5 Types of Names for Your Business
When you’re launching a startup, the first things that occupy your mind are innovative ideas for product and seamless techniques of networking. The only thing that you are concerned about is delivering the goods at the right time with the help of the right people. However, none of these are as important to a new business as the name of the business itself. Yes, you heard that right, naming a business is perhaps the most integral part of getting your business off to an explosive start.
Why does the name of the business play such an important role? Isn’t doing business all about mass producing high quality products and having streamlined negotiations? Well, none of these operations can meet your expectation unless your business has a good name to represent itself.
Think of your business as a person, and the name as the attire of the person. The attire does not determine how productive, smart or humorous a person is. However, it does help to create a first impression that changes the way others perceive the person. Nice, clean and fashionable clothes will demand the attention of people while unpleasant, dirty and old fashioned clothes will summon their disgust. In the same breath, a good name can do wonders for a company while a bad name can turn it into a sinking ship.
According Jay Jurisich, creative director of San Francisco-based naming and branding agency Igor, selecting the right name is perhaps the single most important branding concern for a business. He further says that a good name gives people an exclusive insight into your company values, whereas a bad name compels you to use elaborate explanations and advertisements to promote your products, services or brand. He categorizes business names into 5 groups, each with its own beneficial or detrimental characteristics.
1) Functional and Descriptive Names
When a name conveys a clear message about the nature of your business to the clients, then it is called a functional or a descriptive name. The name does not necessarily have to be long. It can be short and self-explanatory. Names like these save you loads of time and effort that would have otherwise been wasted on telling others about how your business functions. Names like these pretty much speak for themselves. Just by hearing or reading the name, clients can have a clear understanding about the features of your business and the services that you provide.
Sometimes, people can go a little overboard with functional and descriptive names. They tend to water down the names to the point where they become bland, unconvincing and simply unappealing. The idea is to inform them about your business through a word or two, not give them a product description. Take for example business names such as ABC Name Bank, The Naming Company and Name Generator. All of these are functional and descriptive names gone bad. On the other hand, names such as Facebook, SoundCloud and Burger King are informative and engaging at the same time.
2) Invented Names
These names are brilliant works of creativity. They are tailor made to sound soothing to the ears and catch the eye instantly. They’re memorable and fun to pronounce. They leave a lasting impression on the mind of anyone who reads them or hears about them. These words may not have actual meanings. They could be spur of the moment inventions, which makes them hit or miss names. You either get them right, or you don’t. Examples of invented names include Oreo, Kleenex and Google.
3) Derived Names
As opposed to invented names, derived names are built upon Latin or Greek roots, and often sound utterly boring. In addition to that, they can be a little vague. As a result, you are forced to explain your business and product through advertisement campaigns. An example of such a word would be Acquient or Agilent.
4) Experiential Names
Now these names are based on the experience of using a product or a service. Hence, the customers can easily relate to these names. They are generally more appealing than descriptive names and are as alluring as invented names. However, if these names are used too frequently, their effectiveness is significantly lowered. Take for example Safari and Explorer. These are names of internet browsers and SUVs.
5) Evocative Names
These are the most effectual and commercially successful names. They are the ones that stick to your head upon utterance, and are subjected to constant remembrance. Not surprisingly, coming up with these names is one of the toughest objectives that one can accomplish. It demands extreme ingenuity and remarkable creativity. However, the reward of cracking these names is of titanic proportions, so keep firing away till you hit the bull’s eye. Yahoo! and Apple are two of the best examples of evocative names.
“Names are about human language and human conversation,” Jurisich says. “It doesn’t matter how many linguists you can get to justify a particular name. Everybody is saturated with messages and people can only remember so many, and they’re only going to notice a name that is memorable. When it goes out into the marketplace, it’s going to live or die based on how well it succeeds as a piece of tangible poetry”