Playing the Name Game

Playing the Name Game

Having just come back from a round of visits to East Coast universities with my high school son, Zack, I've got college on the brain. So when I saw this article about a college in my home state of Florida, it caught my eye. Apparently, there has been a bit of branding confusion regarding the University of South Florida. Since the school was founded, detractors have complained that the school wasn't really in South Florida. It's more mid-state. Gulf Coast University was a consideration and it actually is on the Gulf, so that's a plus. But while that name was being debated, a college in Ft. Myers nabbed it. I guess "you snooze, you lose" applies to academic institutions. So they settled on University of South Florida Tampa Bay. Seems like a lot to fit on a athletic uniform, but I guess Tampa Bay sounded sexier than just plain Tampa. Check out the article to learn more about their mascot-naming crisis. Not to trash my former home state, but this was the land of "hanging chads," after all.

So, what's so important about names? Plenty! From naming your child (studies show that kids with non-weird names are more accepted and do better in school than kids with highly original names) to naming your business, finding a name that is right for you requires some thought. When it comes to naming a website or business, consider the following:

  • Set up a brand expectation (just be sure you fulfill it) like CareerBuilder.com or Esurance
  • Think about how your name will sound aloud and look when written.
  • Make it concise and memorable
  • Do some research on Amazon.com or Google to see if your name is already widely in use. If so, you may want to switch.