Naming is my superpower

Mind over moniker

“I read in a book once that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, but I’ve never been able to believe it. I don’t believe a rose WOULD be as nice if it was called a thistle or a skunk cabbage.” ~ L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

What’s in a name? EVERYTHING.

Sorry, Romeo.

But it is true, a name counts — it sets the tone, it leads the way, it is the first impression and the thing that is (hopefully) remembered. Just think about superheroes. Their names are vital, right? What if the Hulk was just The Big Guy? Or if Iron Man was The Dude in the Cool Suit?

One of my superpowers, probably the most useful one, is naming things. I get jazzed when someone needs a name for their business, product, band, roller derby persona, new baby, anything. My next business will be a naming service — I will tell you all about it as soon as I come up with the perfect moniker.

Part of my naming propensity includes buying the domains. I admit it, I have a bit of a domain-buying obsession. I am a proud member of the GoDaddy Discount Domain Club. My library of domain names range from a slew of big data-related domains, to funny ones, to businesses I want to start someday. I have sold some, enough to justify the quantity I have bought. But mostly I like the magic that comes from naming something — it makes it real.

“There are few things more powerful than a name. A single phrase that somehow becomes a symbol for an entire existence.” ~ Lance Conrad, The Price of Creation

Naming tips

As you get started with naming your project, here are a few things to consider:

  • Is it trademark-able? Do you need it to be? Protecting your name is important, as it making sure someone else hasn’t already protected it. Being forced to rebrand a name is a nightmare.
  • Is the domain available?
  • Do you need/want a .com domain or is there another domain extension that is a better fit? Keep an eye on the new options for domain name endings. I was able to buy mom.media to add to our quiver at Mamalode (www.mamalode.com).
  • Is it memorable? This is the secret sauce … does it have enough oomph to stick?
  • Is it descriptive? Think Sprint.
  • Is it easy to spell? People really don’t like to feel stupid. If there is any question, buy the misspelled domains and set them to redirect to your primary domain.
  • Will your name be your logo? If the answer is yes, be careful to consider the shapes of the letters — think Coca-Cola or Facebook.

Now you enter the wondrous realm of my dreams where names and fonts and branding collide. I swoon.

For more naming tips, check out this Entrepreneur article and video:

“A name is a powerful thing. It sets one apart and gives significance.” ― Jessica Khoury, Origin

Here’s the thing: take your time to find the right name. Roll it around in your brain, then your tongue. Do you like to say it? Do people like to hear it? The right name is a key to opportunity and often to success. Try it out. And keep trying until you find it.

How will you know when you have found the right one? You will. It is like love. It is like Romeo. It is like a superpower. You will know it.

Elke Govertsen
Elke Govertsen is the founder and publisher of Mamalode Magazine, which BlogHer founder Lisa Stone called "America's BEST parenting magazine." Mamalode is the little magazine that could — it has grown from a regional print magazine into a national source for moms in print, online and national live events, such as Mother's Day Eve®. Fun fact: Elke could weld before she could drive. Her superpower is naming stuff.