Find a persuasive business name in less than 24 hours with the Mind Reading technique
Today I’m going to show you how to come up with a persuasive name for your business or product.
This technique has helped me find a brand name for over 500 businesses, and it will help you:
Find a name that works, no matter your industry
Create desire for your offer in the buyer’s mind
Describe your business in just a couple of words
No need to get stuck for days or weeks trying to come up with an original idea…only to find out that someone else already registered that name (or that no one understands the meaning behind it).
What’s my secret to creating persuasive brand names? The Mind-Reading Technique.
In this case study, I’m going to show you exactly how you can use it to name your offer, step-by-step (don’t worry, it will not require any black magic or a crystal ball).
How I used the Mind-Reading technique to name 500+ businesses in 70+ industries
There is an unsolvable challenge that most business owners face when naming their business: they approach naming like finding a legendary amulet with business-boosting properties. They search for the “perfect name” and they overlook the one variable that will make or break their offer: their customers.
Instead of building a proven offer around who will give them money (i.e. customers), they focus on a ‘magical name’ and make their audience an afterthought. Can you see the confusion?
If Apple was successful only because of the name, why isn’t Pear a successful car brand?
On top of that, many entrepreneurs want generic names to appeal to everyone. But as the marketing saying goes: “if you confuse, you lose”. With over 1,700 businesses registered every day in the US alone, and many more offers launched daily on the web, being generic isn’t a luxury that new businesses can afford.
There is more: Apple started as Apple Computer Company, Meta started as Facebook, and Wise started as Transferwise.
Can you see what’s happening? Many brands start as relatively specific, describing something related to their offer or their audience, and only later, once they become popular and want to expand to more markets and audiences, do they rebrand to an umbrella name.
Sure, there are some industries in which abstract names work well, such as luxury vehicles and fashion, but even in these cases they are rarely generic, and more around a person’s name: Bentley (well, technically called Bentley Motors), Tesla (actually, it’s called Tesla Motors), and Gucci are all examples of short family names associated with a high-end product.
But don’t worry, this guide will help you find a name for luxury brands too.
Using the Mind-Reading Technique, I have named over 500 offers in industries ranging from tech products to consulting agencies, all the way through clothing and even healthcare. Whatever your industry, this guide will teach you how to find a name that will attract your audience and persuade them to buy. All without having to rack your brains for weeks.
And if you get stuck or don’t want to go through the process yourself, just get in touch with my team and me, and we will help you name your business or product.
Let’s dig into the first component: understanding your ideal customer.
Create a customer persona
The first step to finding a magnetic name for your offer is to…step away from the offer, and focus on your customers instead. Remember: most people start from the name and try to guess which one will “do the magic” and persuade people into buying. This is a losing strategy based on guesswork that will keep you stuck switching between one name idea and the next, with nothing to guide you in choosing one that truly represents your offer.
Instead, the first step in the Mind-Reading Technique is to know your customer: we want to be able to know who they are, what their thoughts are, where we can find them, and what resonates with them. Once we have this information, we will know which names and keywords evoke curiosity and interest in their mind.
Now, what is a customer persona?
Also known as a customer avatar, your persona is a fictitious representation of your target audience. It’s a made-up character that embodies the qualities of your collective market.
In order to understand your audience and create your persona, answer these questions:
Who are they? Give them a name, age, gender, location, etc.
Where do they hang out online?
Where do they hang out offline?
What are their biggest dreams?
What are their burning pains?
What do they want? What do they need?
What have they tried before?
To answer these points, you want to do three things: primary research, secondary research, and then organize your thoughts and experience.
Your customer persona will drive your entire marketing and sales experience (as well as your naming and branding) so don’t skip these steps, they will pay off big time.
Primary research: any direct interaction with your target market. Ask friends for introductions, send emails, jump on the phone. Get information about the points above directly from the source.
Secondary research: use Reddit, Twitter, Facebook groups, and Amazon reviews to understand your target market’s desires, struggles, and what they are looking for. Use the points above to guide you.
Personal experience: finally, fill in the gaps and connect the dots from your research using your own experience. Use any information and insights you’ve gathered during your product ideation stage.
Now it’s time to put all the information above into one character: create an “identikit” of your ideal customer including name, age, location, and even an image (from Google or Pexels). Then, print it out and put it somewhere visible to guide your branding, marketing, and sales efforts.
Say hello to your customer persona.
Now, let’s go back to your offer, and understand exactly why people want to do business with you.
Action box: Get to know your ideal customer by combining primary research, secondary research, and your personal experience. Answer the 7 questions above to make sure you really understand your audience and the dreams and pains that drive them. Then, put it all together in your persona: a document describing your target customer in one imaginary person—don’t forget to give them a name!
From offer to benefit
The second step to finding a persuasive name for your business or product is to dive deep into the benefits that your offer brings to your persona.
Benefits represent the transformation that your customer will experience from engaging with your offer: they represent why someone buys.
Features are the various characteristics that make your business or product: they represent how the offer works.
Let me give you a few examples.
A commuter’s bicycle that can be folded.
