Your business’s unwritten naming rules

You may not know, but when it comes to business names, the industry has unwritten rules. Find out what it’s like to make a name that resonates with your clients.


There are unwritten rules or patterns in every sector, which are codified over time. They can sometimes be clichés. The majority of sectors will only have a few names. This is obvious: one company is good, and the subsequent company imitates them as it worked for the first. It’s the next thing that you know, and nobody knows why it began. This refers to everything from the way companies select color and form to their titles. But now, let’s see the name.

My company’s name, Bullhorn, is an example of that. In the branding agency environment there are general trends that are not published guidelines. Next, the use of the term “name” change, as follows:

  • Moving Brands
  • Interbrand
  • FutureBrand

All of them are big, rentable agencies that do a lot of work, so I chose them. In many cases we are Bullhorn businesses. Their titles are nevertheless forgotten. More than that, they are undifferentiated. Whether you want to go, inter or future work, how can you remember that? That’s too much of the title.

The second general trend is the law firm pattern, named after:

  • Landor
  • Lippincott
  • Wolff Olins

Although these names are special, the organization doesn’t tell you much. It’s historic weight that they do. They sound set up. It sounds ancient. The choice of this form of name places you on an equal footing with other skilled providers— hence the definition of the’ law firm model.’ What the names tell customers is that the companies prefer to choose safely, historically and relatively expensive.

We have also looked at advertising agencies because they are often advertised. Most advertising agencies start the concept of the law firm until the name is too long and unmanageable. They make it an initialism at this point, like this:

  • WPP
  • BBDO
  • DDB

Again, I choose these three because they are large, worldwide businesses that do their industry’s most recognizable work. You should take it. The titles are obviously easier to use, but they can be traded.

So, among our competitors we have identified three general naming trends: brand alteration, model of the law firm, and initialism. What is relevant is what this knowledge is about.

We did not want to have in Bullhorn the word “name,” for Bullhorn. Even after the creators, we didn’t want to mark it. It partially is because you get a lot of flower shops when you google my last name, but that’s right next door. We didn’t finally want a name that would eventually become an initialism. Those appear to be overlooked, in particular for a new company with no familiarity.

There is a limit to how much you can go beyond the non-written rules when it comes to business names. People tend to prefer names which seem to fit into their category. Though, the name will clash with sound if it’s too close to all other businesses. And you will not be remembered, as something that suits, if you go too far the other way.

“Bullhorn” is luckily still important here. Metaphorical names are still used, often with great effect, in the branding field, although they are in the minority. Consider all branding companies such as Bullhorn, for instance:

  • Matchstic
  • Salt
  • Murmur

These companies use metaphors close to our thinking. These companies are Perhaps Matchstic can create the fire spark. Salt offers seasoning that is perfect for your brand. From a different perspective, Murmur uses a similar metaphor. It’s about contact, too, but in your face they’re not screaming it. The word of mouth that spreads from one person to another is produced. Murmur, that’s how it is.

That is how it is. Thinking about your industry is critical. Much like our own, there are certainly some unwritten rules for yours. And why do they do, what are they? Would you split some and separate them from the crowd, or are there reason to follow them? Would you like to be seen as well or as a beginning? This view is informed significantly by your preference of positioning yourself in relation to the unwritten rules of your industry.

Exercise of unwritten rules

Make a list of about 30 rivals to help you figure out if the company has unwritten rules. It could help to break them into classes. What are your industry’s most recognized companies? What are traditional companies that disrupt? Will outliers exist, who are only odd? You can most likely pick three naming patterns once you have identified your classes. Circle the ones you want to pursue and explore those you want to stop. This helps to inspire some thoughts about business names.

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