What’s in a Name?

Naming your company is one of the most important decisions that you can make and when starting out as an entrepreneur we often don’t give it as much thought as we should. We may think a great name comes from the product we plan to sell or the service we plan to offer, but is that the best way to name a company? We all do this and many times it is from the excitement of getting things going for the new venture. I did the same thing when starting my first company Bruce Outridge Productions. I just thought about the art at the time and am now glad I didn’t name it Bruce Outridge Illustration or something similar. Now we offer a variety of services from cartooning to graphic design to video production. I was smart enough not to block myself into a corner. By using my name and then “productions” it leaves the meaning wide open. The important thing to think about is that your business will develop and change over time and the name that works for your business today, may not work for your business tomorrow.
This came to mind the other day when I passed a truck on the road. The name made me laugh because the company was named “Smokey and the Bandit Trucking” and for any of you from the 70’s will remember the popularity of the movie of the same name. Other than it being a funny name for the trucking company and a good laugh for those onlookers it may or may not be hurting that company. The company was was pulling a trailer for a well renowned pizza corporation, you may be wondering why that is a problem? Twenty years ago a name like “Smokey and the Bandit” would show the company will do anything to get the job done just like the movie, a benefit right? The industry has changed and now that same name would show that the company is reckless and dangerous on the roadways. I am not saying the company is reckless, but in the industry that may be how others feel. Bruce Outridge
The point is that you should think long term when naming products, services, or a company so that if the industry you are in changes the name you have chosen will stay relevant. A cute name may seem cool at the beginning, but make you look ridiculous as a business later in life. Think long term and you will stay ahead of the curve.
About the Author
Bruce Outridge is a business and leadership consultant and author of the books Driven to Drive, Running by the Mile, and How to Start an Artistic Business in 12 Easy Steps. For more information visit his website at www.outridgeenterprises.ca