Any new business venture, product offering or heck, even a new blog series is like a new baby. And every new baby needs a name, right?
Few things will drive the founder(s) and their “trusted circle” more nuts than picking a name. It’s painful. You’ll never get it right. Because when you finally find one that everyone likes, you’ll go to godaddy.com (or whatever you domain registrar of choice is) only to learn that your new name is only available as a .net or .me or .somethingelsethatnobodywants. I will save my rant on domain squatting until my future post on finding the domain.
I had a staffing business years ago in Columbus, Ohio. One night at about 11:00 p.m. the perfect name came to me. I would call it “About Time- Career Solutions”. I loved it. I thought about how finding new employees had to happen quickly and job seekers certainly have a sense of urgency right? It seemed like such a perfect name. It was about a week later I was laying on the couch watching The Simpson’s on Fox when I realized where the name had come from. The Fox affiliate played their news at 10:00 p.m. instead of 11. Their tagline was “It’s about time. your time”. I totally lifted it from them. Still like it.
A name I LOVED long before settling on Networked Inc. in 2002 was Bizagra. I still laugh when I hear it. Bizagra. Maybe it’s not the name but the tagline that is so funny to: “The stuff to grow your biz”. Can’t believe we didn’t have the balls to stick that out.
So what’s in a name? Lots of people name their companies after themselves. Bean and associates never seemed right to me, but it certainly worked for that Johnson family (of Johnson and Johnson fame). You see it a heck of a lot in car dealers too like my friends at Ray Laethem Motor Village.
Some companies use words that are in the vernacular. It’s been said that Google was originally spelled GOOGOL (like the very large number). One of their very investors, Mark Andreessen spelled their name wrong on the check. Instead of pointing out his error, the boys opened a new bank account and change the name accordingly.
Here’s what I know for a fact about naming things.
- The name needs to be memorable.
- It should be easy to spell (although i do love making up words and making fun of people who spell them wrong).
- You’re going to want to have some way of setting up a .com (this is true if it’s a business).
- It’s kinda cool if it has more than one meaning.
- You’ll want to consider how to tie a logo into (branding is important).
- It’s great when your name becomes a noun (think kleenex or band-aid) and even better when it becomes a verb (don’t believe me, google it)
Tell me a story about naming a business or product that you had.
What questions do you have about naming?
Have you a name picked out and nowhere to hang it?