Ever heard of Ralph Lauren? You would have. He is the man behind the Polo Ralph Lauren shirts you see all around you. Not many people know that Ralph Lauren’s actual name is Ralph Lifshitz. The reason behind the change is simple– you need a name that sells the start-up. Can’t have sh*! in your start-up’s name can you?
A name creates an image in our minds. It is inescapable. That’s what makes naming your start-up such an important exercise. The greater the reason behind the name the better. In a competitive market, where differentiating yourself from the herd is getting more and more difficult, choosing a name which sticks in the minds of people is paramount.
So why is deciding on a name so important?
It’s the first thing people see
You know when you hear a person’s name and you immediately attach certain traits or attributes to that person without actually having met that person? The same process happens when you hear a company’s name.
Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos understood this perfectly. Amazon was initially called ‘Cadabra’ but was changed because it sounded like cadaver -Deadly
The contagion effect
Think about a start-up or brand you don’t like. Then think about why you don’t like the brand. Now every time you happen to talk to someone about the brand you have the same reaction. The name elicits feelings of either trust or distrust which ultimately affects you core start-up values and sales.
Chinese manufactured products sometimes make us believe that the product is either of lower quality or that it cannot be trusted.
While naming your start-up, keep in mind that naming doesn’t necessarily mean sifting through the dictionary. It can be something that relates to your start-up directly and is unique.
Combining instant and telegram, Instagram is one such example. Microsoft is a combination of micro-computer and software. Not only does it add another dimension to the brand but it also makes the brand darn cool!
It keeps you invested
Investors often look into your naming process and the reason behind your name. This is to gauge how serious you are about your start-up. A name is like the icing on a cake, it completes any idea giving it form and structure. A name which is poorly conceived will be viewed that way — unless you have incredible improvisation skills
A clear example of this is most of the popular start-ups you have heard of.
It drives SEO marketing
Start-ups nowadays are usually website or phone application oriented. This means that some portion of their clients are via the internet. Choosing a name that while being unique also directs clients towards you is always a boon.
Brands like ‘SoundCloud’ and ‘8 Tracks’ contain words which are synonymous with music and hence help spread the word about these brands.
Simply put, spending time on naming your start-up is too important to overlook.