guy kawasaki

6 resources for naming your brand

Photo by Natalie Maynor on Flickr Giving a name to your new company or product should be an important element of your overall brand strategy. Brand naming gets especially tricky when your strategy is to go into several markets at the same time.  Then you'd need to make sure that your new company name sounds equally good in China and Brazil, if you plan to go there, of course. I've addressed the complexity of such cases in my blog post Learn to Speak the Language of Your Brand.

Today, I want to share with you some of the resources that can come in handy while you are busy brainstorming a new brand name. Before you start, remember: don't book any URLs, twitter and facebook accounts before you've actually understood what your new brand will stand for. But if you feel you have sorted out the details of your brand strategy, then these resources can come in handy. Here's a collection of 6 online resources that can help you, and if you know more, please post a comment:

1) Guy Kawasaki's article The Name Game

2) An article published by OnStartups.com: 17 Mutable Suggestions for Naming a Startup

3) http://namechk.com/ This site allows you to see if your name is taken throughout social media. The list of social media outlets is pretty vast, and many that are mentioned here are not even used any more, so I wouldn't worry if your name is already taken in some of them.

4) http://www.namechecklist.com/ is a similar service, though it also allows you to see what domain names you can still register with your name.

5) http://www.bustaname.com/ This site allows you to check if your desired brand name is available. You can also play around with various name combinations: a good way to brainstorm the name and get some ideas you maybe didn't think of at the beginning.

6) http://www.dotcomroulette.com/ allows you to enter keywords, and based on them, it proposes a name for you. I've experimented and received quite obscure results, but perhaps you'll have some luck using this site.

Again, all of these should play a role when you are well into your brand strategy, and know a great deal about your product, competitors and customers. Hope this helps, and good luck naming your new brand!

Some lessons on schmoozing

This morning, a friend sent me a link to a blog post by Guy Kawasaki, The Art of Schmoozing, written in February 2006. That was the year when truly yours was involved in a schmoozing project on a large scale, as I was doing my MBA, putting an infinite amount of case studies and business principles in my head, and, importantly, making contacts with intelligent and fun people. MBA programs are famous for their schmoozing opportunities. And here you go, even though I didn't read The Art of Schmoozing back in 2006, somehow its main points managed to reach me magically, to the extent that the name of this blog, and respectively, my brand strategy consulting, is called SCHMOOZY FOX.

It's not a pure coincidence. When I came up with the name SCHMOOZY FOX, I of course fully realized the fact that I was good at schmoozing, and that I could share some of my talents by helping companies build businesses and brands in a schmoozy (=co-operating, building relationships, looking for win-win deals) way.

"Schmoozing" is a word you'd hear most if you live in the US, so perhaps that article by Guy Kawasaki will help my non-American readers understand this term if they are not familiar with it, and importantly, use the following principles listed in the original article to enhance their business (and personal) lives:

  • understand the goal
  • get out
  • ask good questions, then shut up
  • unveil your passions
  • read voraciously
  • follow up
  • make it easy to get in touch
  • give favors
  • ask for the return of favors

Also, this short video will give you a good perspective on schmoozing:

If you think that these principles are good only for individuals, you're mistaken. They are equally applicable to brands and businesses, especially those of the funky kind. It's only by being open to opportunities (“get out”), reaching out to your customers in an intelligent way (“ask good questions, then shut up”), loving the business you are building (“unveil your passions”) and respecting your suppliers and other business partners (“give favors” and “ask for the return of favors”) that you maximize your chances to build a funky brand!

Happy schmoozing!