37 Words that Should NOT be in Your Company Name

Hello! My name is Bob Johnson.
I’m the owner of a company called ACX Advertising Advisors Unlimited.

Greetings! My name is Sharon Smith.
I’m here with Super Creative Communications Corporation International.

Good morning! My name is Randall Stevens.
I represent Industrial Graphic Management Solutions and Investments Company.

Howdy! My name is Janet Bishop.
I’m the CEO of Premiere Branding, Marketing, Advertising Communications and Investments.


No, no, no, NO!

Your company name sucks.

In fact, if your company name includes any of the following words, you’re in trouble:

1. Advertising
2. Advisors
3. Associates
4. Branding
5. Communications
6. Company
7. Consultants
8. Consulting
9. Corp
10. Corporation
11. Creative
12. Deluxe
13. Enron
14. Enterprises
15. Graphics
16. Industries
17. International
18. Investments
19. Kwik
20. Management
21. Marketing
22. Materials
23. Partners
24. Premiere
25. Presentations
26. Products
27. Promotion
28. Services
29. Shop
30. Solutions
31. Store
32. Super
33. Systems
34. Tech
35. Technologies
36. Ultimate
37. Unlimited
38. (Or, ANY acronym whatsoever. With the exception of IBM.)

See, here’s the problem.

If your company name contains words like these, it sends the following messages to the world:

1. You’re LAZY. You don’t care enough about your company to take the time, effort and money to do it right. Nice pride.

2. You’re AMATEUR. You clearly don’t understand the value of remarkability or crafting an identity for your organization. Read “Purple Cow” for God’s sake!

3. You’re UNORIGINAL. You created a generic company name. Which probably means you’re a generic company. With generic employees. Who produce generic products and deliver generic service. Which is a problem, since most people don’t want to pay for average.

4. You’re UNCREATIVE. And that’s going to trickle down into every other entity of your business. That can’t be good.

5. You’re UNPROFESSIONAL. And customers are going to take you less seriously. Which means they will buy less. (Also not good.)

Of course, that’s just the perception.

Doesn’t make it true.
Doesn’t mean you’re a bad person.
Or a bad company.

However, perception is __________.


SO, THIS BRINGS UP THE QUESTION: When was the last time you hired someone who (you perceived as being) lazy, amateur, unoriginal, uncreative and unprofessional?

Yeah. Didn’t think so.

Interestingly, the Great Place to Work Institute and Fortune Magazine recently named America’s Top 100 Employers to Work For in 2008.

Take a look at this list. What language trends do you notice?

1. Google
2. Quicken Loans
3. Wegman’s Food Markets
4. Edward Jones
5. Genentech
6. Cisco Systems
7. Starbucks
8. Qualcomm
9. Goldman Sachs
10. Methodist Hospital System
11. Boston Consulting Group
12. Nugget Market
13. Umpqua Bank
14. Network Appliance
15. W. L. Gore & Associates
16. Whole Foods Market
17. David Weekley Homes
18. OhioHealth
19. Arnold & Porter
20. Container Store
21. Principal Financial Group
22. American Century Investments
23. JM Family Enterprises
24. American Fidelity Assurance
25. Shared Technologies
26. Stew Leonard’s
27. SC Johnson & Son
28. QuikTrip
29. SAS Institute
30. Aflac
31. Alston & Bird
32. Rackspace Managed Hosting
33. Station Casinos
34. Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI)
35. TDIndustries
36. Nordstrom
37. Johnson Financial Group
38. Kimley-Horn and Associates
39. Robert W. Baird
40. Adobe Systems
41. Bingham McCutchen
43. Intuit
44. Plante & Moran
45. Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
46. CarMax
47. J. M. Smucker Company
48. Devon Energy Corporation
49. Griffin Hospital
50. Camden Property Trust
51. Paychex
52. FactSet Research Systems
53. VSP-Vision Care
55. Perkins Coie
56. Scripps Health
57. Ernst & Young
58. Scottrade
59. Mayo Clinic
60. Alcon Laboratories
61. Chesapeake Energy Corporation
62. American Express
63. King’s Daughters Medical Center
64. EOG Resources
65. Russell Investment Group
66. Nixon Peabody
67. Valero Energy
68. EBay
69. General Mills
70. Mattel
71. KPMG
72. Marriott International
73. David Evans and Associates
74. Granite Construction
75. Southern Ohio Medical Center
76. Arkansas Children’s Hospital
77. PCL Construction
78. Navy Federal Credit Union
79. National Instruments
80. Healthways
81. Booz Allen Hamilton
82. Nike
83. AstraZeneca
84. Stanley
85. Lehigh Valley Hospital and Health Network
86. Microsoft
87. Yahoo!
88. Four Seasons Hotels
89. Bright Horizons Family Solutions
90. PricewaterhouseCoopers
91. Publix Super Markets
92. Milliken
93. Erickson Retirement Communities
94. Baptist Health South Florida
95. Deloitte & Touche USA
96. Herman Miller
97. FedEx
98. Sherwin-Williams
99. SRA International
100. Texas Instruments

– – –

I know, I know. I counted too 🙂

Associates – 3
Company – 1
Enterprises – 1
Group – 4
International – 2
Investments – 2
Markets – 4
Store – 1
Systems – 4
Technologies – 1

So, FINE. There will always be exceptions.

But, see, those few companies can get away with it.

Because they were the FIRST company to use that word.
Because they’ve been around a LONG time.
Because make BILLIONS of dollars.

YOUR company, on the other hand, doesn’t.

You’re not Adobe Systems. Or The Boston Consulting Group. Or The Container Store.

You’re YOU.

Which is good! You wouldn’t want to be anyone else.

THE CHALLENGE IS: You need to dig deep and discover the remarkability that lay within.

Oh yeah. It’s there.

Waiting for you.

Crying out, “Use me! Use me! I’m cool! I can help grow your business!”

And you need to listen.

Because you DON’T want a generic company name.

See, generic names = generic products.
And generic products = generic value.
And generic value = generic service.
And generic service = generic BUSINESS.

And generic businesses … rarely STAY in business.

Does your company name suck?

For the list called, “74 Qualifying Questions to Test the Net Worth of Your Company Tagline,” send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Starting your company? Naming your company? Renaming your company?

Holler at me.

Rent Scott’s Brain today!

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