Naming your startup

I had a request from a fellow investor to put together a post about naming your startup and I remembered I already had some great content in this area from a TechCafe event I previously put together. The summary of the event is over at the TechCafe site, I’ll expand a little more on the topic here though. Keep in mind – The Name Inspector (who is in the post above) worked with companies like Gist & Zulily. Both had success in their own way.

The name of your company will be the one thing that customers see most when interacting with your company so it is an important thing. Some important points to consider:

  1. Does your name need to generate search engine traffic or consumer mind share? If the former, a common phrase that can naturally generate traffic adds a lot to the process. If the latter, something unique that you can build a brand around is important.
  2. Will people be speaking/saying the name or will seeing it be more important? If the former, a name that people find easy to remember the spelling of is critical. If the latter, than a clever spelling is doable.
  3. Do you have a budget to buy a domain name? Generic single word names cost a lot of money. Creative names can be less costly.
  4. What does a creative name mean? Generate some narrow message goals (simple ideas and feelings that the name should evoke that are more narrow than ‘quality’ and broader than the technology you’re using). A few key questions to help you think through creative naming…
  • Can visual elements or words meet the message goals?
  • Can you communicate the message goals indirectly (the human search for relevance is important – ‘Amazon’ indirectly is relevant to huge, ‘Apple’ indirectly is related to simple)?
  • These can all be done with existing words, tweaked words, blended words, or even newly created words


Watch the whole video for more great stuff….

Comment (1)

  1. Pingback: The art and science of being bought | Josh Maher

Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: