Local Expert Blog: The Name Game

Saturday September 12th, 2020

Posted at 11:00am

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What’s in a name?

Naming a business can be a daunting task, especially for those of us who need a little more help in the creativity department.

Well, you won’t have to stare at the blank paper for much longer. Here are four options to help get the creative juices flowing!

Made Up Words

Many people think that when you name your business, the name should mean something. Sure, it can if you want. However, that doesn’t have to be the case. Keep in mind, when a business is successful, its name (whether it had a meaning or not) will come to mean something over time.

Note: this is why branding is incredibly important. A business is more than a name and a logo. It’s what you do and how you do it that becomes synonymous with your name.

Notable Examples

Accenture – a combination of accent and future

Xerox – taken from the word xerography

Lego – derived from the Danish words “Leg Godt,” which means “play well”

Your Name or Initials

Naming your business after yourself or someone important to you is a classic. It is most commonly seen with designers (e.g. clothing) and firms (i.e. lawyers, advertisers).

When to use your name (via Forbes):

  • When you are the face of the company
  • When you want your ideas, philosophies, and approach to be known as yours

Notable Examples:

Chrysler – named after Walter Chrysler

Wendy’s – named after founder Dave Thomas’s daughter, Melinda “Wendy” Thomas

Abercrombie & Fitch Co. – named after David Abercrombie and Ezra Fitch

Keywords Misspelled

If you are looking to use a keyword as your company’s name, like pinnacle or ascend, you will quickly find out that those are taken. Actually, not only are they likely to be already be in use, but every variation will as well. So, get the creative juices flowing and make your own variation of these keywords!

Notable Examples:

Koodo – a variation of the Ancient Greek word for “kudos.”

Pepsi – from the digestive enzyme “pepsin.”

Reebok – from the Afrikaans spelling of an African Antelope, Rhebok

Word in Another Language

Don’t limit yourself to your mother tongue. There is nothing wrong with using words from another language. Perhaps you have Greek, Italian, or Japanese heritage, and you want to pay homage to that. If not, you may want to use Latin, for instance. Whatever language you choose, always do our homework. No one wants a brand name with an unfortunate meaning.

Even if you choose not to use a foreign word, don’t bypass it altogether. You may find the inspiration you need to come up with a made-up word!

Notable Examples:

Nike – the name of the Greek Goddess of Victory

Nokia – named after a city in Finland

Nintendo – Japanese for, commonly assumed, “leave luck to heaven.”

Once you’ve decided on your shortlist of names, now the real work begins – checking URL availability, social handles, and, when you are ready to jump, engaging a trademark agent.

Don’t be surprised if you find yourself going back to the drawing board. It’s all part of the process!

Sponsored story by SKO Communications. To learn more, follow them on Facebook and LinkedIn or visit their website. Kick it old school by giving them a call at 519-992-6564.

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