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VOOOZER or VOOZER? Naming a company is not easy. In addition to being a challenge, naming something or someone is often an art. Creativity, originality, clarity, budget, sound and empathy are just some of the factors that can be taken into account in the process of creating a name for a company, a brand, a product or a service.
I like to write more about my own experiences. So, I’ll tell you what it was like to me to name VOOOZER. I hope my tips are also useful for you in the process of naming something.
After all, what should you take into account when naming companies and products and why are we called VOOOZER and not VOOZER? Follow and understand.
Naming for whom?
The first name was not a complex task. To give hopes to our dream and to have an inspiring North, Mateus (my partner) and I knew that a temporary name would be enough. After all, we just needed a name to use internally and to facilitate our communication. In one of the first conversations, ‘Daplay’ emerged (allusion to ‘giving play’, that is, pressing play and listening to an article online). We could already communicate more easily, deposit our emotions in something of our own and get on with our project.
In the process of creating a name for a company, product or service, you should ask yourself ‘who is that name for?’. Who will use that name? Who will pronounce it? We, VOOOZER, were born with a thirst to reach the whole world. So, we are inspired by brands like Sony, whose pronunciation is not so affected in different languages.
We were also very concerned with the image and feeling we wanted to convey. Because our services are innovative, we wanted a modern name that referred to technology.
In summary: pay attention to the audience that will consume, pronounce and write the name in question. Don’t put aside the message or feeling you want to convey. Think of details like: ease of pronunciation, ease of writing, similarity with other brands, similarity to words that already exist and the sound. There are names that are just nice to say out loud or to hear. There are also those who simply resemble a specific feeling.
Why naming? VOOOZER or VOOZER?
When I invited Mateus to be my partner in VOOOZER, there was no VOOOZER. It was ‘a project’, an idea’, ‘ a startup’ or ‘an audio platform’. Just like a baby who doesn’t even have a nickname before they have a name, with our baby, VOOOZER, it was no different.
As I said, the need to give a name had obvious reasons, such as facilitating communication and practicality, but anxiety was also taking its toll. After all, VOOOZER is a milestone in both of our lives – Mateus’s and mine. With any name, an identity is born, an empty drawer ready to be filled with memories, emotions and sensations.
We knew that, inevitably, we would tie different emotions and memories to the name of our company. We realized that the same would happen with our future users, customers and the general public. Naming is for that. It’s to sum up everything you know and feel about something.
And it’s not just for that. There are very different scenarios. Will the company be a product, like Tinder which is an application? Will the company have several products, such as Apple? Will the company have an umbrella of similar services, such as Uber? And how will your customer acquisition be? How will people know that your brand exists?
We knew that a lot of people would be exposed to our brand on the internet. So, we worried about how people would pronounce our name in their minds or in conversations without ever having heard anyone speak our name before. We thought about it a lot when we considered the name ‘VOOZER’.
– Have you seen this Vozer?
– Vozer? I thought it was Vuser.
– Is it VOOOZER or VOOZER?
We wanted our name to be the name for everything. Our website, product, platform and player. Imagine how much we hit our heads until we were satisfied with the final result.
Make a list of all possible contexts in which the name will be used. In a conversation, how would people who never heard your brand name out loud say it? Would anyone be afraid to pronounce it wrong? Will people search for your company name on the internet? Will your awareness campaign be mainly in audio, video or text? Will the name also be the internet domain? Do you intend to have several different products or services? How do you imagine it will be people’s first contact with the name?
Naming our dream is exciting and many possible names seem attractive. So it was really difficult to come up with a name that accommodated all (or most) of the deciding factors. Especially because, for us, it would not help if a name was easy to speak but very difficult to write or spell.
The deciding factors that I have listed are objective issues that, in general, are not in our control. They can be strong deterrents in choosing a name.
Below, I list factors that may end up vetoing the possibility of a company name. It all depends on how decisive this factor is for your company or project.
