Effectively naming your new company

January 30, 2015

Numerous studies have shown that names matter. Businesses aren’t much different from people in this regard. What you name your company can have a huge impact on how it’s received, which audiences it attracts, and even how successful it becomes. Here are a couple of rules to consider when naming your new company.

Make it meaningful

A meaningful name goes beyond simply having a meaning. The best startup names convey something: an emotion, an idea or a concept that somehow relates to the company itself. Consumers should be able to connect with the name quickly, and it should elicit some sort of response within them. Names like, “Book Publishing, Inc.” might have meaning but they don’t really tell customers anything interesting. “Uber” on the other hand is a German word that has become a common English colloquialism, and carries connotations of excellence.

Not that meaningful

If you have to explain what your company’s name means your attempts at meaningfulness might have gone too far. Customers or investors should never need to decipher or demystify a name. If it’s not quickly recognizable and easily identifiable it will fail to make a positive impression and will be quickly forgotten. A 2007 startup that vanished almost immediately after it appeared was called “Thoof”. Someone can probably provide a 12-page explanation of what “Thoof” means and why it’s an appropriate name for a social news site. However by the time they get around to it consumers will already be clicking back into Digg.

Take the time to carefully consider your new company’s name. It is just as important to your success as a business model or angel investors. When you have the name you are going to stick with it’s finally time to think about incorporating your business and making everything official.