The MOO Blog

Small Business – What’s in a (brand) name?

25th May 2010 by Simon G

Continuing our week of blog posts in honor of ‘Small Business Week’ in the US, we’ll be blogging about small businesses and the things they wish they’d known, ways to promote yourself, and ways to get – and stay – motivated.

We’re also asking you to share your own experiences in the comments for some useful prizes, and to help out others in the same situation. We know you’re busy people, so we’ll be announcing the winners next Monday, to give everyone a chance to respond.

What’s in a name?

In Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare’s famous heroine Juliet passionately asks:

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
by any other name would smell as sweet.”

Sadly, the same cannot be said for the name you give your business or brand. Your business name is how you will come to be known in the industry, how your clients will see you, and it’ll be the name you put on your Business Cards. It matters what you call your company – and for some, it’s a big motivational step to getting started.

Names for businesses can come from a variety of places. We’ve taken a quick look at a few different options for finding the right name to suit your business.

So, what’s the best way to come up with a company name?

Many small businesses begin with one employee – you. As a result, they begin with their owner’s name in their company name – Chanel, Jack Daniels, Ford, JP Morgan, Marks & Spencer, JC Penny for example (there’s a long list on Wikipedia). For companies taking their owner’s name, it can be hard for clients and customers to tell the difference between brand and owner – something to remember if you’re active in social media. Where do your personal tweets stop, and your company’s start?


Other companies have a name that seemingly means nothing at all. For example, what does Google actually mean? There are lots of rumors behind the name, but where did the name Coca-Cola really come from? On delving a little deeper we learn that both of these names tell a story, and relate in some way to the history or nature of the business.

Sometimes the business name is more closely related to the products and services they provide. Whilst not always explicitly using your industry in your brand name (e.g. Modern Photography Inc.), some names can be a little more cryptic and still related to the industry. We asked our friends at Blurb“What does Blurb mean”? Watch Founder and CEO Eileen Gittins tell her brand naming story.

If you find yourself struggling to name your new business as Eileen once did, why not search for inspiration somewhere different! We’ve created a set of MOO Text-o-matic MiniCards each with a different word printed on the cards. We threw the them in a bowl and pulled cards at random to inspire some new name ideas. Introducing some new businesses coming to the world in 2010…

If you don’t fancy making a set of MiniCards, you could always take a quick peek at Name My Design Company Machine. If you find a name you like, you’ll need to define what exactly your business does. For this, there is no better tool (honest, we checked) than the Great Ideas Generator – just keep hitting refresh for more and more ideas…

BrandBucket have come up with ten points that they feel make up a good name, and they’re all worth considering with any of the methods we’ve mentioned above: Length, Real Word/Expression, Alphabet, Pronunciation, Spelling, Conflicts, Industry Match, Longevity, Uniqueness, and General Retention… and not to forget possibilities for domain names for taking your brand online!

How did you come up with your business name?

What advice would you give to someone choosing a name for their new small business? Leave your comments on the blog and the best piece of advice will win a set of 200 MOO Business Cards and a voucher to create your own Blurb Book to help you promote your brand! We’ll be announcing all of the winners from our week long contest on Tuesday 1st June 2010!

Read comments (77)

  1. bim:

    Catchy, dead simple and fun! e.g. MOO :)

  2. Clare:

    I made sure the domain names were free – there’s nothing worse than losing business to someone else because they’ve got the .com or .co.uk and you’re stuck with a subdomain. I own the .com, .net, .org and some others of LightPhotographic. :)

  3. Naomi:

    Short, succinct, easy to spell. Also not a bad idea to search your top picks online just in case they’re already being used.

  4. Mary:

    I thought about using a combination of my first, middle, and last names, but I soon found the appropriate domain names were already taken–that and I thought my last name might be difficult to remember/spell. So, I scratched that idea and went for something simple, personally meaningful, and web domain available.

