Large corporations spend lavish amounts seeking names for
their products that grab a consumer, or convey positive
feelings. Book authors do the same. As do magazine writers.
So, say you are planning something that needs a name: your
new company, a speech, an article, your website, your email
STOP! Stop, and think.
Don't go with the first thing that hits you. Think about the
aim of this endeavor. What are you trying to convey to those
who will see or hear it?
Joe Black, for example, has been selling life insurance for
years, is now planning to incorporate, and needs a name for
his new company. He likes the ring of Consolidated Advisors
& Financial Associates Inc.---CAFAI for short.
What's the aim of the name? Is it to impress people with a
long, unwieldy, impersonal, remote-sounding phrase? Or is it
to convey the same reliable, personal service that Joe Black
is already known for?
The answer is obvious, Joe. Incorporate under your own name.
Joe Black, Inc. has the benefits of continuity, credibility,
recognition, reliability, and stability---none of which
attach to CAFAI.
A speech is different. Speeches, and articles, need names
that grab people. Unless you're a famous person, or talking
about a famous person, enterprise, or event, you need some
other way to attract their attention.
And all you've got to work with is the title. So look over
what you've written, and write down all the different titles
you can think of for your work.
As you look at each of them over, ask yourself if you'd go
to a talk with that title. If not, cross it out. Now try to
shorten the ones that are left. The fewer words the better.
Do any of them have a bit of mystery, or wit, or maybe an
interesting play on words?
Need some stimulus? Go to the library. Fiction. Mysteries.
Look over the titles. Which ones stir you to pull them out,
and scan a few pages? Why?
Can you see anything in their titles that you might use in
your speech or article title?
A speech or article is a transitory thing, so needn't take
too much of your time. But you'll be stuck with the name of
your company for quite a while, so devote much more time to
getting it right.
Your website, and email address are in between. Not as
temporary as a speech or article, but probably not as long-
lived as your corporation.
The aim of these names is to reinforce your company's image,
and remind people of your business identity.
So Joe Black's web site could be named joeblack.com, or, if
he wanted something wittier, BlackInk.com, and his email
address could be firstname.lastname@example.org.
Joe, like most of us, has other interests than his business.
He's a birdwatcher, and is planning an online newsletter and
website for others with this hobby who already know him.
A good name for his ezine could be Black Birds, and for his
website www.blackbirds.com, then his e-address for it could
Sometimes you can't make such an apt connection. For example,
when my ezine, which focuses on the marketing of financial
services, was created it needed a name. I liked the acronym
"TIP". But what could name I expand it into?
Here's a few that came to mind:
* The Insurance Practitioner
* The Intelligent Planner
* The Insightful Provider
* The Interested Ponderer
* The Insurance Professional
* The Incorporated Practice, etc.
To say nothing of all the variations that can be rung by
switching the adjectives around.
See what I finally decided on at: http://www.eTIP.ca/
Copyright 2005, Donald F. Pooley, Inc.
Don Pooley has shared his marketing know-how with audiences
in major Canadian cities, London, Australia, Chicago, New
York, San Francisco, Hong Kong, and Singapore, and now in
his free ezine, TIP. Subscribe at http://www.eTIP.ca/, or
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