New Business Names: Naming For The Ear

It’s surely happened to you, too: You call someone back from a telephone message, not sure who they are or what they want, and what the receptionist recites upon answering comes off as a complete blur. It doesn’t even separate into words.

In many cases this has nothing to do with the diction of the receptionist. Out of context, the company name simply makes no sense to the ear.

Years ago I had an extreme version of this experience when a gardening columnist I was interviewing said something interesting about “squash vine borers.” Listening, I could not form words out of those sounds. I had to ask her to repeat the phrase three times. I still wasn’t sure I’d gotten it right and emailed her to check, only to learn that what I’d finally heard as “bores” should have been “borers.”

Two names submitted in our first Named At Last naming contest, for a web design/search engine optimization company, exemplify this problem. Each contains the kernel of an appealing visual image, but out loud they don’t work:

Ducks Tech Web
Agile Impala

In the first name, the consonants smudge into one another, and in the second example, the vowels blend together when they shouldn’t. Corral a colleague who hasn’t read this newsletter, and test this by saying each name naturally, without exaggerating the space between the words. Ask them to spell what you just said. Most of the time, the colleague will look stunned, unable to echo the sounds, much less spell words.

Use “the receptionist test” on any name you’re considering for a company or product. Even if you primarily sell through the written word, there will be times when you need to call a business partner and have the name create understanding rather than confusion.

Brandable and memorable business names that are pronounceable in the English language and have an available website domain can be found with www.makewords.com name suggestions tool.

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20 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by viswa on September 17, 2011 at 11:52 am

    hi going to start an new construction company. please give some good and fancy names related to this

    Reply

  2. Posted by Anonymous on July 18, 2011 at 11:23 am

    Hi there I am starting my own company – tracing and tracking assessors including training please help need two suggestions please Nu-Track can form part of the name

    Reply

  3. Posted by Tom on July 5, 2011 at 1:16 am

    Any ideas for a Construction company name?

    Reply

  4. Posted by omkar on May 17, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    m developing a website which includes a advertisement for pancard, postal saving, insurance etc.
    but m not getting a good name for it. need good and abstract name for it.
    plz help.
    waiting

    Reply

  5. Posted by Pooria on April 23, 2011 at 9:35 am

    Hi, i want to built a website but i dont about name..
    i will be about Music Movie application(apple) and gallery please help me..
    I want to be short and easy to remmember

    Reply

  6. Hello…

    “IT Bucket”…
    Hope this will work for you

    Reply

  7. Posted by satish naidu on April 1, 2011 at 10:58 am

    i starting sing and woodworking creative work business, plz giveme
    a new creative 5 letters name.

    Reply

  8. Posted by Shek Dawood on November 10, 2010 at 5:01 am

    I would like to start a company for trading. The nature of the business would be primarly importing (furniture, household, electronics) and marketing them

    Reply

  9. Posted by T.Nawinprasad on May 29, 2010 at 7:09 am

    going to start an architectural consulting office.wanna name it, so please give some good associate names related to consulting office!

    Reply

  10. Posted by sanket on March 12, 2010 at 7:08 am

    we 3 friends are starting new part time business for graphic designing activities.
    plz suggest me new business name. Which shows our creative work.
    We work for designing activities like advertising & logo designing.
    But we are confused for name so plzzzzzzzzzzzz help me

    Reply

  11. Posted by pankaj on February 1, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    i want to start an portfolio management company(investment company) pls suggest some names that shud be self defined or unique…

    Reply

  12. Posted by start with pa on December 24, 2009 at 5:29 am

    i need company name starting with pa ,ra ,sa

    Reply

  13. going to start marketing company wanna name it so kiendly a good name of marketing company

    Reply

  14. Posted by j.anbarasu on December 14, 2009 at 12:33 pm

    going to start an IT company.wanna name it, so please give some good company names related to IT company!

    Reply

  15. Being able to stand out from the rest is a very positive characteristic a business should have. You should just mentioned one of the most useful and crucial business names concepts for success.

    Reply

    • Posted by Mohd sadiq on March 19, 2012 at 2:43 pm

      Hi we are two friends and we are going to start a business of
      Dry fruits & kashmiri shawls..Please sugges name..

      Reply

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