Funny, serious, original? Several aspects you should consider when you’re choosing a name for your company
Business has many names. For some it is a way of life. For others it is prestige, fulfilled ambitions and dreams come true. However, you can’t create your business or develop your own company (and even start it) without giving it a name. It is your company’s name that will be repeated by your customers, and the product or service offered by us – and even we themselves – will be associated with that name. A few tips are given below for what you should keep in mind and what you should avoid while choosing a name for your company.
Simple doesn’t mean banal
Developing our business from scratch, we usually treat it like our own child. That is why we aim at giving it a name that is as wondrous, inimitable, even unique, as possible. Just like the devil is afraid of holy water we are afraid of banality. So we create multiple and even multi-word names for our enterprises, which indeed become unrepeatable. In most cases it is customer who will repeat that name and associate it with “something”. That is why a good name is short and easy to pronounce. Short, which means it best consists of two or three syllables, from 5 to 10 characters. Such a name will certainly catch our customers’ ear more quickly and remain in their memory longer. It would be best if it was associated with our branch or industry. What’s the use of a name which will be difficult to remember or pronounce?
Polish or foreign?
The answer to this question greatly depends on what are the goals and target groups and even target markets of a company’s activity. Operating e.g. on the Polish market and only there, we can afford to use wordplay, diacritic marks, refer to proverbs and stereotypes (discussed further). When planning to expand our business to foreign markets, it is worth taking care of the proper perception of company abroad, and the comfort of foreign customers. In this case, Polish diacritic marks or names are out of the question. As far as the latter are concerned, remember – the name doesn’t always create the image of a company and its brand. In most cases, names became famous thanks to successfully developed business. What’s important, don’t forget about choosing a proper domain. It should be as close as possible to the name of the company. Among other things, it will influence search results according to SEO. You should also pay particular attention to making sure that that the name won’t have any undesired connotations. Perhaps every Pole remembers the first reaction to the name “Osram”?
Desired associations – what are they?
First of all, they are such associations which relate to the industry and values of a given company. The name of a company isn’t only a formal requirement, it is also one of the key elements of that company’s marketing and image strategy. As we let our imagination run wild, we often forget about the most important thing – the product. And it’s the product and ourselves that we’ll communicate about. Using serious-sounding words in names will work well in case of a pharmaceutical company or an insurance one, but it will work worse in case of a creative agency. The name of a company should fit in with who we want to be perceived as. It’s supposed to become a brand, and the best is if it became recognisable. This way we leave a trace in a customer’s consciousness. So it is good if that trace is clear. Avoid repetitions like -pol, -med, -bud, and never ever imitate someone else’s brand. Create your own value and express it in a name.
Are proverbs and wordplay fading into history?
Absolutely not! Many original names of companies were created as a result of twisting a word or even one letter. “Manifaktura”, “Ale mnie sushi”, “Cavablanca”, “Kop Ciuszek” – these are just a few examples. Many global brands were created based on associations, stereotypes or abbreviated forms of whole sentences. “Reebok”, a name stylised to be the word rhebok (a kind of antelope), “PUMA”, or a wild cat, were supposed to be associate with the lightness and comfort of movement. “LEGO”, or leg godt, means as much as ‘have fun’. You need to remember that whole companies, visual identification included, associations which weren’t stereotypical but human, “worked” for the recognisability of those brands. So if you aim at foreign markets, better solution will be a remake of an international word rather than that of a term from a specific language, though it’s not a rule.
Speaking of the devil, why “textLAB”?
The name “textLAB” can be interpreted in several ways, you can spot a few abbreviations there. The simplest one is a combination of “texts + lab”, or a laboratory in which texts are created. Another interpretation is a combination of three elements “text + style + lab”, or a laboratory where texts are created, with a particular emphasis put on their style. Which interpretation is better? I’ll leave it for the reader to decide. Personally, I like the third interpretation best, that is “textiles + lab”. It is associated with one literary theory, according to which every text is metaphorically compared to textiles. There is no content and there are no texts when there are no words, and changing one word frequently changes the meaning of the whole message. But that’s a story for another time.
 The name looks exactly the same as the future tense, first person singular form of the word srać which is a vulgar verb referring to the act of defecating on something [translator’s note].
 A possible translation could be e.g. “Manifacture”.
 Here the wordplay is focused on the similarity between the pronunciations of sushi and the Polish verb suszyć (‘to dry’). The literal translation of the sentence without the wordplay could be “It makes me so dry”. A possible English version of the wordplay could be e.g. “It’s so sushing”.
 The name of a second-hand clothing shop is actually almost the same as the Polish equivalent of Cinderella, but the word is divided here in order to emphasise “ciuszek” (a Polish diminutive word which refers to a rag, a garment, a piece of clothing). Possible English translations of that name could be e.g. “Clotheserella” or “Clotherella”.