How To Name Your Business

I named my company Quality Nonsense Ltd two years ago. Funny, see?

I laughed all the way to my first meeting, where a banker looked at me with a cocktail of pity and contempt. Reassuringly, reactions since have been more positive.

Kodak Ad

I took my cues from George Eastman, founder of Kodak, when naming the company. Eastman cited three principal concepts in creating the Kodak brand name:

  • It should be short
  • You cannot mispronounce it
  • It could not resemble anything or be associated with anything but Kodak

Sound advice, I thought, and promptly ignored points 1 + 3. But in the 21st century, there were other points to consider:

But most important? To my mind, it’s three simple words.


Pretty damn obvious, huh? Well, think how many times each week you see an XYZ Consulting Ltd, ABC Capital, Underwhelming Generic Services Ltd.

Let’s file these in the ‘bad business ideas’ box, alongside stock photo handshakes, ‘motivational’ lithographs and Comic Sans.

If you run a young business and have not read Guy Kawasaki’s book The Art of the Start, order it this second. No excuses.

Once you’re done at Amazon, sit tight and make sixty minutes to watch Guy’s life-changing Art of Inspiration talk.

What are your favourite examples of great business names and why?

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