Give It A Name

Naming your company is a bit like giving birth (with apologies to mothers everywhere).

Doing it right is HARD.

I can still remember being wildly disappointed when we didn’t create a breakthrough name for my first company while spending four hours of idea-mapping with an industry legend.

A few days later, the right name bubbled up from the work we did that day. It transformed our launch and our brand.

Magical thinking doesn’t happen in a vacuum. The jolt of creativity that results in the perfect name is grounded in good old-fashioned research and strategic work on your brand.

The best names—whether it’s your firm or your tagline—spring from a clearly articulated brief about what makes your firm unique in its market space.

What’s your big idea? Whom do you serve? How do you serve them? What are your values and non-negotiables? And perhaps most importantly, what’s your story? How did you come to be here, doing this, right now? And how does your story serve your audience?

Until you can make that arc crystal clear and compellingly simple, you’ll never fully capture your “special sauce” no matter how much creative you throw at it.

But let’s say you’ve got clarity. You’ve got compelling. You even have creative.

You still need one more thing: courage

Because even though coining game-changing names is collaborative, choosing the final winner is not.

I guarantee that if you’re pushing the envelope, someone in your immediate circle ain’t gonna like it. They’ll plead with you to water it down. Resist.

Put your baby out there, knowing it’s beautiful.

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  • Great post Rochelle, especially the idea of not being pushed back by others.

  • Oh how I remember those many days semi brain storming searching for that magical name that did not appear to one night when I was sleeping and there was this knock on my brain telling me to consider what is now Rainmaker. Then came the objections to my brain drain group. But I persevered and am happy I did.

  • Rochelle

    The objections are what make this so hard! People in our lives–even the most well-meaning–can’t always see what we see. While listening to opposing views makes sense, we often regret being guided by anything other than our own knowing…

  • Since the brand remains me I remain reluctant to use anything but my name. The possibility of two good friends joining me following their “retirement” form state positions renews the discussion. I have for some 13 months owned three URLs that I like and cover the essence of what I do (for the URL remove the space and add “.com”):
    Government and Public Affairs Counsel (points to my bio page)
    Strategic Political Counsel (points to my services page)
    Strategic Public Policy Solutions (I wanted Strategic Public Policy but there seemed to be a squatter as later as when I renewed all three just barely more than a month ago– however…***)(points to my “projects” page.

    ***So I decided as I drafted this “Reply” to check on its status. I found it available (I guess Happy Birthday to me.) and snapped it up. I will point it to my website (homepage) in the interim (yes I know people say google does not like that but my prospects already know me so search rankings involve keeping things I prefer people to see about me on the famous page one.

    I am looking forward to when takes hold (forwarding not yet showing as it takes some time) and then the other re-thinking evolves.


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