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Choosing a Company Name
When starting a new company or launching a new product, there are many things that can consume your attention. One of your tasks will be to choose a name. It may seem silly to even bring it up. But, much like naming a child, the name can be one of the most difficult things you’ll have to settle on. If you are feeling the pressure, it's understandable. However, setting aside some time to dissect exactly what you want to be can help inspire naming greatness.
Let’s set your fears aside and let you in on a secret. Truth be told, there is not a lot you can do wrong when picking a name. Just about every angle or type of name has been explored, and all have their benefits and drawbacks. That said, you do want to be careful to not choose something offensive. Unless that is your intention – to offend. Not the best business model; however, if you could find a way that being offensive appeals to your target audience, even that could be effective.
What you truly want to do is try and match the name you pick to the impression you’d like to leave with the audience. Start by defining exactly what you are. Use defining words such as creative, gourmet, unique, etc... Whatever fits. Once you have these in place, you can begin trying a few tried and true directions to see what works.
A definitive name. There are names out there that mean nothing. "Xerox", "Novartis", "Lycos" – all are words which had no previous meaning. These names are intended to be strong definers – they become the very definition of what their product or service is.
A descriptive name. This kind of name says it all. It describes exactly what your business is. For example; "Tires Plus". They sell tires plus other vehicle service items. Simple and descriptive.
A suggestive name. This type of name embodies all the characteristics you have defined for yourself previously; but it uses an abstract concept. For instance, the name "Road Runner" helps support its goal of being perceived as a fast delivery service.
Be Creative. A name using a foreign language can be a clever way to get around a saturated market. You may also decide to use a clever play on words. Try not to get too abstract. Keep it simple and short.
Once you have a few options that really fit your definitive words, you’ll need to put them through closer scrutiny. A good name will easily translate to a URL for your web presence, and you’ll also want to do a trademark search. These two checks alone may narrow your selections significantly. Make sure there aren’t any unintentional negative connotations to what you have chosen. Try them on for a while to see how they feel on friends, family, other business associates or contacts. Do they really express how you have defined yourself?
Make certain whatever name you finally select resonates with your target audience, and is a name you can stand behind and feel confident with long term. That’s what will be most important.
Mar 31, 2014
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