Category Archives: Naming a Business

A Three-Initial Name Is the Worst Type of Name – By Far

If you are contemplating naming a business with three initials, please think again.

Three-initial names have no personality and they are not memorable

Just pick any three initials for a name that will only cause apathy
Just picking any three initials for a name will only cause apathy

They are usually derived from three generic words that have meaning only to the namer.

CMW, DFI, SLC, GFW: These are three-letter combinations that were registered in one week as corporate names with the Colorado Department of State. Now please participate in this little demonstration: Continue reading A Three-Initial Name Is the Worst Type of Name – By Far

Branding for Bucks: Beginning the naming process

Business naming or product naming deserve all the time it takes to get it right.

Now I will admit some companies thrive with a poor name, just peruse the list of INC 500�s fastest growing companies for proof. But I believe their good fortune will be short-lived.

Try to think of well-managed, poorly named companies that are over 50-years old. You�ll find many mediocre names on that list, but very few duds.

The name can be everything, so make sure it�s right.

Remember in my last Branding for Bucks blog I spotlighted three aspects of success through the naming process: be open-minded, prepare to create and review many, many candidates, and expect to be disappointed at least once or twice when top candidates will not be available.

Then I promised to speak to resources available to create long lists of candidates. I�m going to keep that promise right now, even though it�s been delayed more than a month.

Name Creation resources � Books

Prior to the Internet, the most common and valuable naming resources were thesaurus�s and dictionaries of all types. I personally own over 75 of them: dictionaries of science, mythology, art, philosophy, slang, idioms, clich�s, new words, obsolete words, foreign words, crossword puzzle words and variations on all the above.

I also have an Atlas handy because as I stated at Business Naming Basics, you�ll find a plethora of candidates in the lists of cities and counties from around the world.

But I keep coming back to three major in-print resources � three books that aren�t dictionaries or atlases.

First is Word Menu by Stephen Glazier. In this tome, Ideas and concepts are grouped by subject. Words relating to those subjects are grouped together. For instance, four and a half pages are devoted to �dance�. Thus, you�ve got a mini dictionary/thesaurus on a single subject in just a few pages. And all the words are there.

Next comes Barbara Ann Kipfer�s Roget�s 21st Century Thesaurus in Dictionary Form. Though a very thorough and concise thesaurus, I find its greatest value from a section in the back, the Concept Index. Here under subjects as abstract as �States of Being� to specifics like �Weights and Measures� you�ll find word associations and synonyms that can lead you into some nooks and niches you�d probably not have explored without this comprehensive guide.

And last is the Complete Word Book by Mary A. De Vries. This volume is more wide-ranging than a namer needs, but its lists of action words, prefixes, suffixes, pleasing words, foreign terms, common abbreviations and many more can be reviewed quickly and scraped for name nuggets.

Next post I�ll speak to the resources available as software and as Internet sites. In the meantime you might want to accumulate some of the titles I�ve mentioned here. I suggest you begin, just as I did, by visiting several used book stores, and possibly the Amazon used book associate program. Just type in the book title and click the �used book� button. Under the retail price.

Business Naming is so important that I set up a separate blog just to address company naming. I call it Business Naming Basics. There I provide naming tips as well as discussions of the four major components of acquiring a great corporate name: preparation, generation, evaluation and registration. Check it out � click Business Naming Basics.

Branding for Bucks: preparing to name

the naming processNow we�re ready to tackle the naming process.

Naming your business can be the most excruciating aspect of brand-building – unless you�re prepared for it.

Entrepreneurs are usually impatient and action-oriented, so when it comes to naming they might find themselves �settling� for a second-class name just so they can get on with the �important� matters of business-building. Continue reading Branding for Bucks: preparing to name

Beware of naming your company with over-used words

There are some words that have been endlessly abused and are no longer fit for human consumption. They’ve become stale and meaningless.

Some words can put you to sleepAnd in that class are words that end up in generic-type company names.

You know those names: they usually consist of three multisyllabic words that attempt to describe the business and at the same time make the company appear to be at the top of their category. These names start with or contain overworked words like “Quality”, Precision”, Performance, “Advanced”. Continue reading Beware of naming your company with over-used words

An effective brand name will not describe the business

There seems to be a need for entrepreneurs to brand their business by describing it.

Descriptive names usually become initialsI suppose they’re afraid people won’t know what they do if the name doesn’t describe the offering. I’d be more afraid that the name doesn’t differentiate the business from its competitors.

Once you name the business or service descriptively, you’ve named a product category, and your name becomes generic and undifferentiated. Continue reading An effective brand name will not describe the business

Naming fads come and go:

Another set of facts from my analysis of INC 500 names.I’ve blogged about my analysis of the names of companies who have appeared in the INC 500 list of fastest growing privately-held U.S. companies over the past ten years..

Name development - INC 500 analysis

Here’s another set of facts from this study. These have to do with most popular business “last names”. These are the modifying words many companies incorporate into their names.

I have identified the five most popular last names while scanning the 5000 names in the study. They are:

Continue reading Naming fads come and go: