What's In a Name? A lot

This StartupJournal article offers advice for naming a business:

"According to David Burd, president of The Naming Company in East Stroudsburg, Pa., it's common for new entrepreneurs to try to convey too much in their business names. 'A name is not an ad campaign,' he says. 'It allows you to write checks and do business. It's not the end-all, be-all of marketing.'

Instead, he says, your name should be memorable, simple and easy to pronounce. Start-ups should avoid long names such as Genevieve's Fishing and Tackle Supplies, which are difficult in some media, he adds. 'On the radio, she'd be saying, 'that's Genevieve, spelled, g-e-n-e-v-i-e-v-e-no apostrophe-s hyphen fishing hyphen tackle dot-com, let me repeat, that's...' '

When conjuring up a name for a new company or product, Mr. Burd and his team consider four types: descriptive, suggestive, arbitrary and fanciful. A descriptive name says just what it is (Beaded Jewelry Inc.). A suggestive name applies a quality or attribute of your product (say, Indonesian Jewelry, if all your beads were from Indonesia). An arbitrary name has no connection to what you are selling, along the lines of, say, Apple Computer Inc. A fanciful name is a made-up word: Xerox Corp., or Accenture Ltd. "

It should be noted as well that the four types of names are also ranked in order of the "strength" of a trademark. Not the value of the trademark, but its strength -- the potential for the holder of the mark to prevent others from using similar marks. The "strongest" marks in this sense are (in order) -- fanciful, arbitrary, suggestive, descriptive.