Calling All Student Entrepreneurs: Tell Us About Your Startup

How to Name your Startup: The art and science of Startup Naming

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Apr 13, 2014

The name that you choose for your Startup represents the image and label of your business. It carries a powerful energy that can create either a great impression or plausible denial. The name is first thing that people hear when you tell them about your Startup. If it is not catchy enough, people might not even ask you further to know more about your venture. This is why the name has a big impact on your entire business.

A winning business name has to be memorable but easy to spell. Leob Strauss changed his name to Levi Strauss and we all know how successful LEVI’S brand became. Earlier name of famous fashion designer Ralph Lauren was Ralph Lifshitz which was difficult to pronounce. Another great technique in company naming is the use of alliteration, i.e. both words starting with the same letter. Some of the great examples of alliteration are Coca-Cola, Best Buy, Dunkin’ Donuts, LifeLock, PayPal, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Blackberry, Blockbuster and Krispy Kreme. All these naming are done in such brilliant ways that once you come across these names, you would hardly forget them. Another tip for naming your Startup is to telescope the generic name. For example: AirTran is the brand that does ‘Air Transport’, Sakrete brand is the shorter form of ‘sack of concrete’, Swatch is the shorter version of ‘Swiss Watch’. All these brands are named in such way so that people can easily relate them with their generic name. Sometimes shocking names can also be effective. Some of the examples on this category are Red Bull, Starbucks, Google, eBay and Amazon.com.

A winning business name has to be memorable but easy to spell. Leob Strauss changed his name to Levi Strauss and we all know how successful LEVI’S brand became. Earlier name of famous fashion designer Ralph Lauren was Ralph Lifshitz which was difficult to pronounce. Another great technique in company naming is the use of alliteration, i.e. both words starting with the same letter. Some of the great examples of alliteration are Coca-Cola, Best Buy, Dunkin’ Donuts, LifeLock, PayPal, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Blackberry, Blockbuster and Krispy Kreme.

One important aspect is to think of a local name instead of finding out some fancy name that your customers might not be able to relate or even understand the meaning. Brands like Suzuki and Mitsubishi could never be popular in the US car market with their Japanese names. So you need to be very careful in choosing the right name for your business. Sometimes it works wonderfully well if your customers can understand the meaning, easily relate it with them and feel the essence of it. It makes them curious and interested to know more your products and services.

One important aspect is to think of a local name instead of finding out some fancy name that your customers might not be able to relate or even understand the meaning.

With an intelligent business name, you can create an extra edge in the industry that might lead you to succeed faster. With proper naming you can save a lot of marketing cost. On the other hand, a bad name can ruin your business, no matter how good your product or service is. Your business name is the first step for the success of your startup. You cannot change it often. Hence think all the different perspectives before you finalize one.


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M Murshed Haider, FCMI is the co-founder & CEO of optiMA HR Solutions. He is a passionate motivational speaker and corporate coach as well.

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