Getting it right
A company’s success and fame often depend on its name and many spend millions on validating the best name possible. Some names come to founders easily and some are mere serendipity. However they originate, naming a business can feel like naming a child — and be equally as difficult. As Netflix co-founder, Marc Randolph says: Picking a name is incredibly difficult. For one thing, you need something catchy, something that rolls off the tongue and is easy to remember. One- or two-syllable words are best. Too many syllables, too many letters, and you run the risk of people misspelling your website. Too few letters, and you risk them forgetting the name.
No wonder some of the world’s most successful companies got it wrong the first (and even the second) time. Like Google was initially called Backrub, Amazon was called Cadabra and Netflix was named Kibble and Tinder was initially known as Matchbox.
Picking a sound name
From the very beginning in 2013 Sound was called Sound. But why? ‘Do you do anything with music or with radio?’, is probably the question I got the most in the previous years about our company’s name. So, why Sound? Part of the answer can be found in the core values of our company: freedom, responsibility, reciprocity, connection (with our clients, with the environment with our results) and last but not least, integrity. Next to our core values our company name had to reflect the characteristics of our DNA: no-nonsense, pragmatic, common sense, awake, open-minded and reliable. After many brainstorms during drinks and dinners with the original co-founders discussing and mind mapping the company name we eventually agreed that sound was the word that covered all our values and beliefs in a short and powerful manner. Looking at the dictionary, it states:
A sound choice
Now almost 8 years later our company’s positioning, value proposition and service offering has developed over the years, but the name Sound still stands strong. As a matter of fact the development of the company made us realise that there is another reason why our name suits us perfectly. At Sound ‘we focus on helping people & businesses to thrive by unlocking their digital potential.’ Which means that our centre of attention is uncovering and explaining how technology is changing us. And today’s techno-sociological world around us is awash with sound. Many times of potentially critical importance, like the medical alarms at a hospital’s intensive care unit.
Understanding the world through sound
In general, by using sound people give meaning to the world around them. Hearing our bicycle shift gear perfectly encourages us to speed up, but when we hear a car approaching, we may have to take caution for ourselves or our children. Our interaction with everyday sounds is very functional and people use sound to understand the world around them. So sound has a significant impact or effect on people, such as the emotions that listening to music evokes. At Sound we aim to have the same impact and effect on the people around us. Our co-workers, clients, business partners and so on. So only after a few years and a few tweaks in our value proposition and service offering we considered that Sound not just stands for our core values and DNA, but Sound exactly does what it says on the tin.
So how about some Sound advice?