One-word vs two-word vs three-plus-word names.
So I took on a project lately that I find engrossing if not significant.
You know that INC Magazine publishes an annual fall issue of the 500 fastest growing private companies in the U.S.
Well, I reasoned that these savvy companies might know something about naming companies since they seem to be doing lots of other things right if they’re among the top 500.
So I set about analyzing and categorizing the names of the INC 500 for the past ten years. That’s 5,000 names I’ve scanned, pigeon-holed, described and charted. Quite a task. And not a lot of essential information gleaned.
But you might find several statistics of interest.
For instance, looking at the number of words in a name shows a healthy trend toward short names (except for a little glitch in the numbers for 2007). Here are the numbers:
In 1998 there were 90 (18%) one-word names compared to 133 (27%) in 2007. In 1998 there were 239 (48%) two-word names, and 203 (41%) in 2007. There were 171 three-word-or-more names in 1998 compared to 164 (33%) in 2007.
For some reason, the 2007 names bucked a downward trend in longer names. Looking at the 2006 names we see 143 (29%) for one-word names, 231 (46%) for two-word names, and 126 (25%) for three-or-more-word names.
I attribute the trend to one-word names to the success of Internet companies – Google, Yahoo, YTube, eBay, Technorati, etc. (Do you suppose the reason MSN hasn’t taken off is because they’ve used initials standing for a three-word, descriptive name.)
Well, every so often I’ll blog about another stat from this analysis.
If you’d like a copy of the strudy for your very own, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Just put “INC 500” as the subject.