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What’s in a name? Quite a bit, say start-ups

What’s in a name? Quite a bit, say start-ups

BY RAJESH KURUP/ PRIYANKA PANI • PUBLISHED 11th April, 2016

What’s in a name?

In the fast and frenzied world of start-ups, where resounding failures are an accepted norm, the right name could be the first step of a long and arduous journey with varied results.

What’s in a name? Quite a bit, say start-ups

Entrepreneurs want names that are easy to pronounce and spell, have a quick recall, explain the firm’s business, and make an immediate connect with consumers.

Much time and energy goes into looking for interesting names. ‘Fancy’ names that don’t really mean much are often chosen since they create interest. For example, Jabong, Myntra, Flipkart, Koovs, etc don’t have any meaning per se, but are among the most successful e-commerce companies.

Business model

A marketplace for services, UrbanClap’s name reveals its business model: two hands (service providers and customers) are needed to clap.

The company aims to bring together on its platform service providers (from yoga instructors to party planners among others) and urban customers.

“My suggestion to them (founders) is to select the simplest name possible,” said UrbanClap co-founder Abhiraj Bhal, who is often consulted by start-ups.

Similarly, the name of online career destination platform Sheroes.in is a coinage of ‘she’ and ‘heroes’, while readymade modular kitchens firm Modspace.in gets its name from modern, modular and space.

Likewise, Bengaluru-based resources aggregator Onetimejobs.com hopes a user ‘taking its services once will walk away a satisfied customer’.

Easyfix.in, a maintenance and repair services company, is rather obvious, too.

According to Albinder Dhindsa, co-founder of hyper-local firm Grofers.com, a ‘gopher’ is a common term for an errand boy in North America, which is where Saurabh Kumar (other co-founder) and he met.

“We began with delivery of groceries and pharmacy and ‘gopher + grocer’ eventually became Grofers. Think groceries, think Grofers,” Dhindsa said, adding that eventually an innovative business model or product differentiation — and not a fancy name — leads to traffic.

Aasaanjobs.com, a recruitment portal for grey collar workers, signifies the ease with which a candidate can hope to get a better job. Aasaan in Hindi means easy.

Recall value

“The thought essentially was to have a name with an easy recall value and, of course, we didn’t want any flashy names. If our target audience does not understand what we do, then we will not succeed,” said Siddharth Gupta, Vice-President, Marketing, Aasaanjobs.com.

The name of Timesaverz.com, an online platform for household chores (such as home maintenance, repairs, laundry and beauty services), indicates it is a “time saver”.

“I don’t know whether any other name would have done this wonder. We are doing well as of now and have grown from being in just two Mumbai suburbs to seven cities in three years,” said Timesaverz co-founder and CEO Debadutta Upadhyaya.

But aren’t companies such as Apple, Virgin Atlantic and Google successful with names that hardly mirror their businesses?

“Beyond a point, names don’t matter,” said UrbanClap’s Bhal

“The success lies in the value proposition and the business model. But I think the right name is the first stepping stone to success,” Timesaverz’s Upadhyaya said.

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