What’s in a name?

9 min readSep 8, 2022

A Practical Guide to Naming your Startup

By: Margaret Strickland

Naming a company can be intimidating. It’s like naming a child, except you also need trademark clearance, a solid URL, and social handles — that ideally match across platforms…‍

When we started the creative studio at 25madison, one of the first things we had to figure out was how to name the new companies we were creating. From an initial google search of “how to name a company quickly,” to today, 50+ company and project names later, we’ve learned a LOT about naming. What follows is our practical guide for creating great company names.

‍But first, some background on types of names, traits of a great company name, naming trends, and test names vs. go to market names.

Types of names‍

There are a few different types of names to consider when developing a company name. The below chart lays out a spectrum of name types from invented (wholly made up names), to evocative (a compelling word that is loosely associated), to descriptive (straightforward association to company or industry). Based on your offering, industry, and brand personality, you can determine where along this spectrum feels comfortable for your company.

Traits of a great…




25madison is an NYC-based venture studio, incubating companies from the ground up and investing in early-stage companies. Learn more at 25madison.com.