Why is the name of the business not that important?

by Ashvini on August 2, 2010

in Entrepreneurship

In a workshop on entrepreneurship, a speaker talked about the fact that most of the entrepreneurs spend so much time on their blog that they actually take away their time from other important things.

Name of a business is required for a good image of an enterprise. A good and apt name indicates what business you are in . However , if someone is spending a disproportionate amount of time just on   finding a good business name, I think their priorities are not right.

There has been a profound change from last many years as to how a business is named. If we take a look at the companies that were started some ( or many ) years back, we find names like

  • General Electric
  • General Motors
  • International Business Machines
  • SAP
  • Hewlett-Packard

These names indicated either the kind of business they were in(IBM, SAP , GM) or they were named after their founders ( Hewlett and Packard). During those time, having a right name mattered as the names indicated mostly a monopoly of the respective segments and the authoritative nature of the products they produced.

With change of times, however businesses found it difficult to maintain a position of monopoly. In fact business names of today convey individuality of founder or the work culture prevalent in the company. For e.g. Yahoo actually started as

‘Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle’. However this would not have fit any of the images that founder wanted to have . So they decided to make it Yahoo, which also means “rude, unsophisticated, uncouth” which appealed more to the younger generation that they were trying to target.

So if we take a look at some of the contemporary names, we find

  • Yahoo
  • Google
  • Microsoft
  • Apple

And startups with names such as

  • facebook
  • twitter
  • myspace
  • digg
  • stumbleupon

These names are completely different from old times.

Most of the names today are usually shortened names of the larger sentence ( like as in yahoo) or completely new imagination(twitter, facebook, digg). Or they are created out of combining parts of words that appealed to the founders of business.

Where I am leading with this? The point I want to emphasize is that names though important are not everything and one should spend as lesser a time that is possible on finding them.

You can take a crazy sounding name and with marketing and branding make it very famous. A business with a great sounding name that is weak on customer satisfaction is not going to last very long.

The name will matter only when you have established your self and are looking for branding. But then at that time, your company would be well known and accepted by public in general.

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