For entrepreneurs, the importance of picking the right name for a company may rank second only to naming a child. (And it’s lot more expensive to change.)
Name consultants are paid millions each year to help decide what to call a company.
Now one has come up with a test: San Francisco naming boutique Eat My Words, which has worked for Kinko’s, Jamba Juice and other household names. It’s called theSmile & Scratch Test.
To test out a company’s name, first ask if it possesses these qualities:
Simple –- one easy-to-understand concept Meaningful –- customer instantly “get it” Imagery –- visually evocative, creates a mental picture Legs –- carries the brand, lends itself to wordplay Emotional –- empowers, entertains, engages, enlightens
Then scratch the name if it’s got these deal-breakers:
Spelling-challenged — you have to tell people how to spell it Copycat – similar to competitor’s names Random – disconnected from the brand Annoying – hidden meaning, forced Tame – flat, uninspired, boring, nonemotional Curse of knowledge – only insiders get it Hard-to-pronounce – not obvious, relies on punctuation