Choosing a team name isn't easy. Here's some things you need to think about, plus some ideas for coming up with the best team names.
Our focus is on names for corporate team events. But the suggestions for choosing team names are probably relevant to any type of team.
If you're stuck for team name ideas, you may also like to see our related page on generating ideas for creative team names.
Involve the team.
All members of a team need to be consulted about a team name. One of the best ways of choosing a team name is a team brainstorming session.
But if everyone doesn't want to be involved in this process, at the very least, you need to consult about (and maybe vote on) the team name before it's finalised.
If a team name is decided on without everyone's consent, you may have some disgruntled team members and this will detract from the success of your team building event or activity.
Consider the message you want your name to send.
Names reflect the type of team you are, and the nature of the event – amusing team names might not always be appropriate, sometimes an attention-grabbing memorable name is what’s needed.
For a corporate team, the name usually needs to satisfy business standards – how off-the-wall or lewd the names can be depends on the type of event and your company culture. For example, choosing a team name that doesn't offend anyone is more important for a corporate team building activity than at a pub quiz night.
Think about your team strengths & what you have in common.
Team names which are personalised in some way are usually better than generic names.
Perhaps there is long-standing joke the team like to laugh about or perhaps the team name can line up with your team's role in the organisation (eg –an advertising team could be the 'Creative Avengers', the IT group could be the 'Red Hot Spammers'...
Get your team together and make a list of possible ideas for team names. Don't analyse, don't think too hard, just free-form brainstorm and don't stop until you have at least 30 names. Then go back and talk about them. Delete the 10 least favourites, and if you haven't found a name the whole team likes, repeat the process again.
The best team names mean something to your team. Perhaps you can make a word out of the first initials of each team members name. Or create an acronym like 'hahah' – have a heart and help.
Or alternatively think of a common word like 'win' or 'mast' and make it into an acronym to come up with a creative team name.... eg - 'Maddeningly Average Sailing Team'
Find a movie or song or quote you and your team loves. Use without change, or think of a way to modify it to come up with something new. Examples could include “Smells Like Team Spirit” (Nirvana song), “Chariots of Fire”, “Without Limits” etc.
Depending on the type of team event, it may be relevant in choosing a team name to think of some possible team colours, uniforms, costumes or decorating themes, and work back from there. For example, ideas for team names could be inspired by themes such as pirates, nautical, disco, jungle, sci fi, western etc.
Before you finalise your choice of team name, ask yourself these questions:
As you can see, there are several things to think about when choosing a team name.
Depending on the type of team building activity, it may be worth putting a lot of effort into choosing a great team name. In other cases, any name the team is happy to go with will do.