For companies, schools, nonprofits, student organizations, religious gatherings and so on, there are two types of names:

  1. A name. Simple, right?

Things like Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, Baylor Science Building, University of Southern Carolina, Mythbusters and Federal Express. These things carry the name of what they are. What you say is what you get. The Transatlantic Telegraph Cable carries telegraphs across the Atlantic via a cable. Your name might be like this. That means you have less room to grow, but, if it’s a good one, you’ll be viewed as more of an expert in your chosen field.

  1. A brand. These go deeper.

Think: Amazon, Nike, Uber, Sonic and Topaz. These words certainly mean something, but the companies they represent aren’t directly related to the definition. Wal-Mart, for instance, is not a market filled with Sam Waltons to purchase. And Yoyodyne doesn’t sell yo yos. They create a story out of a single word.

When you’re picking your name, or you’re rebranding what you already have, make sure the word, acronym or accredited name is telling the story you want customers to associate with your brand.

It’s usually better to tell a great story than to be the expert.

(Sidenote: All URLs for English words under eight characters are gone. Nowadays, a web address is arguably the best front line soldier of marketing. That means we’ve got to start being creative. My favorite way to do so is Wordoid, a name generator that combines different aspects to get you moving.)