What’s in a name?

Over the weekend I had an opportunity to review some of the most successful start-ups in both the USA and Canada. One of the things that jumped out at me was that independent of the products, the names of the ventures were all over the map. Some of them clever but most of them just strange.

We live in a different world now where a successful marketing campaign is measured in hits, click troughs and key word searches. Things like “Pivots” can cause a company to change its direction early on and it is not uncommon for a name to no longer fit your business. Building a brand is a costly endeavor so how does a company select a brand that will endure and mean something to its current and future customers.

I suggest that you start with a target market and a story or a theme. If your company is going to specialize real time Interpretation for example, research the history of Interpretation. A quick Google search brings up Wikipedia as the top link. Clicking there tells us that there are many kinds of Interpretation that include Law, Art, Math, Philosophy, etc. If we click on Language Interpretation, we find that there are more sub-categories. In some cases the Interpretation is on a separate channel, sometimes it is just recorded as notes and sometimes it is whispered.

The french word for the whispered interpretation is cuchotage. A quick Google search tells us that the word is very well know in the professional Interpretation industry and that there is no company with that name. Once we have the name we search for some historical background and we build a story. The story helps customers to remember and justify the name.

As long as we remained focused on the Interpretation vertical market we can change our products and the name/brand will remain appropriate.

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