Let’s do a quick comparison. Think of an online directory of technology or startup companies. Now imagine the technology company section of the yellow pages (remember those?) from thirty years ago or so. Those old company names? Probably more cut and dry, flat-out descriptive (International Business Machines Corporation,) acronym-heavy, “figureoutable”(Microcomputer + Software = Microsoft), or simply based on the company’s cornerstone product or service (xerographic technology = Xerox.) In contrast, it seems like many of today’s companies read more like a jumble of Dr. Seuss character names, cutesy portmanteaus or a seemingly normal word twisted with a funky spelling or “ly” or “err” thrown on the back end.
In truth, naming your company is probably one of the biggest, early challenges a new business faces. And while sometimes the spark of inspiration is there from the start, leading to a sensible and “just right” name, in all likeliness, it doesn’t turn out like this. Instead, deciding a company is a serious exercise in brainstorming, thesaurus crawling, list making, research, testing and debate.
We put together some helpful resources from around the internet with advice for naming your new company, application or service. Take note that some of these pieces contain conflicting advice, but we wanted to show a range of opinions when it came to naming best practices.
3 Tips for Naming Your Business in the Modern, Mobile World via Entrepreneur.com
- Short & Memorable: Some of the best company names contain 5 – 10 letters in their name, many with a hard consonant and/or a repeating letter.
- Thinking beyond the website: Today picking a business name takes more than just confirming that it hasn’t been copyrighted before and that your ideal website domain is available. Take into account social media accounts that may use similar names and the search results that pop up when searching your new company’s potential name.
Before naming your startup, read this via The Next Web
- The Excuses Behind Poor Names: Julian Shapiro outlines some of the common excuses used to justify bad names, which include a lack of knowledge about your own business, laziness, and arrogance.
- Using the Power of Online Tools: Included are some action-oriented suggestions for selecting a great name, utilizing keyword generators and domain portfolios for inspiration.
10 company name types on TechCrunch: Pros and cons via The Name Inspector
- Breaking Down Name Types: The Name Inspector checks into the good, bad and the ugly in the diverse variations in company names, from the punny to the purposely misspelled.
If after checking out some of these sites you’re still unsure of the direction you should go in, you could always just head over to Buzzfeed’s helpful Startup Name Generator.
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