Do a quick survey of the use of your potential new name in a survey.

Convince others that it’s a great name. Put it on potential marketing packaging. Know in your heart that you love the name.

Then still don’t use it.

What if your brand becomes a household name? What if consumers turn it into a verb? Or a noun? Or a part of everyday speech? Well, for one, you would count your blessings as it only happens to the largest and more recognized of companies.

Maybe it was funny in the boardroom. Your spouse might have told you that it was the best name ever. It’s even, sort of, available for trademark.

But do this hard and not-very-fun-at-all test: make fun of your name. Put it through the ringer. Pretend it’s a terrible act on stage in the smoky nightclub and you and your (drunk) friends are heckling it to pieces. Do that.

Did it survive?

Hey, how's your new TV?

Hey, how’s your new TV? It’s OK.

Let’s take the example in the photo attached. At best, the product, by definition of the word, is average. Sure, it’s not the bottom of the barrel. They didn’t call it “Not Very Good” television company.

“Hey, how’s your new TV?”

“It’s OK.”

“Oh, it’s not that great?”

“No, that’s the name, it’s OK.”


“Yeah, well.”

“But how is it?”

“It’s OK.”

Have this conversation with your team. Give it your best shot at tearing it down. In naming discussion meetings, we didn’t allow people to make fun of names because:

  1. It’s too easy.
  2. It’s too much fun.
  3. It’s unproductive (in creating new names).

But it does help you with the reality check of your new company and your new name. Here’s another one: ask someone you don’t like (and ideally who doesn’t like you back) to give you their completely biased opinion of the name. It’s going to hurt, but it’s going to pay off down the road.

Take this with a grain of salt as I named my company “Likoma” which is hard to pronounce, spell or figure out the meaning to. Aha, but it has a backstory.

Here’s hoping that our new TV is better than, ahem, just OK.