Features: a foldable aluminum frame, ceramic brakes, and bright colors.
Benefits: commute to work faster, without getting your bicycle stolen.
A holiday for two.
Features: plane tickets, meals included, a tour of the islands included.
Benefits: recharge on a great holiday without the hassle of organizing it.
A sports massage.
Features: 45-60 minutes of intense pushing and pulling.
Benefits: feel rejuvenated and forget stress; recover faster and increase physical performance.
Most business owners focus on features, while customers focus on benefits.
Let’s use an extreme example to understand this point.
Imagine that you want to lose weight, and you can choose between having the best personal trainer on the planet, using the latest equipment and workouts, or…you can take a magic pill (no side effects) and lose weight immediately. Which would you choose?
You see, the former has more features, but the latter has more benefits, and benefits always win.
Time to take action and find the benefits associated with your offer.
Here are two questions to help you get to the core of the reason why your customers will buy from you.
What is the transformation that your business provides? Imagine the “A to B” journey that you are taking your customers on: define where they are when they start engaging with you, and then when they end up after it. How are their lives or businesses transformed?
Why should people buy from you? Remember to answer this with benefits, not features. Once you have an answer, then ask “why?” again. Ask “why?” at least three times, until you get to the core of what they are looking to get from your offer.
Just like creating your customer persona, understanding the benefits that your business provides is worth investing time in, as it will inform your branding, marketing, and sales strategy going forward.
All done? Now that you have your customer persona, and you understand the transformation that your persona is looking for when buying from you, it’s time to move on to the third and last step: putting it all together into a name, using the Creative Blueprint.
Action box: Understand and list the benefits that your offer brings to your customers by describing the transformation that they go through: how are their lives or businesses improved by your offer? Remember, don’t focus too much on features, as these represent the mechanics of your product or service, not the core reason why people will buy.
Creative Blueprint: putting it all together into a name
Now that you understand your customer avatar and have turned your product’s features into tangible benefits, it’s time to put it all together into an evocative, magnetic name.
Most of the time, creative tasks bring a big challenge: because you could go in so many directions, it’s difficult to get started. This is where the concept of creative constraints comes in: having a set of restrictions focuses your ideas, and forces you to find creative solutions to overcome the limitations. Counterintuitively, adding boundaries makes you more creative in the pursuit of a solution: it helps you channel great ideas and explore clear directions.
Here are the rules of the creative game:
Set a timer to 30 minutes
Come up with at least 25 names
Write your ideas down on paper and say them out loud
There are no bad or silly ideas (they might spark or upgrade another thought)
If you need to spark a few ideas, look at your customer persona (particularly, dreams and pains) and your benefits, and use word association to create more ideas.
Something that helps me a lot when coming up with names is to write them all down (either on my iPad or on sticky notes) and then group names by theme, such as a benefit or a community associated with the offer.
You can use literary devices such as rhymes and alliterations to come up with unique names that are catchier and stickier:
Rhymes are words that end in the same sound.
Near rhymes are words that end in a similar sound.
Alliterations are words that start with the same (or similar) sound.
Names that rhyme are proven to be more memorable, as well as being more persuasive: in a research study, volunteers were shown different versions of the same archaic aphorisms and proverbs. The first version didn’t rhyme, while the second version of the same saying was presented with a rhyme. The rhyming versions were voted as true and trustworthy.
Rhymes, alliterations, and other literary devices can slip past our rational minds and speak directly to our subconscious and emotions.
Do you have a pen and paper ready? Let’s get to work and start that 30-minute timer.
Once you have your 25 names or more, it’s time to filter and select.
Go through the names, and discard the ones that you don’t like or just don’t sound right.
Next, look at the customer persona and the benefit list: which names do not speak to your avatar? Which ones do not represent benefits (and maybe focus on features too much)?
Once you have selected a couple of names, create a second round of names following the directions set by the names that you did like. Can you come up with different versions, refine them a bit, or even find new concepts?
Then, you guessed it: go through the same filter and selection process to eliminate the ones that you don’t like or are not suitable. You must work on at least two rounds of names to get really good and less obvious options.
Now it’s time to let the names sit for at least 24 hours. Store them somewhere safe, and do not look at them or think about them for a whole day: you want to let your mind rest, and come back to the names with a fresh and unbiased perspective.
After the break, look back at your list and select your final name. If you’re still unsure, you can ask your business associates or, even better, ask your customers: you can ask them directly, or test your name in your marketing material by running a simple A/B test email or ads.
At this point, you should have a magnetic name for your offer, as well as a customer persona and benefit list to support your marketing and sales strategy.
Well done on reading this entire guide and taking action!
Action box: Set constraints and use literary devices to unleash your creativity: when brainstorming your names, set a timer and go for quantity over quality (you can always select later). Try to incorporate benefits using word associations, and use rhymes and alliterations to make your names catchy and persuasive.
That’s how you can use the Mind-Reading Technique to create a persuasive name that will quickly communicate the value of your offer to your customers. And if you want the nuname team to help you find a great name for your business or product, pick your branding package here. Great work!