Ever heard of such famous companies as Backrub? The Sound of Music? What about Blue Ribbon Sports? Of course, you haven’t. These were the original names considered for Google, Best Buy and Nike. A business name can make or break a company, especially in today’s crowded digital and mobile world. A simple, easily remembered name can also be immeasurably helpful in your marketing and branding efforts. Let’s consider these three names to illustrate what we mean.
1. Values and Offerings
Many companies have developed names based on the values they stand for or what they do. An obvious example is “Best Buy.” The name explains their brand differentiation – the best deals in consumer electronics. It also has alliteration working for it: the same letter or sound in sequential words. Another example is the convenience store chain “7-Eleven.” The name was created to reflect their extended hours. It also rhymes; a big plus as lyrical names are easier to remember.
2. Letters and Abbreviations
When the founders of Backrub started searching for a more memorable name, they turned to math in considering “googol” which means ten raised to the power of a hundred. They then eliminated one letter and added another to invent a new word: “Google.” Today it is the most ubiquitous name for Internet searches. Another approach is abbreviations or acronyms, which is how the name “Alcoa” was created, an abbreviation of Aluminum Company of America.
3. Mythology and Written Works
Many companies that turned to the worlds of mythology and literature to develop their name. The company “Nike” is a classic example, pun intended. Nike was the Greek goddess of victory, a great word to “own” if you’re a sports/apparel company. An example of a name taken from literature is “Samsonite” derived from the biblical character Samson. By association, their name also bolstered their claim of making reliable, durable luggage.
If you Googol – oops – make that “Google” search “naming your company” dozens of articles will pop up that offer a variety of tips such as mash-up (mixing two or more words), foreign words, acronyms, names inspired by maps, descriptive names, etc. The best way to begin is to do what Google, Nike and Best Buy did. They hired experts in naming as well as everything related to it: legal clearance, domain name rights, trademarks, mistakes to avoid, etc.
Developing a strong name for your company is critical. StellaPop offers a complete array of naming services, backed by decades of business name and visual branding expertise.