What should you avoid when picking a company name?

February 25, 2014

What’s in a name?

These days, more than you might think. Your company’s name is often the first thing that a potential customer will hear about it, and if it’s off-putting, offensive or just plain boring, they might not ever want to hear more. You can have the greatest idea in the world, but if the first impression that it gives people is a negative one, you’ve set down the path to failure.

In addition to how it will sound to consumers, there are other considerations to analyze when deciding how you’ll describe your business. One is company name availability—if somebody else got to it first, you’re going to have to choose again. Another is associated domain names. If you think it’s a good idea to call your company Gogle, you’re going to be navigating some pretty tough digital terrain. You should also consider how it will sound to potential investors. As silly as it might sound, you often have to win people over to get them to trust in your idea, and that can start with a great name.

An article on Inc.com described some interesting research surrounding which letter of the alphabet led to the most fund-worthy names.

“Startups with T-names raise 100% more capital during the Series A than the average startup. Startups with the letter A garner 50% larger investments. On the other hand, founders who mistakenly chose J-words raised 50% less capital in 2013, quite a disadvantage in the market,” explains author Tomasz Tunguz.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that a company with a “J” can’t thrive. It does, however, suggest that what you might consider a minor decision—which letter of the alphabet starts your business’s name—could have major implications down the line.