When new ventures start, founders struggle to find an appropriate name for their business. Names are subjective and, as a result, a "right" answer does not necessarily exist. One thing that really helps a team select a good name is to think of naming as a process rather than a single event.
We went through the following seven-step process in naming our business, "PosiPeople."
1. List all of the words or phrases that describe your company and what it does.
2. Combine the words from your list to create "brand" new words.
3. Use literary techniques like alliteration, rhyme, and onomatopoeia to come up with catchy, memorable names. • These names should have words with meanings that identify your business. • Avoid using numbers or special characters in the name such as hyphens or periods, as this often confuses people when spelling the name of the company (i.e. do you spell "five" or just use the numeral "5"?)
4. Create a short list of names that are: • Unique • Easy to spell, say, and pronounce • Short (approximately two to four syllables)
5. Make sure that the domain name is available (.com, .org, .net) • Search ajaxwhois.com to see if the domain name is registered.
6. Ensure that the trademark for the name is available as well. • Visit www.uspto.gov to do a search.
7. Pick the name that your team likes best, but remember, names are subjective, so it is likely that no one name will please everyone.
Through all of this, understand that though a company’s name helps define its public image, what is most important is still how you build and grow the business. So pick a name that works and move on.
Jonathan Chang Babson College MBA Candidate, Class of 2007 Founder PosiPeople San Francisco