How to test your brand name with PickFu

Do you break into a sweat just thinking about picking a brand name? Whether you’re starting a new business or trying not to do a bad rebrand of your entire company, there’s a lot at stake. Your brand name is the single most important way that your target audience identifies you.

No one says, “That company with all the computers and smartphones that Steve Jobs co-founded.” 

They say Apple. 

And no one talks about “the huge online store that has big warehouses and sells everything under the sun but started out as a bookselling operation in Jeff Bezos’ garage.” 

They say Amazon.

Do people talk about the super famous shoes with that checkmark-looking logo on the side?

No. They say Nike. 

Luckily for you, PickFu can help you choose a brand name that’s just as catchy and memorable. With our real customer insights, deciding on a new brand name has never been easier. 

How to come up with a brand name your target audience will love

Dozens of brands have used PickFu’s brand name testing features to choose a unique, memorable business name. Here’s a quick guide for finding the best brand name with PickFu. 

Step #1: Come up with several potential brand names

When it comes to creating the perfect company name, you need to keep a few key factors in mind. So don’t rush off to run a business name test on PickFu just yet. 

A good brand name should:

  • Capture your brand personality
  • Make a memorable domain name
  • Roll right off the tongue – in other words, be easy to pronounce
  • Not already be in use
  • Mostly follow English grammar and syntax rules

The next step in the naming process is to have a brainstorming session with your business partners. Or, if you’re a solo business owner, with trusted colleagues or friends in your industry.

Start by jotting down a list of words that describe your business. Don’t be afraid to write the first words that come to mind. There’s no pressure at this stage. Really.

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So let’s imagine you’re starting an ecommerce business that sells sustainable kids’ toys. 

A list of descriptive words could look like this: 

  • Green
  • Bamboo
  • Wood
  • Recycle
  • Play
  • Post-consumer 
  • Planet
  • Durable
  • Zero landfill
  • Earth
  • Trees
  • Bees
  • Eco-friendly

Now, play around with your list. What name ideas might come out of it? Off the top of our heads, we thought of five name options: 

  • Planety
  • EcoPlay
  • Birch + Bee 
  • Earthkind Toys
  • Green Play

In the next step, we’ll take a closer look at each one. 

Step #2: Get your magnifying glass out

Group of kindergarten kids friends holding magnifying glass for explore

It’s time to inspect each name closely. 

Say each potential name out loud. Pay close attention to the name sound. Is it easy to say? Memorable? Relevant to your business? Original and therefore protectable? A quick search on the US Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) will give you an idea of whether the name is available for use. 

Here’s the insight we got when we tested our list:

  • Planety: Unique. Would make a cool domain name. Sort of difficult to say, but there are zero other companies who currently use this name. Would people think our store sold planet-related toys, though? We’re not sure, but we’re going to include it on our final list.
  • EcoPlay: Not that unique, but definitely relevant to the company. It’s easy to say, too. Sounds a little too much like a cleaning company though. A TESS search pulls up three other companies that currently use the name EcoPlay, and one is a toy company. Can’t use this name! 
  • Birch + Bee: Not directly related to toys, but makes us think of nature. And we could build an adorable brand identity around this name. It’s super easy to say and makes a memorable domain name. A TESS search reveals that no one is using it, so this name earns a spot on our list of finalists.  
  • Earthkind Toys: One glance at this name and shoppers will know that our toys are kind to the Earth. Several other companies—including a pest control business—use the name “Earthkind,” but no one is using Earthkind Toys. The domain name would be a bit long, but we like it enough to keep it on the list. 
  • Green Play: Cute and relevant to our eco-friendly model, but sounds a little like the band Green Day. Does anyone even listen to them anymore? Who knows…but anyway, the word Greenplay is a registered trademark for a turf company. And a casino. That’s pretty different from a toy company, so we’d say Green Play is a legitimate option. 

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We’re left with four names: 

  • Planety
  • Birch + Bee
  • Earthkind Toys
  • Green Play 

All four names seem to be available, so we used GoDaddy to see about potential domain names.

Planety (dot) com is available but it costs $27,000. No thanks! But planety (dot) store is available too, and it’s only $0.99 for the first year. Score. 

Birchandbee (dot) com is taken. Rats! But birchandbee (dot) co is available. So is birchandbee (dot) store, and it’s cheap to boot. 

