What’s in a name? Everything

When it comes to finding a great name for a business, brand, product or service, it really comes down to this: A good name should make someone smile or nod, not scratch their head in confusion. More

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What’s in a name? Everything

Posted 4/8/13

When it comes to finding a great name for a business, brand, product or service, it really comes down to this: A good name should make someone smile or nod, not scratch their head in confusion.

But this notion, mind you, is not universally held. Many businesses – and the branding agencies they hire to help them – have lately leaned toward combining letters and sounds into invented names that are hard to pronounce or understand.

Others prefer to aim for fresh, unexpected names that you don’t need a computer to decipher. One such advocate for fun and likable names and taglines is a San Francisco-based naming firm called Eat My Words (www.EatMyWords.com) that specializes in helping people who find themselves in a business or product-naming pickle.

Here are some naming tips from the pros at Eat My Words who come up with creative, brand-name suggestions and emotionally driven company tag lines daily:

Naming a Business

• Don’t name your business after yourself. As tempting as that might be, the name is essentially meaningless to your future customers and evokes nothing about your business. What’s more, many names are hard to pronounce, spell or remember. One exception: If your name lends itself to clever word play such as a consultant named Steven Lord who call’s his business “Lord Knows.”

• Don’t date your business name. If you select something trendy or numerical (i.e. Women 2.0) the name might appear dated in a few years. Stick to names that can withstand the test of time.

• Use a name that will scale to fit future products. As Eat My Words notes, you don’t want to outgrow your business name.

Naming a Product

• Keep it simple and conceptual. According to Eat My Words, basic yet powerful words make for the best product names. A few they’ve created include a travel make-up kit named Dash; an all-natural energy drink called Bloom; and a line of gourmet dips for kids called Monkey Dunks.

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