Company names

The naming of a company is not easy.  Buying the URL is even more difficult.  Once a name is picked, the URL is purchased, then it is about building the brand around that name.  If I gave it more thought than I did, Gotham Gal might not have been the name I would have chose but it stuck and it is what it is now and there is no going back.

There are certain industries, where having your own personal name on the door is what people choose.  Perhaps ego or perhaps lack of imagination but I have never understood it.  It is hard to build a company to sell when your name is on the door.  I have spoken about this before that I want to see more women build Googles, Twitters and Tumblrs vs a Martha or Oprah.  Also, when your name isn’t on the door, there is a different mindset.

One of the industries that has been connected to someone’s name forever is the fashion industry.  When I saw the Dior exhibit at the Museum des Decoratifs in Paris, what was fascinating is that the Dior house began in 1946 and he died in 1957, yet the brand has continued on with new designers at the helm who have modernized the brand yet each new design head has made each of their reigns feel fluid as if Dior was still behind the door.

Many of this generation’s new fashion brands such as Rag & Bone, Common Projects, and the Row, have built brands without most consumers knowing who the designers are behind the product.  It is smart as it is the brand that shines not necessarily the players behind it and that makes it easier to be agile…and if you want, an exit.

Comments (Archived):

  1. Lisa Abeyta

    While I love the name of our company because it so easily aligns with our work, I would NEVER create a name with unconventional capitalizations again or one that combines three words. Our company name is invariably mis-spelled or only part of it is used, even in stories by the media. Unique is good, but “cutesy” unique is problematic.

  2. Kirsten Lambertsen

    It is so hard to name a company these days! You have to make sure all these are available: domain name, Twitter handle, Instagram handle, Facebook page name, Snapchat handle (and possibly Pinterest handle). And that’s the bare minimum. Many times, the handle you want is taken by some rando who hasn’t posted since 2011.A lot of people think that a doofy company name is the result of a bunch of pretentious millennials trying to be cool. In fact, it’s because the kooky spelling of a homophone is all they could get thanks to some GenXer sitting on the domain they actually want (drama intentional).

    1. Susan Rubinsky

      Soooooooo True.

  3. awaldstein

    Two most interesting brands i buy a lot from are Allbirds (simply can’t stop, done everything smartly) and FreeFly Apparel which is as traditional an ecommerce site as can be with sales, slow shipping but a product that is unique and makes up for it.We build best practices but at the end, success just happens.And this post from a number of years ago that I wrote for a client on naming still holds true:Naming your company…self discovery as word play

    1. Susan Rubinsky

      Wow. Just checked both of those out. Very cool products. (Names are horrible, though.)

      1. awaldstein

        No names are born great though some are by nature better than others.Big fan of the trend towards using bamboo rather than synthetics and plastics.A number of fashion accessory house ware brands resold by Moma have built factories in China switching from plastic to using Bamboo which is basically everywhere. Very cool.

        1. Susan Rubinsky

          Loved the bamboo too! I’d love to see clothes — especially dresses — like the ones at Title Nine made with bamboo –

  4. Susan Rubinsky

    My company name is Susan Rubinsky Marketing Consulting. Clunky and horrible. LOL. The story is, I was a laid off single Mom trying to stay afloat. I landed a consulting project as a sole-proprietor and the check was supposed to be made out to Susan Rubinsky but it came in the mail to Susan Rubinsky Marketing Consulting. My bank would not accept the check. I was broke, late on my mortgage and car payments. I called the company: they said it would have to go into another month long billing cycle to get fixed so I went to town hall, opened my business under that name, opened a bank account and paid my bills. Then I just got busy and never fixed it. True story. Bad name. I’m currently working on a repositioning plan for my business which will include a new name, though I don’t intend on building the next big company, just a small biz.

    1. Kirsten Lambertsen

      I always put hours and hours of work and thought into my projects’ names… and I sometimes wonder if it’s worth it, heh.Speaking of clunky names. I chose my Twitter handle back in 2011 when I was in a MOOD (after being fired by the company that bought my company, me with a brand new baby to care for — whaddya know!): mspseudolus. Try explaining that one to people, ha! (It’s a clumsy reference to “A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum.”) It’s even harder to change Twitter handles than it is to change company names.Do you have new names in mind for your biz? Despite all my griping, I *love* naming things, all things, companies, people, pets.

      1. Susan Rubinsky

        I haven’t gotten to naming yet. I am doing a full-on strategic process on my business and I am doing it with my two interns so they learn the process. I’m so busy with work, that it ends up being only two or three mornings a month. I’m also taking Seth Godin’s The Marketing Seminar right now so I can get feedback on this work – https://themarketingseminar…Your twitter handle story made me snort! I LOVE it. Hahahahhaa.

  5. pointsnfigures

    I love what is doing when it comes to branding, their corporate culture, and the way they interact and message with their customers. Check them out.

    1. Susan Rubinsky

      Wow. Great branding! Love it.

  6. Susan Rubinsky

    Here is a really great company with a great name started by a woman – newest $1 billion startup is led by one of tech’s youngest female CEOs…[idio]=6054957&ito=792&itq=32fa507a-14d0-4d58-bf5f-cc0c18ed70b5

  7. Drew Meyers

    The best thought piece I’ve read on the topic of names is Rich Barton’s Syllables, Scrabble Letters, and Picking Brand Names:

  8. jason wright

    Psychological and legal. building a company requires intense collaboration, and not the worshipping of a ‘deity’. It’s also not possible to trademark a real name when starting out. Takes years to accrue goodwill before that can happen.