  5. Jamie:

    We named our business in the following way:

    We’re a low carbon travel company, and so in one way Loco2 is meant to mean lo CO2 (the ‘lo’ without a ‘w’ is like ‘light’ spelt ‘lite’ in yoghurts and stuff).

    But because travelling low carbon means travelling by train, the ‘loco’ bit can refer to a locomotive (or doing the locomotion as Kylie Minogue instructs us to do).

    Finally, travelling long distances overland instead of taking a plane is seen as a completely mental thing to do by a lot of people, and so we were quite happy to refer to the Spanish for crazy, ‘loco’. Like Cypress Hill say, “don’t you know I’m loco?” (we’re less violent than Cypress Hill though). This allows us to have the hilarious catch-phrase ‘go loco!’ when marketing our website…

  6. christine@navyblur:

    navyblur = our photography business.
    for a year we had been building up a portfolio and putting it online under a website with our own names “Xander.Christine” – we soon realised that if we wanted to become a proper business with our own identity we needed a memorable name. Another factor we took into consideration, was needing a brand image.
    We racked our brains for days on end trying to think of clever words that meant something to us, but a lot of it seemed cliche and common. Xander was adamant on not having “photography, photographics, imagery, studio” on the end of our brand name – nothing against others who do use this, it just simply wasn’t for us.
    We started to think of colours and shades that we could add into our name – Xander was looking out the window and saw his little sisters blue swing (at this time we were checking every name on http://www.easyspace.com to ensure availability) but of course blueswing was taken, but they suggest other names – instead of swing they had suggested motion or blur. We began to put colours along with these too words – it came down to “ivory motion” or “navy blur” . Obviously, we went with navyblur!
    The most exiting thing about this, was going to our designers and saying “we have a name… please create us a logo” – because there is nothing in the world linked to “navyblur” we, and they, had no boundaries. The logo choice we had was amazing, and we decided on one that would be timeless. Then going to our website designer, we gave him a few ideas but other than that we left it to him and his imagination to create navyblur’s image.
    We’ve loved the result – and we’re excited that navyblur is unique (good for google searches!) and it is ready to create it’s own identity in the world of photography.

  7. Devan:

    I wrote down words relevant to what the business or product does and then tried to find “words” in the words :)

    I really wanted it to be around 4/5 letters and original.

    For instance my business is called “Plic” i came with this name after writing down the word “application”, chunked it up into segments and found the word Plic (apPLICation) and rolled with it.

    And with our first product “Kout” which is a checkout/order management application had the word checkout and saw the last 4 letters spell Kout (checKOUT), which is kinda a word, not a real one but an original one, so i rolled with it.

    And there we go. My company is called Plic and our first product is called Kout :)

  8. Clare:

    Love ‘One Tiny Fish’ – tempted to register it myself!

  9. karen gunton:

    i am a photographer. a lot of photographers use their name as their biz name, which makes sense: people are hiring YOU and YOUR expertise. but that didn’t feel right for me. i think if you want to create a brand you have to really believe in it, you have to be passionate about it.

    my biz name “smile.play.love.” represents my style and what i do for my clients – we pick their favorite SMILE (the photo, of course), i have a ‘PLAY’ (i create funky collages and portraits using quotes and borders and my mad photoshop skills) and my clients LOVE the result (people always get all teary and emotional and rave about great it is). i love the fact my name is a play on what i do, and i love my smiley face logo that goes with it. (i always sign every thing with a ‘=)’ so i turned that up and made a logo out of it. easy and memorable.

    anyhow, i think: read the advice, do the research, check to see if the domain name is avaialalbe, etc. etc. but in the end you have to follow your gut, and go with the name that you really love. the one that feels like you. =)

  10. Adrian Sevitz:

    Our business name sort of reflects our company direction. vzaar is a video platform for businesses, but we didn’t start that way.

