The cosmic pursuit to find Pluto is a neat example of how imagination, obsession, and reason align what can be seen. After scientists at the Lowell Observatory finally discovered “Planet X” in 1930, the world weighed in on what to name it. Let’s brew on naming your project.

As discovery releases new realities, a great name established an identity. A name makes a project feel real and allows you to talk about your ideas with others. It also creates an identity to build your marketing around. If you’ve been thinking about your project for a while, a good name may emerge. If you’re struggling, here are three ways to land on something scalable.

1. Be descriptive. If it’s impossible to guess what you’re offering at first glance, you’re taking an early gamble. Hyper specific names may stand out in the moment, but too much definiteness can limit your ability to evolve. Attention is hard to earn, so avoid obscurity, names that may trap you, or anything that makes your business hard to remember.

2. Verify your name is available. It’s tough to set yourself apart while still being easy to remember. As you consider naming a business, get creative, but do your homework before you fall in love. Research existing trademarks, domain names, social media accounts, industry competitors, and funky spellings.

3. Think long-term. To withstand the test of time, consider how this name can support long-term growth. If the trend you’ve based a name around fades, might it make you look outdated? Will highlighting a specific location eliminate the ability to expand? In short, don’t corner yourself unless it’s on purpose.

Once you lock in a name, start using it within customer discovery to explore how it’s received by those you seek to serve. When a name clicks, align your marketing and overall vocabulary around the newly established identity. This will make your company recognizable and over time, connects you to more true fans.

Extra Shot
Pluto was the second choice of scientists who discovered this beloved dwarf planet. Minerva was the team’s favorite, but it was already taken by an existing asteroid.