There as a great piece over the weekend from the NewYorkTimes.com from a small business owner about the process for coming up with a new name for for a fish restaurant.
The author discusses a variety of ideas for a new seafood restaurant, some pracitcal, some fun, some witty. This process – brainstorming a large variety of names before falling in love with any of them – is highly recommended. It is more likely to lead to a good creative name, and it hopefully avoids falling for a particular name before you know whether it is available. Trademark searches for the 20 names are likely to eliminate at least half of them. The article is also good because most of the names are suggestive for a seafood restaurant – Fluke, Fish Inn, Aquavore, etc. Suggestive names give the customer some indication of the serivces/product, but are not overly descriptive (like “Seafood Grill”) and are therefore more likely to be unique, more protectable, and stronger.
TIP: When looking for a new brand name, don’t look for one to hone in on early in the process. Cast a wide net and come up with a variety of options, then let them sit for a few days and ask friends for their comments. Then do some searching on your own for conflicts. Hopefully, you wind up with a few that are not taken and that are on the top of you list. Take those to an attorney and do a full clearance search for at least one. Hopefully you will be on your way to having a thriving unique protected brand name.