When choosing a name for your new company, I encourage you to look outside of common english and find something unique and unexpected. But if it's not based on something that you've identified as distinct in your marketplace you're gambling with your brand's authenticity and ultimately its longevity. Even if it's a weird name, you should be able to stand behind it with confidence.

Here are a few seemingly nonsense company names that actually make a lot of sense. They also make great domain names because they're short and easy to say or spell.

Google
"We chose our system name, Google, because it is a common spelling of googol.Googol is the mathematical term for a 1 followed by 100 zeros." (wikipedia)

Etsy
"I was watching Fellini's 8 ½ and writing down what I was hearing. In Italian, you say 'etsi' a lot. It means 'oh, yes.' And in Latin, it means 'and if." (wikipedia)

tumblr
of course is based on the word tumble, to roll over and over. Picture a bingo ball rolling and the next number being a surprise, like your random experience on tumblr.

Skype
is a tweak of the word sky based on the expression sky peer-to-peer. (Thanks to the name inspector for that one)

hulu
The name Hulu comes from two Man Mandarin Chinese words, húlú (??/??), "calabash; bottle gourd", and hùlù (??/??), "interactive recording".

Do you know of others to share?

 

2 comments




by margriet aasman

You can also use your own personal name…for no reason. Your product/brand will determine if it becomes memorable or not… Here’s one I love: John Fluevog, a shoe line/retail business, noted for progressive, art deco inspired styles. You wear one of his shoes and you are a Fluevoger, and join a pretty prestigious crowd! Hey, another one I know, aasman… aasmanite?

02.11.2013

by Eleanor

Nice Margriet. I think aasman comes with a host of added benefits as a name and a few good reason’s too. It’s an uncommon name in Canada, and it’s alphabetically adventageous. But the best reason for choosing your own name as a company name is that it shows your confidence. What better way to tell your audience that you’re personally committed to your work than to put your name right on it. I think it’s brave.

02.11.2013

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