Baby Got Backstory

BGBS 024: Marc Gutman | Wildstory | Masterclass: How to Name or Rename a Business

May 5, 2020

BGBS EP024: Naming Master Class Episode

Today we’re talking about the funnel process of naming or renaming a business or product. A name is the first introduction to your product. The right brand name becomes an asset. It can signal differentiation and lock into the consumer’s mind instantly. The right name creates an emotion in us that triggers a buying decision. The wrong name can end up costing the business millions. It's a process that is a combination of the magical and the logical. Learn how to effectively apply this process to your business, whether you're starting fresh with a brand new name, or you’re renaming.

What we’re talking about

  • What Is Your Brand Identity?
  • The Brainstorming And Research Process Of Selecting A Name
  • How To Choose The Best Name For Your Business
  • Strategies To Select A Good URL Domain Name
  • The Testing Phase For Your Business Name

What Is Your Brand Identity?

The brand gives the name meaning, while the name can also make the brand what it is. Essentially, the brand and the name go hand in hand. Neither one can do it alone. Marc Gutman, of the Baby Got Backstory podcast, starts at the beginning, which is asking the question: what kind of name do you want? What are you trying to communicate with the name? Once this is established, we can start generating anywhere from 100-500 names. These can come from any of the four categories of types of names: descriptive, image-based, abstract, and provenance. Marc also highlights what to avoid when naming a brand.

The Brainstorming And Research Process Of Selecting A Name

Coming up with a name can take as little or as much time that you’re willing to spend. Marc feels that 4 weeks is an ideal range of time because it allows you to adequately brainstorm, give the name time to breathe, and revisit with a new perspective. There are three different approaches to this process, including solo, collaborative workshop, and collaborative co-create. Wildstory specializes in these collaborative workshops. Marc breaks down these exercises that make up these workshops, step by step. The biggest challenge sometimes is choosing who will be the final “decider”. This usually is the founder with small businesses, or the CMO, owner, CEO, or someone else at a larger company. Once you have this “decider” chosen, you then build a brand team. This team should represent all departments, and be communicated within a transparent manner of how the naming process will work. It’s important to have all those involved to feel like the name represents them so that you have advocates and influencers when this name goes live.

How To Choose The Best Name For Your Business

While the name of a business does evoke emotion, Marc stresses the importance of not falling in love with a name. If there is a reason the name does not end up being used, you do not want to find yourself heart-broken. In order to remove bias, and/or unhealthy attachment, Marc has seven criteria to apply so you can ultimately ask, “Is this the right name?” Finally, it is important to realize that it's almost impossible to find the only name in the world for a particular name. As long as it’s not in the same segment or market, you are able to make it unique to your brand. For this to be achieved, Marc has put together a checklist to test your name against.

Strategies To Select A Good URL Domain Name

Far too often, many business owners will get hung up on not having their perfect URL available. This should not be a deal-breaker. You need to use some of that magical creativity and just get imaginative. It’s possible to add another word or two as a domain modifier or use the URL as a call to action. You could use a creative phrase that can reinforce your brand and aid in SEO. You could also use back-end modifiers for your domain as an alternative to .com.

The Testing Phase For Your Business Name

Once you arrive at the testing phase, you will implement high-level clearing searches to determine if there are any conflicts in your industry, such as domain, legal, etc. Start thinking about your name visually in signage, business cards, email signature, and branding merchandise. Does it look right? Start speaking it aloud, in your voicemail, commercials, and conversations. Does it sound right? Could it be potentially offensive or misleading in another language or culture if it were to be used in a global environment? These are all issues to keep in mind, however, always remember to keep the whole naming process fun. This is probably the only time you get to name an awesome business that you love. Do you believe in the magic of your name?





  • 13:37-14:30 (53 sec MG) You know, and I always think that...Awesome, awesome name.
  • 51:27- 52:19 (52 sec MG) If you're looking for other ways to generate names...and then abstract or modify it.
  • 52:59-53:58 (59 sec MG) So some other frameworks that you can use to generate… mean anything and see if they fit.


  1. All rules, under the right circumstances, are meant to be broken. Just understand what you are breaking and why and be conscious that those rules or principles are in place for a reason.
  2. You never know where a great name is going to come from.
  3. The biggest mistake people make in naming is not allowing themselves to enjoy the process.
  4. The right brand name becomes an asset. It can signal differentiation and lock into the consumer's mind instantly.
  5. The name only becomes great once the business becomes great. It doesn't matter how awesome your name is if there's no great business behind it.

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