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Taking Names

It amazes me how businesses title themselves. There seem to be differing points of view on what constitutes a good name.

Today I saw an advertisement for Bionic Bagels. While the sci-fi fan in me smiles at that, the reality is that the name doesn’t make much a sense. Another wacky business near my home is Eat My Chicken. With names that make you snicker, I suppose the strategy is that amusement will imbue the name with sticking power. This is a similar strategy to having a witty or pun-filled name. But I prefer the wit of Breaking Balls pool hall to the awkward implication of cybernetic baked goods.

Other companies go with cool and techie names. This is especially true on the internet. It overflows with Vimeos and Orkuts. But does inventing a word really give a name distinction? I have forgotten many of these nonsense words. A similar tactic is to spell a word in new ways, making it more hi-tech: Kyte or Flickr, for example. I find this more digestible and much less ridiculous than the Plaxos of the world.

It seems to me the best company names are those that go with simplicity: Apple. Yahoo. Short words that actually mean something. These one word names are elegant and lasting. And the companies give these words more meaning, making them their own.

What do you think about company names? Which do you feel are most effective?

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