What Do You Call An 800 Lb. Gorilla?


Well of course, you call an 800 lb. gorilla whatever it wants to be called. That came to mind in thinking about companies and how they choose their names. The company name or its domain name should be one of the best selling tools the company has. It should command instant recognition and awareness.

If you’re big enough and have enough money you can choose whatever name for the company you wish. So you can think up a completely new word, like Xerox or Sony or Nike, and then massively promote it. That’s one way that our gorilla friend might choose.

Even then, there are names and there are names. PwC Consultants decided it would go for the name, Monday. Thankfully the name seems to have disappeared without trace when IBM acquired PwC. You can read more on that sorry tale in an SMM article on company and domain names. You’ll also read there about the launching of my favourite company name, Accenture. That was the choice of Anderson Consultants, who badly needed a new name. But to choose one that’s untypeable seems particularly eccentric. The only thing that can be said for that name is that it does come early in the alphabet.

Ideally, even if you’re a gorilla-sized company, you should choose a name that at least gives a hint of what you do. So names like Toys-R-Us, Second Cup or Chapters would seem to have the edge over names like FAO Schwarz, Starbucks or Amazon.

Of course if you have a more modest-sized company and want to use your cash and energy well, you’ll want to be selecting a company name that will really perform well for you. Someone hearing the name for the first time should instantly know what the company might do for them. Any thinking primate should find that a no-brainer decision.

Related: SWOT That Company Name

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