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Company or Product Naming: 7 Ways to Add Pizzazz to a Boring Business Name

You're starting a new company, launching a new product or trying to inject pizzazz into an existing company or product that seems way too boring and ordinary. Try these 7 techniques to shape the basic facts about your business into a name with energy and zing.

The examples we'll use to illustrate the techniques are a family restaurant run by a guy named Rob, which serves updated Italian favorites, and a business coach who helps webmasters add profitable sidelines to their business.

Technique #1: Alliteration. Repeated initial sounds or letters charge up a name with magnetic style.

* Rob's Ristorante

* Webmaster Wealth

Technique #2: Rhythm or Rhyme. Play around with syllables and sounds until you get something that's fun to say aloud. You can combine this with alliteration or use it on its own.

* Pizza, Pasta, Pesto

* Webmasters Earn Faster

Technique #3: Add a Number. Numbers often cast a spell of mystery and allure. Your number could be a street number, a price, an age, a goal or something related to a key ingredient or tool. And if you like a number for no particular reason, use it and then spin a story around it.

* Seven Cheeses Rob's

* Webmasters to the Ninth

Technique #4: Smoosh Words Together. Chop a syllable from one word and another from another word - or take the whole words, if they're short. Combine them in a single new word that comes across as fresh and cool. Tinker as needed.

* Pizzapesto

* WebEarning Central

Technique #5: Change the Spelling. Internet companies have been doing this profitably for years. Google came from "googol," which means the number 1 followed by 100 zeroes. Flickr dropped an "e." Digg added another "g." Or switch vowels around.

* Pizzopasto

* Webfaster Wealth

Technique #6: Change word order. This often adds a surprising amount of class.

* Ristorante Rob

* Coach Webfaster

Technique #7: Make it sound foreign. By looking up a couple of words in free English-to-Italian online dictionaries, we can come up with options we might not otherwise have thought up.

* Palazzo Roberti

* Webmaestros

Obviously, not every idea you generate with these techniques has the stuff of a million-dollar winner. That's why naming professionals brainstorm and tinker into creation dozens and sometimes hundreds of possibilities. Then they carefully eliminate those that have the wrong connotations, can't easily be pronounced, are already in use or have some other mortal flaw.

What's left may be the name that propels your business to Olympic heights.

Marcia Yudkin is Head Stork of Named At Last, a company that brainstorms creative business names, product names and tag lines for clients. For a systematic process of coming up with an appealing and effective name or tag line, download a free copy of "19 Steps to the Perfect Company Name, Product Name or Tag Line" at www.namedatlast.com/19steps.htm

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