So you’ve decided to have a … company. One of the first (of many) decisions is what to name it, right? This is an important, and often emotional, decision that is no less crucial than naming a baby. Except there can be more than one Brittany or Jennifer (trust me on that one … there were five in my kindergarten class!) in the class for babies. Not so for companies, so it’s even more challenging.
Over the next few weeks, I’m going to share some of the guidelines I’ve used over the years of naming products, services and companies. The new name should be:
1. Short – meaning no more than 2-3 syllables. If it’s more than that, people will automatically shorten it and you’ll be forced to adapt. Beverages and More has gradually adapted to being called by it’s once nickname, BevMo. That works fine but it would have been easier to have kept the name shorter to begin with! And no, 1-3 syllables does not mean 4; it means 1-3 syllables. Period.
2. Memorable – some names are just of so forgettable. Typically they are either very weird (like Zilinx) or very generic, like American Paint Supply. Make it something people will remember, something with style. For this reason, I have never understood why car manufacturers name their cars using numbers. Very arcane and hard to remember. Your company is distinct – make sure the name is too!
Next week I’ll share a few more of the rules for choosing a good name for your new “baby.”