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The Name Game

May 5, 2009

I’m in the process of selecting a name for a company I’m thinking about starting. I’ve polled some trusted friends and advisers, and I’m close to making a final decision.

The process has made me really evaluate the value of a name, particularly in this dotcom world. You might think of the perfect name for your company, but if the URL is taken, you have to rethink the name or dish out a lot of money for the URL.

There are so many requirements for a great name in this dotcom world. Here are some of them:

  • It needs to be catchy
  • It needs to be intuitive
  • It needs to be easy to spell
  • It needs to be easy to remember
  • It needs to be unique (for search-engine optimization)

Despite these rules, there are some names that just work, even though they don’t follow all those rules. Hulu is a great example. Etsy is another. I don’t even use Etsy, and the name doesn’t mean anything to me, but I remember it.

There are others that make sense if you’re willing to spend some time reading into the story behind the name. For example, I was talking to Joe over at the awesome Gorilla76 today, before which I searched around on the website and learned that the name came from melding the idea of “guerrilla” marketing with a representative animal and the date (July ’06) of when the company started.

I took the time to read about Gorilla76’s origin, but most companies don’t have that advantage. The name needs to make an immediate, memorable impact.

I mention all of this because I recently discovered a site with a really cool interface for buying accessories, but every time I go to recommend the site to someone, I forget the name. This is a site I’ve visited several times over the last few days simply to marvel at the interface–these aren’t things I would ever buy. On top of that, the name is a good one–it’s intuitive, creative, and it should be memorable. But it’s not. Not to me.

The company is called Stylous. Go ahead, click over there and check it out. Then give it a day or two and see if you can remember the name. Maybe it’s just me.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Trevor permalink
    May 6, 2009 8:29 am

    All of this is very thought provoking, but upon visiting Stylous, I was overcome with questions about why you visited that site in the first place, given that it’s focused on women’s accessories. Is there something you need to tell us?

    • May 6, 2009 9:24 am

      Ha ha…the truth is, I collect women’s handbags. It’s been a secret passion of mine for years, and Stylous has reignited the flame.

      Actually, I read about the site on a blog I read.

      • Nancy permalink
        May 6, 2009 10:07 am

        Hey Jamey, can I borrow that cute little cream colored clutch purse you have in your closet for the wedding in a couple weeks?

        • Jamey's closet permalink
          May 6, 2009 2:03 pm

          He has a great set of “Cosmic Latte” colored Manolo Blahnik pumps in here to match!

  2. May 9, 2009 7:33 pm

    shit!

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