Tips for choosing a company and domain name


One of my friends is opening a new company and we were working on choosing a company name. The name has to be reflective of the vision of the company and the corporate culture that the founder wants to portray to the world. Then there’s the ease of referencing to it –

Is the name too difficult to remember? Maybe its easy to remember multi-consonant names in your country but if the company has global aspirations new clients may have difficulty and may even make fun of it.

Does it have a weird spelling that is impossible to spell without verbalizing it? You can potentially use an unusual spelling to your advantage so long as you brand it properly. But remember every additional step like this mean additional resources.

Is there an agreement on the name from all parties involved in the decision making? A unanimous vote is important in these matters because if one dissents and for some reason the company does not succeed, then that one person will create havoc with “I told you so’s”

What does your company name mean in other languages? …especially considering when you expand and become global? Example is “Zuka Juice” where the first word when stated in Tagalog mean “throw up” so this company moving to the Philippines may potentially have some educating to do with its consumers. Banana Republic is the opposite – it was successful although there were concerns about its potentially derogatory effect.

Does it translate properly to another language? One country’s cutesy baby food name is another country’s yuck meter going way up.

Do you have an available domain name? (all companies need to have a website) Don’t be discouraged if the company name and domain name do not completely match. Companies continue to have multiple domain names for specific purposes too – special deals (

Will I remember your company name easily? Can you give me a mental nmenomic for it? The quicker I remember your name the better it is for client loyalty purposes. Assisting the potential customer to remember your company name is a very important key to making your company name known and branded. An example is “HSBC” which was known as Hong Kong Shanghai Banking Corporation in the Philippines in the 1980s, I’ve not seen it spelled out in New York City other than its acronym.

Which came first? The company logo or the company name? At one enterprise I worked with the name was directly linked to the founder’s name so the logo was the first to come out of the brainstorming session. Another experience was a colleague whose passionate about the mission of the company so the name came first then the logo. Does it matter? Could be for timing purposes, registration and copyrights, and other deadlines that you need to be mindful of.

Ok that’s the tip of the naming process questions for discussions. Tell me about your experiences when you choose your company name? What steps did you go through? What challenges did you have to overcome?

photo by monkey and timmy

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