    The original concept was going to be a competitor to eBay with video as the selling hook. And the original company name was “Video Bazaar” with domain v-bazaar.com

    I pointed out that a domain with a hyphen in it was internet death, and that we could do better by enabling eBay sellers to use video in their listings (which we did)

    After a day looking for good domains and running through 1000 ideas, I was playing with domains and through the contraction of v(ideo)-(ba)zaar or vzaar into GoDaddy, and vzaar.com was born.

    The name worked on several levels, all the domains where free for the various misspellings and country level sites.

    It turned out to be a good move because the name has allowed flexibility as we have moved away from being a pure supply to eBay sellers and more of a video platform for business. Had we stuck with a more mechanise/e-commerce name, we wouldn’t be able to take the brand we have grown with us.

    And of course it has a double vowel which all good internet companies to. ;)

  11. Lindsey:

    my advice is to choose something easy to remember/spell and something that you have an explanation for. People will always ask you how you came up with the name, be ready with a clever response.

    For example, my company is FALLENPEACH, a name I came up with from thinking about one of my favorite childhood movies – Labyrinth. I liked how it sounded, although it has little to do with my business of graphic design / photography and it has stuck.

  12. Nick:

    I had a vision of how I wanted to create my own business. The day I turned 18 I went to the chamber of commerce to set up my business.

    This “vision” is what my company name is about: Visionals.

    Up to today, I still try to run my company in the vision I had when I was young: fair business, “communicate, communicate, communicate” (= communication is not only a tool, but a company asset) and “the business of business is business” (= do what you want to do, don’t bother about other stuff).

  13. Kat:

    I wanted something short and snappy that reflected me and what I did.
    I thought it should have ‘design’ in it somewhere, as I hate it when I see a company and have no idea what they do. I also settled on using the @ in the name and logo because it went with the web, and also served to include my name in a more unique way.
    So.. I settled on K@design and got my own domain and set up a shiny new website, and got some shiny new Moo cards to match!

  14. Chris Mear:

    Our name, ‘Odegy’ came about when my brother and I were kids, pretending we were going to be game developers and wanting a name to put on our little joint personal projects. He came up with by hitting the keyboard randomly until something pronounceable came out.

    We eventually used it for real when we set up our web development agency.

  15. Khiem:

    The name of our design firm “Threefold Studio” came from several different areas:

    1. Threefold represents the owners, Brian, Krystal, and myself. We are the original three. There is a sort of strength that comes along with the number three, as in, a triangle, or the fact that 2/3 majority will always win.

    2. It also represents what we will do for our clients. When working on creating solutions, we promise to increase growth, prosperity, and wealth by three.

    3. We looked at the origins of origami and the art of turning ordinary paper, by folding and manipulating, into something totally different and beautiful. This thought translates what our firm is able to do with our clients and the projects that are given to us. This brought a great sense of longevity and timelessness to the name.

    And finally, we like using the phrase “Welcome to the Fold!” Check out the link to find out how we got together! http://ow.ly/1PBCg
    As for the advice, choose a name that you would be proud of mentioning to your potential clients. Also, the best company names have great origin stories (much like superheros) The stories themselves can leave lasting impressions to potential clients! And as mentioned, something short and catchy works well!

  16. Clare:

    My Mam inadvertently named my company many years ago. When I first made a bear she laughed and said ‘oh it’s a Clare Bear’ and it’s stuck ever since. If people ask I normally say ‘I’m Clare and I make Bears’. It’s short, explains what I do and what I make.

  17. Rachel Andrew:

    I started edgeofmyseat.com in 2001, the idea for the name came from a Thea Gilmore song lyric. I wanted something that didn’t tie the business too much to one technology as I knew things would change in terms of our focus. My top tip for business naming is make your business name a domain name. We’re edgeofmyseat.com NOT edgeofmyseat (although the UK ltd company has to drop the .com we “trade as” edgeofmyseat.com). This is very useful as whenever we are quoted in print, even if we don’t get a direct URL mentioned people would have to be pretty daft not to work out where our website is!

