Brand Naming in 2021: Easy Process with Audience Testing

One of the most daunting undertakings when launching a business is naming your business. Finding a name that speaks to your business and resonates with potential customers is a pivotal decision. Studies have shown that a memorable name can help your business stand out from competitors and impact your bottom line. In fact, strong name performs up to 33% better on the stock market than weaker names.

brand naming

After brainstorming and narrowing name options to your top picks, it’s time for a valuable process in company naming, audience testing. Audience testing will give you important insight into the names that will appeal to your target market.

Let me explain:

Why Audience Testing is Important for Brand Naming?

Audience testing can have a huge impact as you cultivate your product, brand, or business name. The process is a survey that presents your business name to a targeted demographic with a goal to gain outside perspective and sentiment.

Audience testing is crucial to the success of the naming process because it verifies the names that appeal to you perform well (or don’t perform well) with your target audience. Gaining an outside viewpoint before making your final name choice helps prevent you from choosing a name that will flop with your target customers.


No matter how attached you are to your business name, it should resonate with your audience. If it fails to generate a connection or buzz with the target demographic, your business name will not set a solid foundation for success and growth.

Audience Testing Process

There are a variety of ways to approach audience testing, one of the easiest is to use Brand Name Testing Survey. As you put together your test, it’s important to consider cost, depth, and quantity. Ideally, a company should reach out to a thousand individuals who match your target customer. This will give you a sizable pool you can survey your name options.

Free-to-Use Brand Name Testing Survey Template

Free plan available. 100 free survey responses included every month!


This size and depth of targeting can easily cost several thousand dollars. With this in mind, Squadhelp recommends targeting recipients by age, gender, and region. This approach allows you to see how your name might perform within targeted groups. You’ll still receive the necessary validation when selecting your final business name within your budget.

Audience Testing Survey Question Examples

For the survey, begin with an open questions. You want to put your targeted demographic in a relevant decision-making mind-set.

There’s one obvious question that might come to mind but should never be asked, especially to friends and family:

“ Which one of these names do you like? “

Questions like this are not helpful because “liking” a name is both subjective and has insignificant meaning.

Other poor questions include:

“ Do you like how the name looks on the page or how it sounds? “

“ Is the name descriptive of something you value or enjoy? “

“ Do you like a name because it reminds you of something else? “

Your questions should avoid the subjective nature of liking.

Questions you should ask include:

“ Which one of these all-organic hummus brands are you most interested in trying? “

“ Which of these customer-focused cloud solutions do you want to learn more about? “

These questions are effective because they force your survey group to slow down and consider your brand in a rooted context. They offer each name as more than just a name, but as a fleshed-out business that the audience must make a decision about.

You can also try questions that are based around values. For example:

“ Which of these names best aligns with our mission to provide equal housing access? “

“ Which of these financial institution names do you feel most embodies prestige and trust? “

Strong questions such as these put your audience in the position of the decision-makers allowing them to accurately compare the various business name ideas from your shortlist.

Brand Naming Best Practices

When you are testing your shortlist, It is important to avoid examining names that are too similar. Additionally, avoid comparing your new brand to pre-established brands, especially major established brands such as McDonald’s, Nike, Audi, Prada, or Ikea, even if you desire to be associated with these brands.

Established brands such as these will always win in a poll. An unfamiliar word on a page will struggle to top a brand that people have encountered across their lifetime. You should focus on constructing credibility with your own name ideas in order to avoid skewing your results.

After you have tailored your questions and targets, it is time to gather your survey and send your possible business names out to a targeted audience. You can collect responses using your peer network. Additionally, you can run surveys through relevant forums, Facebook groups, and audience testing services to obtain relevant opinions on your business name ideas.

Set Brand Naming Strategies with Survey Responses

You’ve sent out your survey, collected your responses, and now it’s time to analyze your results. Your collected data should offer you an idea of what names will be more successful than others.

It’s important to keep an open mind when analyzing the data. Your favorite name may have not lined up how you believed it would with audience reaction and sentiment.

Your name could perform poorly for a variety of reasons. The word could have an unfortunate hidden meaning or connotation that you did not catch. The name could have simply rubbed the audience the wrong way. Regardless of what caused the poor reaction, it is important to recognize that the name may not be the best fit.


The results don’t have to seal the fate of your name. Audience testing can give you an idea of what may or may not work. The results do not have to line up precisely with your end decision. The goal of audience testing is to help you make an informed decision.

Audience testing is an excellent way to see beyond your own assumptions and get an idea of how others respond to your ideas. It allows you to see which of your concepts aligns best with your target audience. Empowered with data, the invaluable feedback of audience testing can guide you in selecting a business name with confidence.

Grant Polachek

Grant Polachek is the Head of Branding at Inc 500 company, the world’s #1 naming platform, with 25,000+ customers from early-stage startups across the globe to the largest corporations including Nestle, Philips, Hilton, Pepsi, and AutoNation. Get inspired by exploring these winning business name ideas.

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