The world of podcasting is getting more competitive by the day. For businesses looking to create one for themselves, there’s a lot to navigate.
Your business needs all the help it can get to stand out and get those subscribers. All of that starts with a great name. So, we're going to go through 10 podcast names we love, talk about why they work, and then teach you how to name your own podcast.
- “The Distance” by Basecamp
- Teamistry - Atlassian
- Culture Happens - Hubspot
- Seeking Wisdom - Drift
- “.future” by Microsoft
- #LIPSTORIES by Sephora Collection
- “The Sauce” by McDonald’s
- “Rise and Grind” by ZipRecruiter
- “Slack Variety Pack” by Slack
- “Open for Business” by eBay
One theme in many great podcast names is a nice tie-in with the company that created it. The combination of “distance” and “Basecamp” invokes summiting Everest, an analogy that pairs nicely with the content (stories about people who run businesses that have lasted at least 25 years). By doing both of these things, Basecamp’s podcast name checks all the boxes.
Another approach is the classic portmanteau: combining two words to make your own. Atlassian combined “team” and “chemistry” for their title. The result is a podcast name that’s memorable, unique (because finding an available domain name is a common problem), and communicates several things in a single word. In this case, right away you know the show is about team chemistry.
Hubspot went the cheeky route. The amusing reference to a common phrase of many workplaces tells you right away that this podcast is going to be more fun than you might expect from a company. But more than that, it touches on the core idea of the podcast: that a culture is going to develop in your company no matter what you do so you might as well shape it.
Drift gets to the economy of a great podcast name. “Seeking” tells you that this is a podcast about process. The hosts don’t claim to know all the answers, but are going to be figuring it all out along with you. “Wisdom” indicates that the hosts are looking for more than a simple answer to a marketing or sales problem, they’re seeking something more profound and universal. Just like that, without even being familiar with Drift, you’ve got some sense of what the podcast is all about.
This branded podcast created by Gimlet went with a more general name to stay flexible on topics. Because they cover everything from Minecraft to how digital technology is impacting warfare, the .future name lets Gimlet and Microsoft give the podcast space to evolve until it finds the right formula for success.
Another example of a partnership podcast with a name that’s distinctive but flexible. #LIPSTORIES encompasses a wide range of chats with successful women about feeling empowered. A side benefit of this name is that it makes it particularly easy for fans to tag the show on social media and spread the word.
Beyond the name, this is a fascinating example of a company using a podcast to tackle a PR problem head on. After the rollout of a new Szechuan sauce left many people angry with McDonald's, it chose to tell the story of its development and rollout in a narrative podcast. Here, a simple name that’s mildly intriguing does the job of drawing you in after initially thinking “wait, McDonald's has a podcast?”
Another successful example of brevity, the three word title of this podcast tells you all you need to know: it’s about how to turn hard work into success. Saying it in a contemporary slangy kind of way also makes the show sound fresh.
Slack actually took this podcast’s name directly from their blog, so it had a life before. That said, it’s got a nice rhyme to it, and opens up a wide range of possible topics. Each episode’s title is formatted as a “____ pack”, meaning the podcast title also ties in its episodes nicely.
Another Gimlet created show, “Open for Business” is an example of using a podcast name for branding. Sure, it tells you that this is a show about entrepreneurship, but it also connects that idea with eBay. So, instead of associating eBay with just selling stuff, you associate it with starting a small business.
How to Name a Podcast
Now that you’ve seen how some of the top companies in their industries have created their podcasts, you’re ready to name your own. Let’s walk through the process.
Step 1: Brainstorm
Easier said than done, let’s recap some of the core ideas of the above examples to get your ideas rolling:
- Think of names that connect with the name of your business.
- Consider trying a portmanteau.
- Think about common expressions or sayings within your industry.
- How would you describe the mission of your podcast in 2-3 words?
- How would listeners describe your podcast with a hashtag?
- What’s an idea you want to get across about your business?
Starting with these ideas, write down as many names as you can think of. It’s helpful to do this as a group (buying pizza, coffee, doughnuts, etc. for everyone is a nice way to get them all to gather and help out). You can also enlist some experts to help out.
Step 2: Check availability
Once you’ve got a shortlist of podcast names you like, check whether there’s already a podcast by that name and whether you can get a domain for it (if you want to have a dedicated website). Also consider how searchable it is by seeing how competitive that word or phrase is. Ideally when someone searches the name of your podcast, you want to show up close to the top. Once you’ve settled on something, register the domains and submit your podcast to iTunes.
Step 3: Start creating
Now that you’ve got the perfect name, it’s time to set up a studio, write scripts, and use your podcast to dominate social media. Remember that far too many podcasters lose steam after an initial burst of work, but creating a successful podcast comes down to perseverance. Some of the podcasts mentioned above have gone from their fantastic names to great success while others were simple flashes in the pan. In other words, a great name is a good start, but to succeed you’ll need much more.