  18. Will:

    Interesting comments. We’re similar to a number but as we were always going to be online we were particularly SEO focused when we chose the name for our fledgling flower business – Arena Flowers.

    1. SEO:
    - We felt we needed a URL with keyword “flowers” in it as a must have to help the site index well for relevant keywords. So we wanted something of the structure: www.{word}flowers.com.
    - We then went through every word in the dictionary beginning with A, B or C and, of the good ones, we checked if the word plus flowers.com was available. We wanted a first letter high up the alphabet as directories (and other online lists) are often ranked alphabetically so we’d appear near the top above other brands and competitors as well as, potentially, benefiting from some SEO benefit for links at top of page vs bottom.
    - Hardly the most romantic thing ever but we figured if we could find a good name that also delivered SEO love, then all the better.
    - We ended up whitling it down to either ArenaFlowers.com or AlchemyFlowers.com. We decided that Arena worked better for our follow up reasons.

    2. Ease of spelling and conciseness:
    - Arena is really easy to spell. You’d have to do well to get it wrong. It’s easy for CS to spell it out over the phone too. Alchemy (like many of the other options we had) is, comparatively, much harder to spell.
    - Arena is also short and punchy, so the domain ArenaFlowers.com is not too long or bloated.
    - We also liked the word. It’s simple but is not utilitarian. As we were intent on building a mid to higher end retailer, that’s good.

    3. International potential:
    - “Arena” comes from the Latin for “sand” and it has from this common root gone into nearly all European languages. If it hasn’t, most still know the word from its sporting / music venu connotation. So, as we execute our strategy of rolling out across Europe with local country sites, tailored to each market, we can repeat the name + flowers technique for each country we enter. We now have ArenaFlowers.com (our UK site that perhaps should sit on the .co.uk TLD which we also own), ArenaFleurs.fr, ArenaBloemen.nl, ArenaBlumen.de, ArenaBloemen.nl. Other still to come are the mediterranean countries and ArenaFleurs.fr.
    - This also means that we can, if we choose, use the same Arena branded packaging, with all the TLDs listed, across all territories, vs having different packaging (and thus production and print run costs) for each country.

    We actually repeated the above thought process when we came up with our more budget-targeted convenince brand, 321Flowers.co.uk.

    The key principle though is that, whilst we ticked the above boxes of requirements, the names also felt right to us and so we were very happy with them. On an emotional level, there’s nothing more satisfying after coming up with a name for your business, to hear that name use back to you as a proper noun from a satisfied customer: “Dear Arena, Thank you sooo much” etc. Incredibly satisfying to see a name take on a life of its own. :)

  19. Steven Mayatt:

    It took sooo long to find a name for Screensaver – particularly as I was trading under my own name for a fair while. In the end, an old colleague of mine came up with it. The interesting thing is that it’s not precisely within the core of our industry (we are a video production company) but it’s a relatively well-known term that few, if any, in the UK had snapped up. I also find that names staring with ‘s’ are friendly to look at – and one of our main goals is to be open and accessible. We added the additional ‘visual production’ words after Screensaver to explain a little more about what we do – and has allowed us to devise a strong, almost unique logo due to the formation of the letters.

  20. Carolann:

    While it did cross our minds that Frugalbits might sound a little like something humans or their four-legged companions would want to eat, everyone we have shared our name with says they like it—go figure!

    We concocted Frugalbits because we wanted an unforgettable, original word like Häagen-Dazs, a word with no meaning other than the one we give it but that alludes to our overall mandate: to present short stories (bits) about how to spend smart (the frugal part) in every regard, from purchasing goods and services to saving time and conserving physical and emotional energy.

  21. Will:

    Please note, I’m not actually illiterate but my comment above appears to have been typed when I was drunk and or had fat finger syndrome. Apologies for the c 2 millions typos. I blame, erm, aaargh, dunno. *runs away*

  22. Alysia:

    My event planning business name is Prost to the Host (Prost: means cheers in German). Parties are hard work and letting the host/hostess know he/she did a great job is a great way to start a toast.

