provides unprecedented access to Schlumberger's industry-leading engineering and technology for use with their customer's existing equipment.



A product for transporting glass in a lightweight crate that was more convenient than other crates. The name paired with the company perfectly. 

We have helped with way more names than we can show on a web page.

Let us know if you want to see them all

Need a great name for your company or product?

Let us help you come up with a name that will stand out in the market.

Contact us