How to Choose a Perfect Name for Your Community (Tips + Examples)
The human connection component provided by online communities is what makes them trending. For this reason, finding a name that captures that feeling of connectedness while letting your audience know what your community is all about is important.
When a name feels right and embodies the essence of what you offer, it becomes memorable. On the contrary, when it doesn’t fit, you risk sounding unremarkable and mediocre.
The task can feel challenging, but fear not: using our community name generator above and these seven tips, you’ll be able to find the perfect name for your community. We’ve also created a free checklist to help speed up the process.
Are you ready? Let’s get into it.
1. Make It Aspirational
Let’s set aside how we see our audience and consider how they see themselves. Write a list of the dreams they have for themselves and see where these things might fit in your community’s name.
What name will inspire them based on their identity or passion?
Let’s look at two examples of groups that captured how their audience sees themselves.
- Planeteer Alliance unites young people who care about our climate and planet.
- Pulse equips health workers around the globe with resources to strengthen healthcare systems.
Planeteer Alliance merges the actionable feel of something like a musketeer or a charioteer with what the target audience cares about: the planet. And since the group is directed at young people, the word “alliance” makes it sound like a superhero league.
Pulse, instead, wonderfully captures the literal meaning of what healthcare workers monitor in patients and the figurative sense of monitoring trends and shifts in the healthcare system.
2. Make It Unique
Some communities leverage unusual words to communicate their uniqueness; it gives them an “insider” feel. This is the case with NaNoWriMo.
Writers love it. The National Novel Writing Month (now just NaNoWriMo) is a free challenge that invites anyone to write 50,000 words every November. During the journey, “Wrimos” track their progress, earn badges, and participate in forums and workshops.
Another unique community name is Tuft the World. This creative community shares an affinity for tufting, i.e., the art of making custom rugs.
Think of the “insider” words that your audience will love. Or, as in the case of NaNoWriMo, consider an abbreviation that could attract your audience.
3. Make It Meaningful
Feelings drive action and change how people see themselves and the world. So, pay attention to the feelings that the words you choose transmit. As in the following examples, they can convey a certain appeal.
What do you sense from each of these community names?
Wanderful is a community for women who love to travel. The word “wander” expresses a mysterious feeling that the word “travel” simply doesn’t. So, look for synonyms for the words you’re thinking of and consider the emotional heft of each term.
In the case of Rebel Book Club’s case, the unexpected combination of rebel with book club creates curiosity. Plus, it works for a group of readers committed to bettering themselves by reading nonfiction books.
4. Make It Catchy
If you can make your name catchy, it can be easier and more fun to remember. For instance, the intentional use of alliteration and wordplay are two ways to create catchiness.
You can use alliteration, the repeated use of consonant sounds, to make a name memorable. For example, Wealth Without Wall Street and Beyond the Brushes are two great examples. These community names have the added advantage of also describing what they do.
Having fun with words is another way to make your community name catchy. For instance, one school group named their science club Bond, Hydrogen Bond, as a play on the famous line from James Bond movies (also used in the 2019 movie Spies in Disguise).
Outer Work, instead, is a community that has decided to flip the more commonly used “inner work” to make it memorable and accurately describe its mission to remedy racism in society.
The first rule of naming anything is clarity. The alliterative groups used names that also described those groups. When using puns or wordplay, check that you don’t sacrifice any clarity if clarity is important.
5. Consider Branding
If you’ve centered your community around your brand, you may want to consider using it in your community name.
For example, support communities are effective ways to help users with things like software, appliances, or vehicles. These forums attract anything from newbies to experienced users and are often member-driven.
Here are a few examples.
- Thinkific Studio is for course creators who use the Thinkific Platform, and their Facebook group allows users to share their experiences and questions.
- Ninja Foodi Family is an ideal place for home chefs who use the Ninja Foodi appliance, as this group lets them explore their appliances and swap recipes.
- CR-V Owners Club is for drivers who own a Honda CR-V. This forum lets them share pictures and ask questions. Honda doesn’t own the community, demonstrating that you can successfully create a community around a brand you don’t own.
6. Consider Diverse Perspectives
As your community grows, you’ll attract more members from different backgrounds. Your audience’s diverse experiences may cause them to see your community name in a way you didn’t anticipate. This can result in confusion or offense.
Researching potential names in advance can help you avoid confusion.
- If something similar exists, you can choose to differentiate yourself from a potential competitor by going in a different direction.
- If it exists but has an entirely different meaning, you can make an informed choice depending on whether it creates confusion.
Your research may also uncover potentially offensive or troublesome words. For example, the word tribe is racially sensitive, and using it may place your community at risk of harsh criticism.
7. Consider Searchability
If you have the vision to grow a large global community and want people to find it using Google, consider how searchable your community name is. You’ll want to incorporate keywords and secure a domain name for your group to improve your visibility.
You don’t need to target an exact keyword to rank in Google search. Instead, consider using a general keyword in your community name. This can also make your goal or mission more easily identifiable.
The School of Self-Image is a group that helps women elevate their lives through monthly classes and an engaged community.
Bonus Tip: Ask For Help
Finally, you may want to turn to your audience for help with naming the community. There are some pros and cons to doing this. For instance:
- On the upside, it can generate excitement and improve participation.
- On the downside, members may not share your vision.
A better idea would be to ask your members about what they’d like to see more of in the community and base your decision on that.
Alternatively, you could make the process more democratic by suggesting several options and asking the audience to indicate a preference.
Putting It All Together
Your community has the potential to become a safe space in which members share information and forge relationships based on their passions and interests. Choosing the right name is the first step to making this happen.
Sometimes we may not find the right fit immediately. Just think about this: John Lennon’s first group was called the Blackjacks, then the Quarrymen. Later, he met up with the rest of his band, and they decided to become Johnny and the Moondogs, then the Silver Beetles, and finally the Beatles.
If a group as famous as the Beatles had to try a few names out before finding the right one, it’s okay if you do so, too.
If you need extra help, we created a checklist for you to use while naming your community: download your copy here.
And if you need more inspiration, check out these successful community examples and their names.
We can’t wait to see what name you come up with for your community. If you want feedback on potential names, share them in the comments below!