20 Feb 2013
By Mark Evans
The simplest, most direct way to market your company or its products is by selecting a great name. Easier said than done! But if you are creating a start-up or launching a new product or service, it’s important to take time to craft names that truly work.
You may want to work with a naming company to help you out. Getting input from marketers, staff, family and friends is a good idea too.
Here are some suggestions for finding the perfect moniker:
Set the tone
A name evokes a feeling, so consider what feeling you want your name to evoke. Brainstorm words that bring that to mind. Even if those words don’t make it into the name you choose, they’ll get you closer to understanding the tone you’re trying to find. For instance, Blackberry evolved out of looking for a feel-good vibe, after someone in a brainstorming session suggested one of their favourite activities was picking strawberries.
Be dramatic — or not
Decide if you want your name to stand out and be associated with something new and innovative, or if you want a name that blends in and can bring with it a sense of familiarity out of the gate. It’s okay to choose the latter: it really depends. If you are launching a tech gadget or providing a service for seniors, you will make a different choice.
Be sure your name has some indication of what you do. If you are a digital company, put something in the name that implies that. However, be sure your name is flexible enough to deal with fluctuations over time and the introduction of new products and services in years to come. Think about the re-branding of Dominion and other grocery stores as Metro: since many of these stores are in downtown locations, the name works.
Look for dual meanings
Names that can mean a few things can up the fun factor. But just be careful you know all the meanings of those words and ensure they’re not inappropriate.
Be sure the name you choose is recognizable and that you will not have to clarify how to pronounce or spell it.
How will your name look as a web domain? Is it easily search-able on a search engine?
Take your time
Brainstorm names and let them sink in over time before you finalize things. Remember that names take time to get used to: remember how everyone made fun of the name iPad