Online presence of the name
Is there a domain available on the internet for the name? Whether .com, .co or dot whatever you think is appropriate.
Type in the proposed name and its variations in a search engine like Google. What are the first results? Are there any possible competitors? Are there almost no results? Are there results from websites related to your market?
Ease of writing
If a person tells a friend about your company, will that friend know how to spell your company name correctly? If spelling is necessary, is it quick and easy? If the person searches for the misspelled name on the internet, what are the results?
Before you even speak to a lawyer, search the internet if there is already a company or product using the name you want to use for your project. Especially if your project is totally digital, connected to technology or requires a really strong online presence, remember to search for possible names in the main search engines, in app stores, on YouTube and on the main social networks.
Check with a lawyer or professional in the area the best way to find out if a company or product already exists using the name you want to use. Search the internet, including websites in other countries. Remember to assess, with professionals in the field, the need for you to register the name of your company or brand.
If you hire someone or a company to create the name of your business or brand, pay attention to the service you have hired, such as terms of service, payment terms and what is included in the contract: consultancy, research, logo design, brand identity manual for and possible registration with the appropriate agencies or if only the name. Better safe than sorry.
Do it yourself
If you choose to create the name yourself, with your partner or some of your staff, pay attention to objective criteria. Do not let the discussions fall too much on the question of ‘a matter of taste’. As much as I think this statement is valid, the name of a company or a brand has all the conditions to have a solid base that supports it, far beyond the matter of taste. Estimate the effort required and the demand for hours of work and evaluate accordingly, because doing it yourself does not mean it will be free. Your time and energy are worth money, just as your team’s.
There is a wide market, national and international, for the purchase and sale of internet domains. It is quite possible that no company has registered a name you created, but someone has already purchased the .com or some other domains for the name you want to use. In my daily life, I see many blogs that have opted for a .co domain, because the other equivalent ones already had an owner. It is important to differentiate between cases where someone else actually uses the domain you wanted to buy, or a similar domain, from cases where a person or company has already purchased that domain and does not use it and is just trying to sell it.
Naming is not a simple thing to do and, at the same time, it doesn’t have to be a matter of taste. You can have enough basis in the decision, use objective criteria and questions to help you come up with an ideal name for your project.
Our dear VOOOZER, for example, could have been called Daplay, VOOZER, Voicer, ListenUp, ListenApp or Narr. But, as we had a few weeks to make the final decision, we took the time to give it time, to consult family members, people in the industry and friends. There were times that we spent a few days more strongly tending to a certain option, to see if we got used to it and what we felt like, because I strongly believe that names and emotions go together.
Finally, we were very happy and satisfied with ‘VOOZER’. It was then that some decisive factors made us choose VOOOZER. It turns out that there was already a company in Spain that had used ‘VOOZER’ in the past and even had a Facebook page – it was abandoned, but it was there.
Other than that, when we went to buy ‘voozer.com’ or other suitable domains, they were all listed for more than US$ 200 or were already in the hands of people who bought them with the sole intention of selling them at even more expensive prices. As limitation is the mother of creativity, we started seeing how we felt with the option with 3 ‘Os’ and fell in love with ‘VOOOZER’.
One thing led to another, our family members, market professional and friends liked it, the .com domain was at the standard listing price (which is usually very affordable) and there was practically no mention on the internet, YouTube, social networks or app stores to the term ‘VOOOZER’.
You know what? I think we were lucky. Our logo with 3 ‘Os’ is amazing, in my opinion, of course, and I think it gave a touch of originality and daring. In addition, when asked about our brand, we always answer ‘you know, the letter “o” was on sale, so we bought 3 at once’.
I hope that our experience and this article will help you in your challenge of naming a company, brand, product, project, service, blog or whatever.
If you have any questions, want to agree, disagree, add something or share your experience, leave a comment. It will be a pleasure to help you and learn from your experience.