    Tips:
    Words that flow easily together/ easy to say

  23. Denise:

    Aww! @ Will, it was a great response – no need to apologise!

  24. AmyPunky Photography:

    I picked my name so it fits my style, my personality, my work. My business’ name is AmyPunky Photography: Amy because it’s my nickname, Punky because I’m a huge fan of Punky Brewster and because this TV series reminds me that we shouldn’t take life seriously!

  25. dewey:

    make it quick, snappy, catchy, with a little information into the content of your business. also, don’t chose something you’ll get tired of quick, seeing as it will be on the tip of your tongue always!

  26. Vincent Palmer:

    tickli.sh – it describes the fun side of our company and that work should be rewarding even if its just because its funny.

  27. Natalie:

    My business name is Nephos Design and it has personal meaning for me. Nephos is the greek word for cloud, which has spiritual connotations from the Old Testament. It has deep meaning for me and I love explaining it when people ask (and they always do!) The downfall is it’s difficult to spell and maybe pronounce but it’s always been a great conversation starter and people always seem to remember it.

  28. goldendog:

    1994 I went online, but I did not want to use my name. I had a reputation of always having my big, friendly, yellow lab with me. He went to all client meetings with me.

    I decided to call my company Golden Dog Productions with the easy to remember URL of goldendog.com. It was immediately associated with me and my dog.

  29. Candice Hope:

    A business name should be descriptive enough to not need a paragraph to describe what it does or sells. I think it’s also important to use a name with a wide implication, nothing too specific. So that if later down the road you want to expand, the biz name will apply to your new venture as well.
    I am a fiber artist and make quilts with my own hand-dyed fabric. But I also knit and make tote bags. I needed a biz name that would not limit me to one specific item I would be producing. Textile Stockpile is broad yet descriptive. It doesn’t limit me to only quilts or only bags and purses. And if some day I learn to spin yarn, that will fit under the name too.

  30. andy:

    My company name just kind of happened really. My surname is White, I’m a writer so “whitewriting” came naturally. It sounds nice, ( well it does to me ), and a designer friend put together a logo on a pen which looks great.

    It looks lovely on the moo minicards I just had done too.

    Cheers!

  31. konstantina:

    The company’s name to be directly related to the subject matter involved, be small, smart, in English, pretentious, and with a little dose of sense of humor.

  32. Mary Jothen:

    I went out on a limb and named my business ‘The Zen Accountant’. It was a named I teased about for years, but still it stuck in my head. For many people, Accounting can be ugly stuff, but when it’s done and ‘done correctly’ there is a lot of peace in it. So, I just did it. Still freaks me out sometimes!

  33. Nikki Glover:

    I run a small craft business and was looking for a name to make it ‘official’. I’d always joked that one day I’d be able to move out of the spare room and into a ‘big red barn’ so I could spread my stuff out! I also like the way it has a country sound to it and gives an outdoor, summer feeling – or so I’ve been told!

    It took a lot longer to choose my partners business name of ‘one eye shut’ as we wanted something related to photography but not obviously so.

    It also helps to keep the overall branding in mind – like the web site, logo, stationery and obviously business cards.

  34. Cori K.:

    Something that gets people laughing and that catches their attention is invaluable. I won’t say that I’m an actual business-business yet, but I have received business as a freelancer (writing, editing, proofreading, and tutoring) because of my Mini-Cards. Since my reputation has been built on my writing skills, I went with a short phrase that sums me up in two words: Literature Geek. It’s on the front of my cards, and it never fails to get a chuckle from the recipient and my card firmly planted in his or her wallet. It works for me!

  35. Keith Whitescarver:

    In naming our company we sought to merge the root word of what we do with suggestive adjectives. We design and write grants . . . so that your life is simplified and you are gratified.

