Thursday, November 21, 2013

What’s in a name?

Did you know iconic fashion chain Zara was originally going to be called Zorba – but ran into difficulties because there was a bar in their local town with the same name. So they kept the Z and improvised.

Did you know Adolf founded Adidas? Adolf Dassler that is – and his nick name Adi provided the basis for the name.

3M – probably best known to you for the post its sitting on your desk right now was originally called the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company! Yup – I think 3M was probably a good choice and a great example of something morphing as a company’s focus changed.

At our real estate agency we get someone calling every day asking for “Allison” – it seems voice to text likes to change “Elephant property” to “Allison Property”. Ahh well – we also have fabulous name recognition because we chose to call our business something a little different to a standard.

Lego is a combination of Danish words to mean “play well” – brilliantly (and apparently coincidentally) it’s also Latin for “I put together”.

Facebook or “the facebook” as it was originally named after a book given out at American universities to help students get to know each other.

Ultimately, whatever business name you choose is important – of course. But far less important than what you do once you’ve made that first decision. Who’d have thought we’d all be buying books from a river (Amazon), or that a surname of the somewhat obscure founding brothers would sell more hamburgers than any other organization in the world (McDonalds) or that the world’s largest online auction house was a backup name (Ebay was originally EchoBay but morphed when the domain name couldn’t be registered).

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