Which is the best naming strategy scenario to follow for our startup?


a colleagues and I are trying to find the most appropriate name for our startup, is about software consulting for small companies. We already have established a small company that we deal with web development and graphics and we are planning to start another one in a relevant field.

The specs we want to include are:

  1. A serious name software consulting
  2. This new company may act as an umbrella in the future

After our research and domain availability we conclude at (e.g. spanish) :

  1. The Spanish Group www.thespanishgroup.com
  2. Spanish Firm www.spanishfirm.com

The first one acts perfectly as an umbrella for the future, but is it good to act as a consulting firm too? Also the "the" bothers us in the domain, I don't know if this is only our point of you.

The second acts perfectly as a consulting firm and I guess it acts as an umbrella too. The only drawback is that it seems the first one sounds better in my ears.

The third scenario is to establish the first one as an umbrella and have a "doing business as" for the second option as a consulting firm and any other company below. What is the best way to follow to choose between them?

Thank you for your time.

Strategy Branding Naming

asked Feb 8 '13 at 23:25
125 points
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3 Answers


One naming strategy is to consider available protection of your business name. According to the Patent and Trademark Office, there are three types of names: (1) descriptive; (2) suggestive (better); and (3) arbitrary or fanciful (best).

"With regard to trademark significance, matter may be categorized along a continuum, ranging from marks that are highly distinctive to matter that is a generic name for the goods or services ...

At one extreme are marks that, when used in relation to the goods or services, are completely arbitrary or fanciful. Next on the continuum are suggestive marks, followed by merely descriptive matter. Finally, generic terms for the goods or services are at the opposite end of the continuum from arbitrary or fanciful marks...

Fanciful, arbitrary, and suggestive marks, often referred to as 'inherently distinctive' marks, are registrable on the Principal Register without proof of acquired distinctiveness.

Marks that are merely descriptive of the goods or services may not be registered on the Principal Register absent a showing of acquired distinctiveness"

http://tmep.uspto.gov/RDMS/detail/manual/TMEP/Oct2012/d1e2.xml#/manual/TMEP/Oct2012/TMEP-1200d1e6980.xml You can search existing trademarks here:
http://tess2.uspto.gov/bin/gate.exe?f=searchss&state=4004:5zkpq.1.1 Although these are certainly not the only considerations in selecting a name, between the options you list, these considerations might suggest the first.

answered Feb 9 '13 at 00:17
826 points


I'm finding the 'spanish' part of this example term somewhat disorienting. I assume the actual term is somehow relevant to what you do? So it is a word like 'consulting' or 'software'?

In any event, spanishfirm.com seems terrible to me. thespanishgroup.com at least sounds professional, like a real business.

Having 'the' is not ideal, but many domain names are not available, so you've got to make do. But there's going to be an issue if 'spanishgroup.com' in use. If they are doing anything remotely similar, then you are going to have potential infringement problems. Even if they aren't doing something similar, you can expect some of your traffic to land there because people will forget about the 'the'. That means you've really got to work the branding and make the 'the' pop in your logo and elsewhere.

Unless you are really on the cusp of launch, I would tend not to worry too much about the future. Your primary mission right now should be the success of today's business. Pick the name that is going to give that business the highest possible chance of success. Obviously, if you can cover both options well now, then go for that.

I would also seriously consider purchasing a higher quality name(s), if it is for sale. Limiting yourself only to names available to hand register is possibly cheaper, but may be too much of a compromise in terms of name relevance and brandability.

answered Feb 9 '13 at 14:35
339 points
  • Thank you for your answer. I think i found a proper domain and name for the startup containing the "consulting" keyword in it. – Nikolai 9 years ago


I found this article and this might really what you are looking for...

http://nathanbarry.com/naming-your-product/ and this search tool:

http://www.leandomainsearch.com/ really handy tool

it is always +1 point when you use a search keyword on your domain name. IMHO domain name is important but not so much...

just go ahead with name that you feel comfortable and focus on the services you are providing.

answered Feb 9 '13 at 22:31
103 points
  • Thank you for your answer. I think i found a proper domain and name for the startup containing the "consulting" keyword in it. – Nikolai 9 years ago

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