The outward visual expression of a company name or a specific brand should including its name, communications, and visual appearance is called brand identity. Company names could be last names, could be names of a business, or it could be a catchphrase or saying or it could be just a made up name, based on the conception of the business.

Some big brands that everyone knows are Apple, Samsung, Google, Microsoft, and Walmart. Some lesser known brands are Kellogg’s, Panasonic, Sony, and Lowe’s.

Brain Storm. This is not easy as it seems, but take a pen to paper, or open your laptop, open up Dictionary, Thesaurus and Urban Dictionary. Try to think of a word that relates to your business or something that seems catchy. Like if your doing a comedian website, do just your name or stage name, if your starting an ice cream business, then think of any words relating to ice cream, or if its just kids ice cream parlor then think of fun kids words that would attract kids and parents to your ice cream branded business. Here are the top brands of 2013, and you can go back the last 5 years or so as well.

Brand Naming Length. Make sure the name is no more then two or three words put together, for instance Seth Marketing or Miller’s Lawnmower Company. Also make sure the name doesn’t have two or three variations of spelling, that will confuse consumers in trying to find your website. The shorter the name the better it is, as most companies are trying to shorten their name to make it appeal to the younger generations. Like Citibank is Citi, Kentucky Fried Chicken is now KFC.

Creative Branding. Most names are just invented on the fly, like JetBlue, Compaq. Or IKEA brand name a series of acronyms, founded in Sweden in 1943 by 17-year-old Ingvar Kamprad, the company’s name is an acronym comprising the initials of Ingvar Kamprad, Elmtaryd (the farm where he grew up) and Agunnaryd (his hometown in Småland, South Sweden), pretty cool if you ask me.

Domain Name. To check to see if your business name is available online I would use, Instant Domain Search, and use the encrypted version, where it doesn’t track your entries and searches. If its available then buy it immediately, if you dont want it you can always call to release the domain name back and get a refund for another domain name of your choosing.

Social Media Username. So once you find a name for a website, now type in the name next to a Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin URL. For instance if your company name is Seth Marketing, type in and see if its available or some has taken it, if its not taken then create a page for a business and get that username, same for the rest of the social media websites.

Trademark Search. Nothing worst then thinking of the brand name, have it up in running, and then you get served legal papers for having the same name as someone else, within the same field. Go to the United States Patent and Trademark website and do a trademark search, to make sure your in the clear, and it if you are clear, and if your savvy enough, register your business name for a trademark or get a trademark lawyer to do it.

If all else fails in thinking of a company name or brand identity, then take some time off to not cloud your mind with pressure and then come back to thinking of a name that you personal identifies with yourself and your brand. Being creative is like an on/off switch anyone will tell you that either your in the creative mind-frame or your cold and cannot muster something up, but any great idea name, idea or brand takes time and patience. Always think long term for a brand or business, never short term.