    Thus: grantify

  36. Cait:

    The name draws in the clients, a corky name can draw people in, but it still needs to support the business behind it. A name needs to inspire as many senses as possible. The sounds that are heard, the feel of the rhythm when the name is said, the visual image a person sees when hearing or saying the name, and the appealing shapes your mouth makes when saying the name. It needs to be memorable, odd spellings or pronunciations can make it hard on clients for looking you up. And lastly, the name needs to explain or give some small insight of what it is you do, how else will they think of seeking your business?

  37. Jenny Casey:

    You have to pick a name that you will be happy to keep saying for the rest of your life, over and over again, and not cringe over it in a few years. Recently I have seen a lot of new business with names that I usually have to ask people ”what do you do?” as the name is completely random, its nice to make your business name unique, but it has to appeal to your customers as well. On the other hand some business names I see on the side of vehicles, whilst im travelling down the motorway, I try to remember but instantly forget as they are to long or complicated. Picking a name just because you like it wont work. A customer has to know what you do just from your name within seconds or they’ll look elsewhere. Researching your business name first to make sure that no other business already has it, or has a name similar to it, because if a customer spells it wrong, it could mean that your business is going elsewhere.

  38. Maurice Cherry:

    My business is named after my birthday (March 18 – 3/18). But instead of going with just a numerical date, I went with a number for the day and the spelled out number for the date. Hence, 3eighteen media. Plus, I like how the 3 and E mirror each other (in my logo, especially).

  39. TechChuff:

    Our etymological roots are claimed to be lost in the ether vapours of a late night visit to the Griffin but in fact our name is the very clever portmanteau of the words te, chch, and uff. A number of benefits include – improved SEO performance, Latin-based-bragging rights, double-CHs which is a huge attractor to our Swiss readership and overall the name being a massive double-entendre if you look at it at the right angle (and slightly cross your eyes).

  40. Sean:

    I, for one, struggled for ages to come up with a name for my Web site, which I could eventually use to replace my current Ltd company name. It seemed like each and every idea I had, someone else had too.

    I’m an independent IT training project manager and business analyst, which has to sound like one of the most boring job titles ever — and in no way whatsoever describes my personality or my professional history.

    For more than a decade I was an actor and the artistic director of a US-based theatre company. I wanted a name that reflected the artistic side of my personality and my approach to business. After much searching and even more agonising, I came up with Mode/Motif.

    The Web site is dedicated to approaches and methods and patterns within training and business analysis, and I think that’s reflected in the Web site header, Mode/Motif: the Art of Analysis and Training.

  41. Em:

    My PR company is called Public City. I started with what the company does… publicity – and the witty play on words just came from that! Thanks to MOO – we have great business cards that have all of our artists on them. We do different series of cards – like garbage pail kids – collect ‘em all!

  42. bagladee:

    Although it took me quite sometime to choose a name for my business. I went back to the most simplest one of all. I make limited edition handbags and accessories so what more apt than bagladee.

    I agree with many of the commenters above, keep it fun, quirky and think about what your name says about you and your business. I found that if I just wrote down all the words that described me and what I was selling gave me a clearer idea of the direction I wanted to go with my name choice.
    Failing that ask a friend or family member to jot some words down….it might not be your cup of tea but may just spark off an idea. Its always good to think outside the box, sometimes you can be too close to the subject to make an objective decision.

  43. Cat:

    Cat’s Wire – my friends call me Cat (short for Catrin) and my business is based on wire (jewelry), so the name suggested itself.
    I was glad to find the domains had not been taken yet.

  44. Everton Terrace:

    I use the same name for my blog and my online Etsy shop so I needed something that would lend itself to both. I wanted a name that sounded like a place you could actually go to and something I would enjoy hearing all the time. My mother grew up in England in a place called “Everton Terrace” and I grew up listening to stories about it. I thought it fit nicely and was a sort of an homage to her. I’m happy with it and love reading all these comments about how other people came up with theirs – fun.

