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.
Guy Kawasaki is in Bangalore and yesterday I had the opportunity to meet him in the tweetup at Nasscom Product Conclave. He is a very friendly person and went into great detail on the strategy he uses to market AllTop over twitter.
Now, I have great respect for him as a person and as a thought leader, but there are some things that I did not like about his talk.
But before that, here are the things that I liked:
a) Insight on into how automating your tweets can save you a lot of time and effort.
b) Stats on how tweeting the same post at different times of the day can almost double your hits.
c) Emphasis on the basic twitter principle – provide value to your followers.
Things that I would have loved to hear in the talk:
a) How to build a complete marketing strategy around twitter and other social media tools?
b) How to measure the return on investment – even though twitter is free, you spend time on it and that costs money?
c) How does twitter compare with other online marketing media in terms of value for your investment?
d) How long does it take for your twitter activity to start bearing fruit?
Things that I did not like about his talk:
a) Too much self-promotion – alltop and tweetmeme appeared over hundred times in the talk.
b) The proposed strategy of using alltop content to generate tweets seems like self-fulfilling prophecy. Makes me think if the real purpose of the talk was to talk about twitter or to make everyone in the room build alltop pages.
c) His strategy would work for twitter users like him that have a very high following ( because they are a celeb, role model etc ) but what about tweeters who have not acquired that status yet?
d) His strategy is synonymous to twitter spam – I believe that sooner or later, filtering systems will be built on twitter to filter out spam and that will be the end of this strategy.
What is your opinion of the talk? Do you agree with my assessment here – do let me know! BTW, here are some shots that I took during the tweetup:
Find all the Guy Kawasaki NASSCOM photos here!