If you’ve decided to change your name, you’ll want to think about a few things. I’ll again cite some valuable resources on Entrepreneur.com to help us get started.
The first thing to think about is the fact that you’re selecting a name for a brand, not just a company. A URL that matches your name can be very useful, but don’t worry about whether or not a URL is available for the name—your perfect name might already be a website, but there are plenty of ways around this (StorageCraft partner Five Nines uses the URL gonines.com, a perfectly memorable and useful alternative). The name you want might be a website, but it might also be legally available to register for business in your state. Instead of worrying about URLs and things like that, think about what your company’s value prop is, its character, its focus, and its goal. List some adjectives that might describe it. You’ll use the list later. A URL might not be available, but obviously you’ll need to check that the legal name you hope to use is available. If you follow this guide and find a fresh name, you shouldn’t have much trouble.
A few things about the name: it should be clear, optimistic, and interesting. This is the name that will be plastered everywhere, including your website and the sign in front of your office. Is this a name that’s going to drive traffic to or away from you? Your name should be easy to read, but distinctive. Think about that when you’re deciding whether or not to use whimsicasl extra letters or odd spelling.
What’s an example of a good name?
This is certainly subjective, but following my analysis, I think you’ll agree that an example of a good name is StorageCraft partner Five Nines. If you do a bit of research, you’ll see that the term “five nines” refers to how much availability or uptime a computer system should have, which is 99.999% or five number nines. It’s interesting, isn’t a boring acronym, and has a more complex meaning than what’s on the surface. With Five Nines, their name suggests that they’re working hard towards making sure that you’ve got that 99.999% of uptime their name suggests (using ShadowProtect, naturally). This name also sticks out among many of the competitors in the MSP space.
Creating a name
Words, words, words! You’ve got a list of adjectives from the earlier section, but the best thing is to write down every idea you come up with. Even silly ones can be useful because you might be able to merge words together to create something new and fresh from your various ideas. There are also useful online tools like the Visual Thesaurus, which creates webs of associated words. You can use the webs to find appropriate adjectives you might want to include in your name, or if you’re looking for a pun, you can use WerdMerge, which helps you create puns from any word you type in. Looking for a rhyme? Try Wikirhymer. Play around with various word tools, and take your time to get the name that really fits, is easy to remember, while also quick and descriptive.
If you’re looking for a start-to-finish guide to naming, check out this great slide show walkthrough, just think carefully about giving your business a punny name—it might not sound as professional as you’d like. However, you can also gain some ground by having an interesting pun in your name since the IT industry is largely entrenched in tedium—just be sure to use discretion and, above all, shoot for originality.
Stay tuned for The MSP re-branding guide part four: How do I pick a slogan?