A few days ago, I was walking around in Gurgaon when I noticed the poster above. Take a closer look – do you see anything peculiar about it?
Notice the bright red patch below the name of the hypermarket, telling you how to pronounce the name? Well, that is what the choice of a bad name can do to you!
As I was thinking about it, here are some thoughts that came to my mind about how not to name your company:
- If it’s not a name that you can easily pronounce, you are not going to tell your friends about it and it instantly kills any free publicity that you could get. Who wants to look stupid in front of friends by pronouncing a name incorrectly – you would rather not talk about it.
- The name should have a reflection in the local dialect and should easily blend in. There are names that blend naturally across all countries / cultures ( think Google, Coke, Pepsi, Facebook, Tata, Reliance etc ) and there are ones that do not blend in so easily ( think Isuzu, Auchan, Kyocera etc ).What matters here is not the existence of the “exact” word in the local dialect, but the existence of “similar” sounds in the local dialect as you speak. That is what explains why brands like Mitsubishi, Honda, Yamaha, Yahoo, Google are successful in India whereas brands like Isuzu are not.
- Try to make a sentence with your company name and say it out loud. If you don’t feel the zing, perhaps others won’t either.
- Tell a couple of friends about the name you intend to choose. Call them the next day and ask them if they remember the name. If they do, you’ve got it! If they don’t, well, you know what to do.
- And last but not the least, there is another step these days that makes it harder to narrow down a good name. You’ve got to have a domain name ( .com, .org, .net and any other local extensions ), a twitter handle, a facebook page and a pinterest page available for the name you choose.
If you have more ideas / thoughts / experiences, would love to hear and expand the list. Please leave your ideas in the comments box below.