Earthkindtoys (dot) com is available and super inexpensive, but the domain name looks clunky to us. Earthkindtoys (dot) store is available too, as is earthkindtoys (dot) shop. 

Greenplay (dot) com is taken. A casino has it. Greenplay (dot) store is free. But it feels a little too generic. If a casino, turf company, and flooring system use different iterations of the brand name Green Play, will it really make people think of toys? 

We decide to eliminate Green Play from our list. 

Now we’re down to the top three names. It’s time to do some audience research.

Step #3: Test brand names with PickFu

Sure, you could ask your friends on social media which of your name candidates is the right brand name. But is your target market – parents of young children – on there? Maybe, maybe not. 

And will your Facebook friends and family give you an honest analysis of each name, or will they say something like, “I like all three because I like YOU!”

You could set up a focus group to help you decide, but that would take time and money you might not have. 

That’s why you should PickFu it. 

Yes, we know we’re biased. But PickFu gives you an affordable way to do market research, complete with metrics and written feedback. If you’re in a time pinch, you’ll be pleased with how quickly our respondents return results. 

We decided to run a ranked poll to a pool of 50 potential customers – parents of kids ranging in age from 0-3, 4-5, and 6-11. 

We asked this question: “Which brand name would you pick for an e-commerce store that sells sustainable kids’ toys?”

The options were: 

  • Option A: Planety
  • Option B: Birch + Bee
  • Option C: Earthkind Toys

Here’s what our survey responses revealed

Drumroll, please! Which eco-friendly toy company name won?

First, almost no one liked the name Planety, which was Option A. Out of the 50 parents of young kids, only six ranked Option A as their first choice. 

Everyone else said Planety was “not relatable” and “felt off” and “lazy and uninspired.” 

We shudder to think what fate would have befallen our hypothetical company if we’d picked that super (not) great brand name. 

As for Option B (Birch + Bee) 13 respondents ranked it #1. The general consensus was that Birch + Bee is a cute name that stands out. Some respondents didn’t think Birch + Bee quite described a kids’ toy brand. Others automatically associated the nature theme with sustainability. 

Earthkind Toys, our Option C, won the poll with 31 first-place votes. Here’s what our group of parents had to say: 

  • “This is the most direct name that lets me know these toys are eco-friendly.”
  • “Option C is super transparent and just tells me that these toys will be kind to the earth.”
  • “I like the natural and safe feel that Earthkind Toys gives me, so that is the brand name I would choose.”

And there you have it, folks. Earthkind Toys wins the spot as our pretend company’s new brand name. We might think Birch + Bee is cute and unique too, but it could fit another company just as well. Like a “honey, soap, wax candles, etc” store, as one respondent said. 

Earthkind Toys, on the other hand, is unequivocally a name for a company that sells toys that are kind to the earth. 

A successful brand name starts with PickFu

As you start to build your brand strategy and brand image with your new name, remember that PickFu’s always in your pocket. 

You can use our polling features to:

  • Run logo tests 
  • Use A/B testing to find new product names
  • Ask open-ended questions to do some concept marketing 

Sign up today!

FAQs

How do you determine a brand name?

You can pick a brand name in three easy steps. First, brainstorm words that remind you of your brand and come up with a long list of potential candidates. Second, dig deeper into each name. Assess the memorability of each one. Check for existing trademarks. See if relevant domain names are free. Third, pick your favorite 2-4 choices and test them to your target audience with a PickFu poll!

What are the benefits of a brand name test?

A brand name test helps you choose a name that your actual potential customers will love. Let’s say you don’t test a brand name idea. You love it so much that you spend time and money creating a logo and brand identity. You know it’ll be a hit. Except…it’s not drawing anyone to your store. Later, when you decide to do a rebrand, you run a brand name test. You’re shocked when people hate the name. Who knew? You could have—if you’d done a brand name test.

Don’t let yourself find out the hard way. 

How do I know if my brand name is good?

The only way to know for sure if a brand name is good is to do a brand name test with your target audience. If people in your target audience love it, your customers will too. 


Learn more: Build a better business by testing your business names, ideas, logos, marketing copy, and website designs on PickFu.

Laura Melchor

Laura Ojeda Melchor (she/her) is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Parents.com, Mom.com, Gardener’s Path, and of course, PickFu. She holds a Master of Fine Arts in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her debut middle-grade novel, Missing Okalee, was published in the fall of 2021 by Shadow Mountain Publishing.