Name Audit


If you are developing and introducing new company or product names, you can do customer and market research and testing. But what if you already have a name and are not sure if it is right or working for you? Sure, many researchers would be happy to take your money and run off and do some customer research and see what customers think.

Except it takes a lot of time and money, and still does not tell you about its legal status, its phonetic and linguistic implied roots, or its position with regard to competitors and current naming trends. More importantly, you are getting answers from users, not from professional positioning and naming experts. People who know how to think about what could be, as opposed to thinking about names they already know – which almost by definition are not legally available.

We study names every day. We create and track names. After all, Brighter Naming is the home of the Name Critic and the original creator of the Name of the Week feature for many years – as well as the very current Name Awards Blog. But even we wouldn’t dare to venture an off-the-cuff opinion. There are too many dimensions to a good name. That is why we have a formal process and set of deliverables to put your name under the spotlight and see how it stacks up.

And, as usual, at a fixed price – only $500 (Sole proprietor or Small Startup), $800 (Corporate including international checks)! So you will know where you stand before getting into any new branding change or campaign.


A typical audit involves these components as a minimum:

  • An updated international legal trademark summary
  • A comprehensive common law report and analysis
  • Other similar and close names
  • A basic phonetics and linguistics analysis
  • A study based on positioning and style  vis a vis competitor names
  • An opinion on its longevity (or lack there of) based on current trends
  • A name style discussion, including industry trends) worldwide
  • A ranking on a scale of 1 to 10 – by itself and in certain contexts
  • A recommendation on how to proceed

Timeframe: One week or less.

Note:  This is not a full Brand Audit. While we have experience with that, we do not have the bandwidth to handle such dedicated projects and all our naming projects too. But we are happy to work with your chosen branding agency (or we can recommend one).


Does an audit mean we will recommend you change your name? Not necessarily. If you ask your barber if you need a haircut, the answer is probably yes. But we have been pleasantly surprised ourselves how often an audit shows the name is not the problem, something else was (e.g. graphics/positioning/logo, etc). Or in few great cases, the name was perfect….we just had to help them sell it to upper management and advise them on dealings with their own legal counsel.

And in other cases, we find some problems or issues with the name – but they were not show stoppers. So now the client knows what to avoid, how to use the name, and what to emphasize.

Don’t change your name or brand unless you have to. An enormous amount of market momentum can be lost!

Do change your name before it becomes a major expense and headache down stream. Only so many problems can be covered up.

Be not afraid of going slowly; be only afraid of standing still.” – Chinese Proverb

Naming Articles

New brand insider articles from an experienced marketing team. Learn all the basics of naming, branding and trademark registration from these free reports:

Oct 2021: The devil is in the trademark details

Mar 2019:The Power and Value of a Trademark

Jan 2019:4 common branding mistakes

Oct 2018: You named it What?

July 2018: Sample processes from leading consultants

June 2018: 10 steps to develop a process

August 2016: How to select a naming agency.

July 2016: How to get International Trademark protection.

March 2016: You received a cease and desist letter. Now what?

Our naming gurus follow and comment on current naming practices worldwide.

See the latest Name Critic ratings for names like Skype, Pinterest, Etsy, etc.

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See his industry naming commentary (where he takes a critical look at names) via the blog on this site