SEO · Company Naming

What's in a name (of a company)?

Manav Kataria Passionately Building Software & Technology

September 25th, 2013

How did you choose the name of your company / startup?
  • What aspects were important
  • What trends are prominent (or not anymore)
  • Any other important considerations (SEO)
  • How do you draw the line and avoid over thinking
To provide a context:our startup is in the mobile apps > games, entertainment, education, learning industry.

I believe there is a lot of "sense" and learning that can go into deciding a suitable name for a company.Would love your opinions on it.

Tony Rajakumar Founder/CEO at SnugBoo

September 30th, 2013

I would not normally respond to such a mail, but hey, I got tarred with the 'facile' brush :) The #1 thing as a startup you have to do is find market fit. A name does almost nothing for that effort. Data supports my view: - Google was named so because an investor misspelled googol, which was the original name - Microsoft - combo of micro (for microcomupter) and soft (for software) - IBM - does anyone even remember what that stands for? - Facebook - an improvement on thefacebook, but Myspace was a cooler name - Apple - because Jobs lived/worked at a commune that grew apples - Yahoo - need I say more? Even good old Pepsi was named - get this - for the digestive enyme pepsin used in the recipe. The branding and the choice of a new generation thing all came AFTER they found some degree of market acceptance. Now, let's be clear. If you are about to embark on a large branding campaign costing millions of dollars, then yes, get your brand clear and your naming done clean. But if you're launching a startup where you're not even sure if someone will want you're selling, just pick a name and ignore the branding and the marketing till you get to market fit. You can then raise money and hire a branding person to make your product cooler. Till then, it's a waste of time and money. --Tony

Tony Rajakumar Founder/CEO at SnugBoo

September 25th, 2013

Things I thought about: Domain availability Not overly long Not complex - ie simple to spell, not an insider joke etc At the end of the day, if your startup is successful, people will think the name is cool. So don't over think it. Thanks... --Tony

Jordan Finger E-commerce, Digital Marketing, Ad-Tech, Customer Acquisition, Mobile Commerce

September 26th, 2013

My Criteria when selecting a new brand name for a digital business: - Name and domain when entered into Google comes up clean. Meaning, when I put the name in Google search nothing or very little comes up for that name. This way it gives me a great opportunity to dominate SEO for anything I associate with my brand name. - It is hard to find the obvious names these days (ie facebook) with over 200 million registered domains. Yes if you have the budget you can always buy a domain from an owner but I usually am working on a budget. However, I prefer t come up with an original name which is usually a spin and a play on the products that I am selling. This way when a consumer hears it they have an direct association with the products I am marketing. Also, I believe it has to be easy to remember and spell. You have a a few seconds for to make your initial impact on a potential customer. They need to be able to easily read the name, understand the name and be able to quickly remember how to spell it. - More obvious things to vet, is the name trademarked, is it too similar to a competitor or even a non competitor which can cause consumer confusion. Is the domain available? Is it specific and unique enough for you t be able to trademark protect your name. - You have to really like the name. You are going to be your biggest brand advocate and promoter so you must really like the name you select because you are going to eat, sleep and breathe this name as you grow your business. - What you feel is the right name. I have taken the approach of getting feedback on names from friends and family. That is good for brainstorming but everyone has their opinion which may be contrary to what you believe. Ultimately you have to go with your gut on the name that feels right to you. Good Luck! Jordan Finger

Harman Kochar

October 1st, 2013

It is indeed, but it's like trying to get LASIK from a doctor that wears glasses. After all, Igor international is the name they went with...

Lawrence Botley Software Architect

September 25th, 2013

Agree with you @tony.. unless the name sucks then you are with it forever <--- this is an example of a really bad name

Alan Peters VP Product and Technology at BusinessBlocks

October 1st, 2013

I would defend that name all day. I've never once struggled to remember it, and it resonates with people who allocate very real budgets to creative services. Tension can be a powerful thing in a name. Virgin? Yahoo? Gap? These are words with tense associations. I would bet they were easier to build positive associations with than United, Microsoft, or Macy's. You might think Big Daddy is a crap product and you might think it's run by a sexist jerk (I do). But that off kilter brand strikes a much louder chord in everybody's heart than net firms, network solutions,, and everybody else that I can't remember right now. Sent from my iPhone

Steve Brett

September 30th, 2013

Sorry to be a wet blanket - and I haven't read the links which may take us to better information - but most of the responses here facile at best and, at worst, dangerous to your success.

The name of your business (and products) is part of your brand which is a crucial part of your marketing. It's not about "sounding good" or choosing something that sounds good or whether the domain name is still available. It's about the personality of your company, the market or audience that you're appealing to, the value proposition and ultimately, the messaging you will use to promote your product or service and the media you will choose.

Then, when all of the above has been decided (based on lots of brainstorming and research), you can start to work on naming. Test several names. Then test a restricted list of names with some rough logo executions. Add a couple of taglines that reflect the value prop. After that, you can start to look at domain names because, really, that's the least of your concerns.

Without going into a long diatribe here (you can pm me), marketing is a major part of any start-up and often overlooked. But if you want to win investors first and ultimately paying customers, your name is part of your branding and marketing which had better be a big part of your business plan - your roadmap to success.

Blake Garrett Founder and CEO at Aceable

September 25th, 2013

I recently took my company through a rebranding (in the same industries as you, funny enough) and I looked to this guide (and the referenced Igor links within) for guidance:

Jake Carlson Software Development Manager at Oracle

September 27th, 2013

I'd do "Lucid Games". The domain is on auction, too: $60 current bid on GoDaddy.

Owen Rubel Creator of API Chaining, IO State, API I/O Abstraction and modern API Automation

October 4th, 2013

I throw darts at Jeremy Pivens! 'AUGH! $#@!! my GoogleHopper!'