By Ken Schachter
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Several Long Island entrepreneurs explain how they came up with memorable names for their companies.
What’s in a name? For businesses across Long Island, building brand recognition and more.
Entrepreneurs are embracing names that cut through the clutter of an always-on digital world and speak directly to consumers.
They try to convey memorable quirkiness — and tongue-in-cheek humor. Jiffy Junk is a West Babylon junk-removal company; Fat Guy Media is an online marketing firm in Mineola; and Scoopy Doo Ltd. is a Locust Valley remover of unwanted deposits from canines and geese.
Jim Coniglione, owner of Scoopy Doo, said the company’s name functions as a marketing tool.
“It’s definitely name recognition,” he said. “They see the trucks all over, and that name sticks in their head.”
Long Island’s entrepreneurs are following a national trend.
Gone are the days when the biggest companies in the nation had names like General Motors, International Business Machines, Standard Oil or United States Steel.
These days the most valuable companies on the planet have names like Apple, Amazon and Alphabet (the parent of Google).
Among newer companies, Snap, Square and Slack each has a market capitalization or private company valuation of more than $1 billion.
Branding experts and founders of some of the region’s businesses say emotional resonance counts in the new name game.
“We’ve moved away from the cold, corporate-sounding names,” said Steve Manning, founder of Igor, a Sausalito, California, branding agency that came up with names for the truTV network and the gogo inflight Wi-Fi service.
In the past, there was an effort to “sound global, large and important,” he said. But these days, “we’re talking about meanings and associations” that speak directly to the consumer.
One noteworthy Long Island rebranding campaign came in January 2016, when the North Shore-LIJ Health System — the largest private employer in New York State — was rebranded as Northwell Health, a name the New Hyde Park not-for-profit said pays homage its past (“north”) while pointing to the goal of wellness instead of simply treating illnesses.