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The Name Is (Part of) The Thing

June 29, 2011

How important is your company name to the success of your startup?

We think it’s an essential component of your brand.  We’re big fans of branding, both from the ‘skin and voice’ perspective and by how the brand advances a startup’s business objectives.  A brand is not a stand-alone entity; it is the sum of your audience’s impressions of—and experience with—your company.  You can control part of that process (name, skin and voice), but the company and its individuals also have to live up to the ideas and values that are defined as part of the branding process.

In that context, your name is a critical step to building your brand.  When we work with the founders of a startup, we always plan to invest time making sure the company name and brand attributes have been defined.  At the outset, we want to be sure that your company name will work hard to advance your business goals.

As part of three recent marketing engagements, we helped rename the startup.  We named the advertising targeting company Buysight (formerly Permuto), the web content management platform EndPlay (formerly Canvas) and the mobile social sharing app Thrutu (code name Calistoga).  We’re always on the lookout for new companies with great names that are striving to build a great brand.

Below are some of our recent favorites – startups with names that are memorable, easy-to-spell and instantly help to communicate the value proposition…

  • Klout: influence measurement on the social web
  • Inkling:  online textbooks for tablet devices
  • Zoosh: fast mobile payment technology from your mobile device
  • Impermium: technology to fight social spam

And a not-so-favorite:  Xaxis

The name is derived from the term “X-axis” but pronounced “zaxis.” It’s a new media company selling more than 500 million consumer profiles and technology for targeted advertising to digital ad execs with a name rooted in mathematics.

Have a favorite startup name to share?  Let us know what new names hit the spot for you.

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