What’s in a (company) name?

Recently I received a Request for Proposal (RFP) to help name a startup company that I felt was too broad in its approach and though I declined the project, I wanted to provide the company with value regardless. As such, I sent the following brief suggestions that I hoped would be helpful…

At the start of the process you’ll want to put everything on the table, creating a massive list of words related to your product/service, your mission and the emotion you want to elicit from customers. This will serve as the primordial soup from which meaningful names may generate, but don’t be afraid to cross off a majority of the names as what you are looking for are the most meaningful.

Often when naming companies I recommend a target of 10–15 *high quality* names rather than 25–50 total names. It’s too easy to pad a list with names that are so-so, intentionally or not. Some of the naming tools available online generate hundreds (thousands) of not-useful names and you want to have a solid block of names that WILL help your business speak to the right customers….your Ideal Customer Profile.

The best names will resonate with more than just your namestorming team, so get some outside feedback. Make note of the names that get people thinking, that make people chuckle, as well as those that illicit eye rolls. Many folks will, of course, have their own ideas…pay close attention, for if your initial research has been thorough you will have already made the clever word connections they come up with. If not, ask them if you can add to your list.

Of course, if you are looking at the very early process of defining your brand by considering an optimal name for your organization, you may find the blank page daunting. Fortunately there is plenty of thought put into the subject and some excellent tools out there to help you launch your search for the perfect name and it’s accompanying URL.

Here is an excellent post to get you started: https://thenextweb.com/entrepreneur/2017/10/26/before-naming-your-startup-read-this/

And here is a tool that you may find helpful (or just fun!): http://wordoid.com/

If you’ve been banging your head on the desk trying to get that perfect name or would rather simply hand it off and see what a wordsmith comes up with, feel free to drop me a note. I love namestorming.