If there’s one question we love to answer at A Hundred Monkeys, it’s “what should I name my company?” Company naming is a creative challenge made all the more difficult by the fact that there are millions of other companies out there. The first few things you come up with are probably going to be taken. You might think that naming your new political consulting firm after the Greek goddess of victory sounds like a great idea, but I guarantee you, the cease and desist letter you’ll get from Nike will take a lot of the luster out of your excitement.

So you’re probably wondering, if the obvious ideas don’t work, then what should I name my company? As you start trying to think outside the box, here are three simple questions to ask about any potential company name.


1. Does it grab people’s attention?

As a baseline, you need to choose a company name that isn’t boring. Calling your hardware store “Bob’s Hardware” is accurate and descriptive, but it isn’t attention grabbing and it gives your potential customers no reason to remember you. Finding a name that expresses something about hardware while being interesting and memorable is a much better approach. In general, we think shorter, more forceful names get the point across best. If you can find a name that connects directly with the need you’re seeking to address for your customers, better yet.


2. Does it inspire curiosity?

The name is the start of the conversation, not the whole story. Your company name should always make people want to learn more about who you are and what you do. A name that draws people in but leaves them wondering what exactly it means is a good sweet spot to aim for. One of my personal favorite company names that we’ve developed at A Hundred Monkeys is Okta, the name for a Cloud identity management company. We got the name from the term pilots use to measure cloud cover. We love it, because it’s an intriguing name, and once you explore the meaning of the word, you suddenly realize why it is a perfect fit for what this company does.


3. Does it express a point of view and personality?

What should I name my company? I’ve underlined the word “my” for a very important reason. Whether you’re one person with a dream or a group sharing a vision, the humanity at the center of your business idea is what will make it connect with people and maintain the relationships your company needs to stay successful. Above all else, your company name should reflect what you, the individual (or the group of individuals), bring to this idea that sets you apart from someone else with a similar idea. Choose a company name that has personality and character and lets people know how you view the world.

If you are wondering “what should I name my company?” reach out to us at A Hundred Monkeys. Our comprehensive naming process factors in all of the variables – differentiation, url, trademark, search rank, etc – that go into choosing the perfect name.

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