Welcome to the archives for NewsTalk, an IBJ blog published from November 2007 through December 2010.

The latest fads in business names

July 17, 2009
Nobody familiar with the intricacies of naming a business thinks the process is easy. Not if the messages words send to potential customers are grasped.

So itâ??s easy to understand why the Indianapolis area is filling up with companies one way or another dubbed â??group,â?? â??systemsâ?? or â??solutions.â??

The names originally sounded cool and often actually meant something. â??Groupâ?? implied more than a one-person shop. â??Systemsâ?? suggested computing or the ability to integrate. â??Solutionsâ?? could mean just about anything.

But the three terms â?? and there may be more â?? have largely lost their meaning, says Jim Walton, who runs an Indianapolis marketing firm called Brand Acceleration.

â??Itâ??s another buzz. Itâ??s another fad that will pass,â?? Walton says. â??When there are so many of them the word becomes meaningless or it becomes diluted, then five years or ten years down the road, those people start thinking about what theyâ??re going to do next.â??

The best names precisely communicate what the company does, he says. Sanders Precast Concrete Systems in Whitestown is a favorite of Waltonâ??s. (OK, maybe sans â??systems.â??)

Nobody should name a company after himself or herself unless the owner is extremely well known for a certain product or service, Walton says. Gates Foundation is fine. Otherwise, itâ??s lazy or egotistical.

How do you feel about popular names, particularly if your company is a â??group,â?? â??systemsâ?? or â??solutions?â?? Have the terms lost their meanings?

Can you add to the list? Or finger the next fad before it happens, the still-obscure word that will be too easy to latch onto?
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