How to Pick a Name for your Coffee Brand

I have been through the pain of trying to pick names for coffee brands both of my own and for clients. It’s not an easy feat as there is a balance between finding a name that’s not only meaningful in the coffee industry but also to yourself and then the added factor that it may have already been taken (or used closely). 

A name for your coffee brand is an important choice however as that can be the first impression to your future customers and the foundation of the relationship. 

There are many ways to find inspo for coffee brand names whether it’s looking into the supply chain and pulling out something that’s important to you or simply the flavour or how coffee makes you feel.

You may even go left of field and pick a coffee name that has nothing to do with coffee, whatever you pick it’s important to make sure your new coffee name conveys the brand as interesting and likeable, it also helps if it’s memorable too.

How memorable is your coffee brand name?

There are a few steps that I find helps when picking a name for coffee businesses such as my target audience, the brand message and the overall feel I want to create. I’ll cover these in more depth below. 

Who is your target audience?

Identifying your customers 

The first thing that I’d do when choosing a name for a coffee brand is to identify my target audience. This is important as you want the name to resonate with your customers. This is a good exercise to carry out anyway aside from picking your brand name and it may give you an insight into your future business. So firstly I would recommend making a list that defines your audience. You can go as detailed as you like and even create a customer alias. Here’s an example of one that I made recently:

Customer Alias for Ninth Coffee:

  • Name: Alex
  • Age: 28
  • Job: Production Coordinator
  • Location: London
  • Interests: Coffee, Food, Travel
Coffee brand name target audience

You can of course go a little bit broader with this and forget the name but I find that it helps you visualise your target audience as one customer. If you already have your socials up and running or you are migrating from another similar business then you can use Instagram or Facebook to gain valuable insights into the audience such as gender and age. Here’s a useful guide from Adroll to find your target audience.  

Once you have identified your customer then put that to one side and move to the next step.

Analysis of your competitors

Otherwise known as market research is another important step when starting any business. You may have already completed this and have an extensive list where you have delved into each one of your competitors. However, for this exercise we’re just going to take the name rather than some of the other details. 

So make a list of your current competitors. What I like to do is create multiple lists for varying levels of competition as although a coffee brand may be in your niche it may not be in your sub-niche of coffee and therefore has different values, target audiences and goals. 

Here’s an example for Batch Coffee Club (Coffee Subscription):

Coffee Subscription Brands:

  • Rise Coffee
  • Blue Coffee Box
  • Pact Coffee

Coffee Roasters:

  • Origin Coffee
  • Volcano Coffee Works
  • Mancoco

Coffee Blogs:

  • About Coffee
  • Roasty Coffee
  • Homeground Coffee
Coffee brand name competition

List as many as you can. This is just an exercise to get the inspirational juices flowing and to see what’s out there. Once you have exhausted the brands off the top of your head, search in Google for ‘coffee subscription’ (or your sub-niche) and list as many as you can – you may also find websites with lists of brands that are great to easily scan.

Tip: Another way to generate more names is to search your sub-niche in different countries for example ‘coffee subscription USA’ this will spit out another load of great content. 

Once you have this list take a look down and try to envision what customers this appeals to, for example Black Rifle Coffee is a veteran founded coffee roaster that probably has a target audience of Military or vets. 

Highlight the ones that you’d imagine Alex (above) would associate with. 

Choosing your unique coffee identity

Choosing a Memorable Coffee Name

For me, selecting a memorable name for any coffee brand is essential in creating a unique brand identity. 

I want to come up with a name that stands out, sticks in customers’ minds, and represents the overall vibe of my coffee brand. 

Now you have your alias and a huge list of competitors names it’s time to start brainstorming and writing down ideas that you think could work.

Reflecting Your Brand Values

When starting coffee brands they must embody your brand values and principles in every aspect, including its name. 

Creating a name that creatively intertwines the principles I stand for or the type of experience I provide will help customers understand what to expect. 

For example, if I focus on providing a cosy, local experience with my coffee, using words like “Cornerstone” or “Neighbourhood” in my brand name might appeal to my target audience.

Find inspiration In Coffee Words and Terminology

To further strengthen the connection between my coffee brand and the coffee world, I can use some coffee-related terms or concepts within my brand name. 

To do this head back to Google where you can search variations of coffee terms like ‘coffee roasting terminology’ where you’ll find articles like this one from Royal Coffee that may inspire you into your future coffee brand name. 

Overall, my primary goal is to create a unique and memorable brand identity that reflects my values, resonates with potential customers, and celebrates the world of coffee. 

Keeping the brand personality, vibe, and terminology in mind will ensure the creation of a coffee brand that truly stands out in a crowded market.

Coffee Brand Name Inspiration

Naming Mechanics and Practicalities

Considerations for Language and Pronunciation

When I’m choosing a name for a coffee brand, it’s incredibly important to consider language and pronunciation. 

I want my brand name to be easy to pronounce for as many people as possible, regardless of their native language. 

If people can’t pronounce the name, they’re less likely to remember it or talk about it with friends and family. 

To achieve this, I try to keep the name simple and avoid using words that might be difficult to pronounce or understand in different languages. 

This is a pretty important step – I have seen it so many times (particularly in the coffee industry) where a name is hard to pronounce or hard to read and customers will literally not even attempt it and eventually forget the name. 

Checking Name Availability and Legalities

You’ll now have a list of potential brand names that you can keep adding to. I quite like to work on this over a period of time and keep coming back to it when names have sat in my head for a while. 

Once you have a few ideas it’s time to check that they’re available to use and another brand isn’t already out there. To do this search in google to see what comes up. There may be instances where there are variations of the name and you may have to dig a little deeper. 

Here’s a simple checklist to help with that process:

  1. Trademark search: Check national and international trademark databases to ensure the name is not already trademarked in your target markets. Here’s Companies house in the UK.
  2. Domain name search: Look for available domain names that match or resemble the selected brand name. It’s crucial to secure an appropriate domain for your website. Take a look on Godaddy to see if your desired URL is available. 
  3. Social media handles: Verify if the brand name is available as a social media handle on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Note: You may come across your name on here but many won’t be businesses – you can always vary the handle slightly.

By considering language, pronunciation, and legal factors, I can ensure my coffee brand name is memorable, accessible, and legally sound. 

Tools and Tips

Using a Business Name Generator

If you’re really struggling for inspiration and nothing is jumping out at you there are lots of name generator tools out there, here’s one that is pretty good: coffee business name generators. I’d take these tools as an aid however and try to focus more so on what you want the coffee brand to feel like overall rather than getting drawn to names on here. 

Using Expired Domain search

There are various platforms like GoDaddy that offer expired domain auctions. These are great places to find inspiration by filtering ‘coffee’ you can see previous names of coffee companies. 

Ask Your People

Reach out to family and friends and ask them what they think of your ideas for coffee brand names. I like to offer them a list and ask which they prefer as approaching people with one name and asking yey or nay may provoke biassed answers. 

All of the feedback here should be taken with a pinch of salt as more often than not your family/friends are not your target audience. 

This does work pretty well though if you have people close to you in the coffee industry.

Coffee Brand Name Checklist

Choosing a coffee brand name checklist

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