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what is in a name

What’s in a Name?

Picking the right name for a startup business is tricky. As a first impression, your business name can inspire confidence or cause your potential customer to keep looking. It is the cornerstone of your foundation, the cement that holds everything together. If it’s off just by a little, the whole building collapses.


Guidelines for Choosing an Eye-Catching Name for Your Business

Less is More

Potential clients need to remember your business name, that’s obvious. But if they’re looking online, they also need to find it easily. So don’t be too extravagant or overly creative. Keep it simple and to the point. Don’t pick a name like “ZandorY,” it’s too over the top. Be unique, but not at the expense of the actual product.

Make an Impact

No, I’m not quoting Charlie Sheen during his drug-fueled tiger’s blood rants. A winning attitude comes up with a winning name. Visualize where you want your product to go. Then find a way how your product fits into that vision. Having a strong visual element is central to a great name. As Morpheus said to Neo, “Free your Mind.” It’s easier said than done, but business is not meant to be easy.

Be Search-Friendly

This is the digital age, the age of the Internet. We’re slaves to it. A thriving business or a startup can’t survive without online savvy. When picking a name, transform your company name into a memorable search-friendly domain name. Don’t spell it differently than it sounds. It all boils down to the marketing strategy and how you execute it. Search and retrieve should be the mantra. The name should pop out of Google or any other search engines.

Positive Reinforcement

Pick a name that has positive connotations across all cultures. Take Apple for instance. It’s the most simple word in the English language. It’s even one of the first words a child learns in a book. It doesn’t insult any other culture or have possibly offensive implications. The only other way names of fruits is in the media these days are when celebrities are giving nicknames to their children. The point is, the name of the company should never insult or offend. A great way to avoid this is to test it amongst a target audience.

Be Descriptive

A good business name should include information about what you do. Take Nike for instance. Nike is a winged Greek goddess of victory. People don’t think that of Nike. They think of shoes that make you fly. For the most part, the NBA made great use of the Nike brand and vice versa. One doesn’t exist without the other. It’s a great example of branding and marketing, with a great name ensuring great results.

So what’s in a name? Everything: past, present and future. William Shakespeare wrote “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose/ By any other name would smell as sweet.” Let that simmer, and then figure out what’s going to work for your business.

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