  45. Jen Smith:

    For most people with a photography business, their name is their brand. Having married into the name Jennifer Smith, I just couldn’t go there. Also, every web iteration of the name Jen Smith Photography had been claimed long before I came along.

    Since my photography work included various things — virtual tours of properties, editorial images to accompany my freelance articles and now children, families and weddings — I chose my name to include my name, location and occupation. Carolina Photosmith also exudes that “I’ll shoot anything” (and do it well) vibe I was looking for. People tell me it’s catchy and memorable, too!

  46. cherie:

    My thought is that naming a company before you have any business is a little like naming a book you haven’t written yet. How about starting with just your name, and being open to changing it after you have done some business and you see a direction for your enterprise? That gives you the flexibility to go where the money is. If you have a common name, how about adding a place? (Like AlabamaCandyJones) If you have a hard to pronounce name, shorten or drop that part like I did. My last name is problematic for people even in person, so I don’t use it. The place I added was Studio. StudioCherie. I think I am going to stick with it too. Hope that helps.

  47. Karsten:

    I think your company name should give you a good feeling every time you say it or see it written down. It should also be sticky and make people think about it, but not to long or hard to remember. I chose “KonzeptSinn”, which roughly translates to “ConceptSense”.

  48. Bill Dwight at FamZoo:

    Here’s the story how I originally named our company that builds software for families (from my blog entry back in Sep 2006):

    =====

    As of August 29th, 2006, my new venture is now officially incorporated. The name of the business is “FamZoo, Inc.” which is a contraction of “family” and “zoo”. The name is something I came up with a couple of years back when I was first entertaining the notion of starting a business around some software that I had built for my own family. At the time, I was looking at a Family Circus cartoon. Family Circus is the creation of a wonderful cartoonist named Bill Keane. His cartoons are famous for affectionately capturing the everyday chaos of the typical American family – just like ours. I was thinking that our family was more like a zoo than a circus – perhaps a little more wild than tame. So, out of that train of thought popped “FamZoo”.

    Unfortunately, the domain name “famzoo.com” was already taken. So, the family put its collective heads together and tried to come up with some suitable alternative names. For posterity, here were some of the serious and not-so-serious contenders:

    * famhub, fambase, famcentral – clever suggestions from my wife to denote the product as being a central connector for the family, but, alas, all taken as well;
    * faminator – a little Arnold Schwarzenegger flavor – a bit on the aggressive side;
    * famzoop – perhaps the sound emitted when the family slips on a banana peel together;
    * famboozle – indicative of how people might feel if the product does not deliver on its promises;
    * fampoof – what might happen if I don’t get this thing off the ground!

    Well, none of these had quite the humor, imagery, cadence, and sentimental appeal of FamZoo. Fortunately, I was able to contact the owner of the domain – a nice gentleman who had some similar unrealized ambitions for building family oriented software – and strike a reasonable price for the transfer of the domain.

  49. blue:

    I think what’s most important about a business’ name is that it’s either (appropriately) clear what the business does, or is interesting enough that it doesn’t matter (preferably BOTH clear AND curiosity-arousing).

    My advice regarding name generation would definitely be: brainstorming. It’s a commonly prescribed, boring and long process, but if you put enough time into it, you definitely get results! And you could end up miles from where you started at a much more interesting point. I’d say start with brainstorming about yourself, your interests, and of course your company and what you want to do with it.

    Appearance-wise, the brand’s logo should be clean. It should be immediately clear how to read the logo, or if the logo does not include the brand’s name it should be somewhere nearby (and legible, of course!). Logos that have beyond-bizarre fonts or image substitution for words take longer than a second to read, and who wants to take that time? Unless it is really, REALLY cool-looking.

  50. blue:

    But I also agree with Cherie that one should be open to change.

    By the way, StudioCherie sounds very cute :)

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