Picking Names for Puppies or Professional Service Firms

Recently, my husband (Greg) and I adopted two adorable female, Beagle-mix puppies from the Dade City Animal Shelter. We were so excited and started taking them with us everywhere to introduce them to our friends and family.  After being introduced, our friends and family would coo and then ask for their names.  Ugh.  Unfortunately, Greg and I couldn’t really settle on names right away.  The desire to become parents to these adorable creatures was very strong, but then the fear of making sure that we found the perfect name for each of them presented an even greater challenge.  At first, nothing felt right.  Maybe you’ve experienced the same challenge while trying to name your company?  In this post, I’m going to talk about the naming process we used and how to make sure you create a company name and brand that you will love for years to come.  You may want to keep a notebook handy so you can jot down some ideas as you work through a few questions.
What Do You Want for Your Company?
Greg and I knew that we wanted to become fur-baby parents.  So we started doing a lot of research online on breeds and we gave a lot of thought to the people that we would be interacting within our house.  A lot of friends and family have young children and we wanted a dog that would be good with children and could be socialized with children at a young age.  When you think about your company, what do you want for your company?  What kinds of clients do you want to work with?  What kinds of projects do you want to work on?  What kinds of dangers may face your company?  How are you going to address these challenges?  This is part of your brand vision and this will work in conjunction with the name you create.
What’s Your Story and How Did You Get Here?
All great names have a story.  When Greg and I started taking our puppies out and about, people wanted to know how these beautiful puppies came to be in our possession.  So we’d talk about how we found them online and the Dade City Animal Shelter representative came to our house for a home visit, and these two didn’t leave.  What’s the story of your company?  How did you get to this point?  Was there an inciting action or a crisis point that precipitated the leap?  These moments make for good parts of your story.  Jot down your story because sometimes elements of the story can inspire a good name.
How Will You Do What You Do? 
When the representative from the animal shelter came to our house, she handed me a white and grey puppy that immediately stuck her head out like a little goose.  That same trait seemed to carry throughout a lot of the things she did.  She would “stick her neck” out so to speak when it came to new adventures or meeting new dogs.  The other puppy had a very different vibe, she seemed to more reckless and more focused on fun and treachery.   So what is the “way” of your company?  How do you do what you do? You want your firm to be different than how other firms operate otherwise you wouldn’t have started a business. Describe the way you do business.  As you describe this, talk about how you want your business to operate differently from your competitors.  Your company name can help capture this difference.
How Big Will Your Company Get?
When Greg and I adopted our puppies, we weren’t sure how big they would get due to the “mix” part of their makeup.  So we started planning for 20lb to 50 lb dogs.  We bought a kennel and bowls that our two puppies could grow into.  When you think of the growth of your company, what do you envision?  Do you see a company that grows from one to nine and then you have a quick exit?  Do you see a company that grows to 200 and then becomes an institution?  When you’re thinking of a name, you want a name that will grow with your firm.
Putting It All Together
After spending a few days with the puppies and getting to know them, the name for each puppy began to settle in.  We settled on Goose (the blue eyes) and Harley (the brown eyes).  When starting a company, picking the right name can be a huge challenge.  Large product companies will usually hire established marketing companies to do intensive research in order to pick the right name.  The bad part is, when most professional service firms start out, they usually don’t have a lot of money to spend on a marketing firm.  So if you have a limited budget, asking yourself a few questions can help you create a great name for your professional services firm.  Want more help creating a name or brand strategy for your firm? Contact us.