Naming and Branding

Renaming Your Company

Written by Jay Shapiro for Gaebler Ventures

Creating a suitable name for your company or a product can take time and more importantly it should. If you rush the job simply because you want to get your stationery printed up or get a website up and running, you will probably regret it later.

Obviously you want a name that will be remembered for all the right reasons. Deciding on one too quickly might mean you overlook the important things like checking out any trademark issues. Then you could find yourself facing a lawsuit.

Renaming Your Company

Three Essential Tips for Naming Your Company

Tip Number 1: SCOI or Steer Clear of Initials

Initials are difficult for people to remember. The internet and new technologies are responsible for the introduction of hundreds of acronyms. The public has been SEO'd enough! It's taken us years to get the hang of FAQs and LOL! Initials lead nowhere but anonymity. Real words, or even made up ones are easier for people to remember. Human beings, after all, communicate using words that make sense. Initials don't unless you know what they stand for.

The argument against avoiding initials might be supported when people say, "Yeah, but what about AT&T or IBM, BMW even?" Major companies all, but that's just three that spring to mind. We're hard pushed to think of others that are as successful or whose initialized moniker is as easy to remember.

Of course there are exceptions to all rules so if an initial has a meaning or relevance it will resonate with consumers more. OK, TV, VIP and DIY for example are already established almost as words in their own right. If the meaning fits your company then you might be able to make it work.

Tip Number 2: Back to ABCs

When you're appraising the possible words both real and made-up pay attention to the letters and the sounds associated with them. Sometimes onomatopoeia plays a role here. Swish, the company that manufactures smooth running curtain rails hit it right. The name when spoken is reminiscent of the soft sound the curtains make when running along the track. By contrast it would not have been advisable to name the company Clunk.

  • The letter Q is one with a unique and strong identity, often associated with questions and intelligence (IQ).
  • V, X, Y - These close relations who live at the end of the alphabet together have a dynamic appeal and are often linked with cutting-edge companies and products.
  • M is soft and gives a warmth to words, being evocative of the 'mmm' sound we make when we are enjoying something.
  • Kick-ass consonants like K are hard and attention grabbing.
  • S and H combined are quiet and gentle giving the impression of hush. See the above reference to Swish to further highlight this.

Tip Number 3: The Long and the Short of it

Single word company and brand names are usually the most effective. Overlong names with multiple words lead to nowhere but truncation. Disaster, if consumers shorten your name, you begin to lose control. Ask anyone who has been assigned a nickname by someone without giving consent to it and they feel insulted and also that the name doesn't apply to them or represent them.

Often companies choose a long name because they feel their brand or product needs to feature in the name. That's an old school notion. Don't concern yourself with a descriptive name; aim to create one that distinguishes your company from the next.

Jay Shapiro is a freelance writer based in the UK. Jay has a particular interest in the emotive aspects of the entrepreneur's character. "Alongside the nuts and bolts of business, the character of the person is often the ingredient responsible for success."

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