Idea Exploration — Startup Naming Guide
Week 33 of Founding Typogram
Recently, I wrote about how we came up with our brand name Typogram and some advice (dont’s on naming a startup. I got a lot of positive feedback on these two articles, and that got me thinking — maybe I should expand them into a naming guide and app!
My co-founder and I are working on a mission to create high-quality content to improve our SEO for Typogram. My first project at Adobe was to work on an interactive Typography lesson called Caring about OpenType Features. We put a lot of design and engineering effort into that blog post, making every example interactive. Creating high-quality content worthy of being referenced or mentioned on other websites can be very time-consuming but rewarding in terms of SEO.
My co-founder Hua is creating a Typography glossary index with interactive examples, which is building upon her excellent previous work on “Typography Jargon Buster” in our other Newsletter FontDiscovery. I thought I could create a helpful guide about naming a startup.
The name is as important as the logo and branding for a startup. It is the first thing founders need to work on. And name sticks — it is harder to change than logos. I haven’t found many resources to help startup founders brainstorm a suitable name, but I know some elite brand design studios do offer naming workshops as part of their service. We at Typogram created a DIY workshop kit for finding your brand personalities; maybe we can create a unique workshop with a framwork to help founders and their team brainstorm a great brand name!
I then switched to research mode. My first step in tackling this is to study startup naming trends and find some naming patterns from existing successful startup brands.
I looked into Crunchbase and searched for companies that were founded between 2017 and 2022.
When I started to tag the startup names with naming patterns that I found, I noticed many names sounded foreign to me. I don’t know if these names are made of an existing word and an invented word. Lacking the proper context, I decided to grab a new set of data that is filtered by countries and limit it to the United States, UK, and Australia to filter out non-English names. This will add bias to my study, but I think my inability to understand other languages will taint the tagging data I am able to produce anyway.
My plan for the project is to:
Go through each name and tag them with its “name pattern”
Come up with a framework for naming; the framework includes various naming patterns for brainstorming and scoring rubric that measures each brainstorming results and picks the final name
Write an exhaustive naming guide and post on Typogram Blog
Make a web app for naming workshops that incorporate the framework, ideally, the app can automatically search for available domain options for each name candidates
As a founder, would you find this helpful? What do you wish to be included in a startup naming framework?
See you next week! If you have friends who are interested in founding startups, please consider sharing my newsletter with them!