Think you can rush naming your company? Andrew Grove, chairman of Intel, picked through 120 different options before he selected Pentium as the name of Intel’s latest chip.
He knew a lousy company name would cost cash, credibility, competitive success, and brand equity that most organizations, including Intel, can’t afford to lose.
Company naming process protects investment
According to a recent article on MarketingSherpa, “a name that is unlikely to be remembered, or is remembered for the wrong reasons, may be the least of your problems. Skimping on the process of investigating trademark issues, for example, could land you with a lawsuit.”
A vigorous company naming process that includes domain research, trademark and patent research, and linguistic research can protect your investment in your most important asset–your organization’s identity.
Top tips for company names that stick
Rick Jacobs, principal of corporate branding consultancy Monigle Associates, has helped rename companies such as WorldCom. His research indicates three rules for successful company naming:
1) Invented words or real words are 40% easier to remember than initialized words. Don’t be distracted by names like IBM and AT&T–he points out successful initial names are rare and often hail from old, established firms. In today’s economy, unique names like Google command attention.
2) Letter matter.
- Q is unique and has a strong identity
- V, X, and Z are all associated with cutting-edge products
- M softens words and gives them an “embracing feeling”
- Hard consonants such as K “really get your attention and demand to be remembered.”
3) Shorter is better
One-word brands are most effective. Lengthy, multiple word names lead to truncation. When people abbreviate your name, you lose control over your brand. Don’t worry about describing your brand in your name. “Don’t describe, distinguish,” says Jacobs.
When Write2Market named Levia Software, for example, “We created a brief name that’s easy to say, easy to remember, and uses letters associated with lifting and elevation,” says Lisa Calhoun, Write2Market’s principle. “It led directly into choosing a tagline that reinforces the brand message–software that elevates your business. Plus, the name is short enough to allow Levia the option of several brand extensions as they expand.”
Pitfalls of poor company naming
Some organizations aren’t so lucky with versatile names, however. The annals of marketing history are replete with company or product names that destroyed their products and hurt their brands–like Chevrolet Nova. Meant to be the shining star of the year’s car line up, Nova sales were extinguished overseas because its name in Spanish means “no go.”
Says Heather Taylor, a linguistic analyst who consults with Write2Market, “There’s Castilian Spanish, Puerto Rican Spanish, Mexican Spanish, and dozens of dialects of Latin American Spanish, all spoken not just overseas, but in major markets for US corporations worldwide. You don’t want anything embarrassing or negative or both in any of them.”
Write2Market’s company naming process can help take the mystery, the legal and marketing concerns, and the tedium out of naming. We work you to present a list of domain-name available names (.com) that have cleared basic federal trademarks and linguistic pitfalls in the countries where you do business.
Avoid the legal, marketing, and financial hardships of unfortunate business names–contact the experts at Write2Market today.