For entrepreneurs, the importance of picking the right name for a company may rank second only to naming a child. (And it’s lot more expensive to change.)
Name consultants are paid millions each year to help decide what to call a company.
Now one has come up with a test: San Francisco naming boutique Eat My Words, which has worked for Kinko’s, Jamba Juice and other household names. It’s called the Smile & Scratch Test.
To test out a company’s name, first ask if it possesses these qualities:
Simple –- one easy-to-understand conceptMeaningful –- customer instantly “get it”Imagery –- visually evocative, creates a mental pictureLegs –- carries the brand, lends itself to wordplayEmotional –- empowers, entertains, engages, enlightens
Then scratch the name if it’s got these deal-breakers:
Spelling-challenged — you have to tell people how to spell itCopycat – similar to competitor’s namesRandom – disconnected from the brandAnnoying – hidden meaning, forcedTame – flat, uninspired, boring, nonemotionalCurse of knowledge – only insiders get itHard-to-pronounce – not obvious, relies on punctuation
Choosing a domain name can be even harder. Most-short and-sweet addresses are long gone. Here are a few tips for finding a great Web-site address.
What’s your favorite company name? What names strike you as ill-fitting?