Four Quick and Easy Tips to Name Generation…

While most of us would agree that great care should be given when selecting a name for a new company or a new product, many people don’t have a true process they go through when selecting a name.

Since the name of your company or product/service is going to be with you for hopefully a very, very long time, it is important that you get this part of building your new business/product/service right.

Here are four quick and easy tips to naming a new business, product or service.

  1. Keep it Simple— less is (most often) more when selecting a name.  Think about your target audience when you are naming your company.  Since you are building your product and service around their wants/needs…why wouldn’t you build your company name around these wants/needs as well?   For some, simple could mean naming it after the family like SC Johnson (who makes things like Windex).
  2. Make it Memorable—while “being memorable” means different things to different people, to me it means selecting a name that is easy for your target market to remember.  So nothing complicated or hard to remember.  Or worse yet…one that is so close in name to a competitor that you often get mistaken for them (which could be a good or bad thing depending upon the competitor).  For example:  JiffyPop.  How could you forget that name?  Popped corn in a jiffy!
  3. Make it Relevant—is important for you to select a name that is easily relatable (by your target market) to what you do.  For example:  Toys”R”us.  When seeing this name for the very first time, would you have any doubt or misunderstanding as to what this company does?   Another great example is ProPixFix…a new online photo restoration service.  The name clearly tells you what they do.
  4. Make it Familiar—my final and favorite naming tip is make it familiar…meaning make it sound like you have heard of that company before.  When you start a business, you will have almost no brand recognition or equity.  By having a familiar sounding name, you might get people comfortable in giving you a shot, even though you are new.   For example: Fast Forward Strategies.  This marketing strategy company started in 2002 with no brand awareness/equity.  The company benefitted from the name sounding like a strategy company their target market had heard of before.

Ok, so what do you do if you have a “bad” name and you are stuck with it?  Help fix the bad name with a tagline.  Look for a future blog post on the topic of taglines coming soon to my blog.

Have more quick and easy tips on selecting a name for your new company, product or service?  Let me know in the comments section below.

Happy Marketing!

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6 responses to this post.

  1. Much better! Can you see the difference? You’ve got this.

    Reply

    • Posted by sharonmarkovsky on March 26, 2011 at 8:24 pm

      Thanks Bret! I was hoping to get my video down to under 2 minutes. Oh well….I am close though!!! It is definintely better. And, it is getting easier…which is nice!

      Thanks again!
      Sharon

      Reply

  2. Great post on a compelling topic. I’ve gone through many business names in my entrepreneurial lifetime, beginning with The Internet ADvantage (uppercase AD intentional) and in most cases have created memorable and descriptive ones. A name that I’m trying now for my blog is “Scribe Site”, shining the spotlight on my content-creation abilities. You already know about BarterLines.

    What I usually do is find an available domain name that is easy to remember (point 2), relevant (point 3), and simple (point 1) and build something around it. Thus, The Internet ADvantage occasionally had offshoots such as: tyro.com, astro.com, tricks.com, MetroDATA.com, while my personal website was imagination.org (I really like the authority a .org can convey–as per the craigslist.org or SEOMoz f.a.q.s). Unfortunately, I received really good offers for those names from others and had to sell them. I still have about 50 more, though 8^).

    Reply

    • Posted by sharonmarkovsky on March 26, 2011 at 8:26 pm

      Roger,
      That’s a great point! When naming a company you do need to consider the online side to it. Will you be able to get a relatable URL for it? And, I can totally understand why you would sell that name!!

      Sharon

      Reply

  3. Sharon – very clever topic and very well put! If we look at product names such as “Kleenex” and “Q-tip” it is evident how important a name can be. Kleenex is not the product, but rather the brand, but we use it as a product. Kleenex and “tissue” are invariably used synonymously. What an impact that a brand name has on a the industry! If companies could follow your advice from this post, perhaps they could be the new Kleenex or Q-tip (aka glorified cotton swab)?

    -Ashley

    Reply

    • Posted by sharonmarkovsky on March 29, 2011 at 11:03 am

      Ashley,
      Thanks for reading my blog and the kind words! When entreprenuers are putting together their business and marketing plans they tend to rush the name decision, which is unfortunate! Hopefully, I helped at least one company from a bad naming decision with this blog!

      Thanks again!
      Sharon

      Reply

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