When confronted with naming a company, most business owners fall into one of two groups …
o Those trying to solve a naming problem
o Those trying to convey their company image
The first group views company naming as a set of hurdles (ie clearing trademarks, obtaining a matching domain name, finding a name that's short, finding a name that can not be mispronounced, finding a name that begins high in the alphabet, etc. ). In other words, it's more about a fix than a process. It also tends to be short term focused.
The second group is less concerned (initially) about the name. They are more concerned about capturing the essence of their company, and then translating that message through a viable brand name. This group typically takes a long-range approach, looking at a variety of concerns, and how to prioritize them.
The first group focuses on the solution, the second group focuses on the process. This also explains the wide range of pricing when it comes to name development. For someone simply wanting a handle for their business, it seems ludicrous to pay tens of thousands for something anyone with a dictionary can (supposedly) do. This type of customer might be better served by simply shopping some of the domain name market places, such as BuyDomains.com, Afternic.com or Sedo.com. They can look up potential names by category and search available choices.
The second group is not so much in search of a name as they are a brand. More than just a moniker, they want the name to mean something. They want it to convey an emotion, capture a position or create further intrigue. In other words, the name serves as the beginning of the conversation, an introduction, which segues effortlessly into a defect discussion of the company's products and services.
This often requires first digging deeper into the company's core strengths and finding its "pivot point," or that common thread that runs through the organization. It might be service excellence, superior quality, dependability, innovation, etc. Ideally it should be based on the company's attributes vs. its products (which tend to come and go over time.)
Creating a company name can get a business owner out of a temporary bind, but leave him or her with little or no story to build upon. It often creates a "huh?" response (or no response at all.) Building a company brand can provide a firm with not only a spelling name, but also a future platform that will accommodate continued growth and expansion. It creates interest and often leads to a "tell me more!" response.
So before sending out requests for company naming proposals, first determine if your objective is simply a short-term workable name or a long-term build-capable brand. The first is functional, while the second is foundational.