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.
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:
- Domains (.COM/local TLDs) should be available (try my domain tool)
- No trademark conflicts
- No vogueish-for-five-minutes names. Yes, I’m mocking Web 2.0 bandwagon jumpers like you WuFoo.com, Wyzo.com, Whrrl.com…
- Embody logic. My favourite recent example? LeaveItOut.com, an eating out guide for vegetarians, vegans, people with allergies etc.
But most important? To my mind, it’s three simple words.
MAKE IT MEMORABLE
Pretty damn obvious, huh? Well, think how many times each week you see an XYZ Consulting Ltd, ABC Capital, Underwhelming Generic Services Ltd.
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?