The Power of the Right Name
The search for the perfect Company or Product name-checking whether it already exists… is the website available with a regular URL… does it mean something rude in Germany… will people remember it… will people confuse it with something awful…. currently, the search seems to end with everyday words — misspelt — to ensure they are phonetically correct and textually unique. It’s a lot of work for little return.
I’m asked a lot ‘what do you think?” I learned the wrong way, NEVER EVER to criticise the potential name of a child. Don't even criticise — don't express any other view than the one that states the name sounds like a future star, next world leader, world-famous author or singer. Whatever your personal preference, please understand that an unbiased view is only wanted if it agrees with them. So it is with children — and so it is with companies and new product names. Always be positive. Always.
Instead, I explain that their impressive offspring or company will make the name exceptional — and not vice versa. The example I use is the President of the United States. Regarded as one of the most important and influential positions in the world.
The founders of the US constitution wanted a name that did not recall a Kind, an emperor or a Prime Minister. They wanted to choose a title that would not sound similar to an all-powerful monarch.
The Senate and the House argued and couldn’t decide — they didn’t want anything too lofty — but they did want it to sound impressive. The Senate thought that President was too plain — but the House insisted. Anything grander sounded too much like royalty. They argued for three weeks. Deadlock. Eventually, the Senate agreed, and they settled on ‘President’, which means “he who sits before” whilst they thought about what might replace it. President was a term that was normally used for a chairman or foreman role. Or a ceremonial title — definitely not a common name for an important executive.
In time this title was adopted by more & more countries around the world. Now we live in a world with well over 100 Presidents — it’s a title that is seen as powerful and important. A title that many covet.
Perhaps you don't believe me — then “google” it…. google… there’s a word which meant nothing 20 years ago… and now… it’s shorthand “to find the correct answer in milliseconds to any question you may have”. It’s a noun and a verb. Impressive.
Whether it’s “President” or your version of “Google” — the name will not define your success. Your success will help define the name and what it means to people.