Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Naming a company - need your input

I have to form a company.  This company will have multiple purposes:

  1. Publish my books and articles
  2. Sponsor/whatever my other random projects, like the hiring survey and national day of confession
  3. Serve as my "consulting company" for any consulting projects that I might take on
  4. Act as a super-resume for me, if/when/as I look for another regular job

With all of that in mind, I did lots of brainstorming and thinking about what type of brand I wanted this company to have.  At its root this is a "communication" company.  Research, listening, and telling stories.  I'm not a "marketing" communications company, though I can help with branding and such.  I'm a guy who helps you understand who you are, where you are going, and what you offer; and then helps you form a coherent story.  That may involve deep research and market analysis.  That might involve product planning (requirements gathering and feature design.)  It might involve user testing.  It might involve writing fictional stories featuring your company or product.  Also, I'm not the guy you call if you plan to fake-it-until-you-make-it.  I'm the guy you call when you want to get honest, and when you want to innovate.

With all of that basically decided, I took a clean piece of paper and tried to come up with a name.  The best I could do is "Be First Communications".  "Be First" has a double meaning.  You must be before you can do.  And you need to innovate.

Then I needed to get a domain name.  "befirst-communication.com" is available.  But it's long.  No shorter versions are available, unless I want to go to a .info or other unusual extension.  I'm really sick of typing out my whole name for this site and my email address.  Thehiringsurvey.com is also pretty long.  And I'm not excited about the exotic extensions.  So I decided to look for short domain names that I might could make a company name out of (like "Journyx", which is just a made up word.)

What do you think of:
Areon (.org)
Gwim (.org)
Birst (.org)

Aeron is the name of the fancy Herman Miller geek chairs that everyone loved ten years ago.  Birst.com is a software company, but I made "birst" from "Be First".  None of the rest of those words come up with any significant google hits.

Dirlis is apparently some people's real last name.  GWIM is an abbreviation for "Global Warming Impact Model" and "Global Wave Internet Marketing" (the latter of which is a marketing firm that exists at the .net site.)  Unshu is the name of a location in Japan, but it doesn't look like anything dirty.  Marasm is a Russian death metal rock band.  There is a Spanish text-only page talking about erotic subjects using the word 'zonasm', apparently in reference to erogenous zones--translating it to English is quite funny and well-nigh unreadable.

If I'm going to go with a brand new word then it needs to pass the spoken-spelling test.  After having to spell Journyx for the last 10+ years, I do not want to have to spell this over and over for the next 10 years.

I also realized that with a made-up name like this I can pivot and change the company in a year, if I want to.  That is hard to do with "befirst-communications.com".

So, what do you think?  Long domain name or made-up word?

If you like the made-up word, which one(s) do you like or not like?


  1. My first impression of most of those made-up words is something new agey or sci-fi. I don't read "communications expert" in any of them. I have heard that made-up words are the way to go for making a new brand, and that the word should conjure up an action or be able to be used as a verb (i.e., Google). What if you morph a common verb or two together? Or truncate your long domain into something like beco? I like birst, with the action, but you might always be spelling it for people. Miller is a pretty good name for merging with other words. You could also just use the initials of your company for the web domain (i.e., bn.com, jcp.com, m-w.com) and have it splash to the longer domain name. Just some rambling brainstorming.

  2. Hmm, not real sure about those choices. I do think if you're going to form a company with that diversity of purposes you need something to signify its scope--e.g., "___________ Enterprises, LLC" or "____________ Solutions, LLC." If you need some help on the legal side let me know.