A rose by any other name might smell as sweet, but the reality is, a name can often make or break a business. While you want your business to stand out, you don’t want it to stand out for the wrong reasons. Often, names with just the right amount of quirk can turn into household names – like Facebook and Google. But how far is too far?

Here are some of the pros and cons of recent start up naming trends.

Creative misspellings

Creative misspellings dominated for a while, popularized by the success of companies like Lyft, Tumblr, Digg, Flickr, Grindr and Scribd. Although creative misspellings are still used, according to Tech Crunch, they are decreasing in popularity.

Made-up words

Related to creative misspellings are made-up words that sound real. For example:

It includes Trustology, which is building a platform to safeguard crypto assets; Invocable, a developer of voice design tools for Alexa apps; and Locomation, which focuses on autonomous trucking technology.

The advantage of made-up names is that there is less competition in search results.


Names that are puns are seeing a rise in popularity. Some recent examples include WeeCare, a daycare network, and Serial Box, a digital content producer. Pun names seem to be more popular with brick and mortar startups than the tech world.

One-word names

Many start ups, instead of risking confusion or picking a name that is too bizarre, are picking single-word, self-explanatory names for their businesses. Some examples include Hitch, Duffel, Coder – a long-distance ride app, an online travel-booking tool, and a software development platform, respectively.

The rise of these simple kind of names seems to be tied to an increase in alternate domain names. While it used to be vital to secure a website that was an exact match and had a dot com suffix, it is now unlikely to obtain an exact match, and therefore, more acceptable to have a prefix or an alternate domain.

If you’re considering rebranding, keep these trends in mind! Although creativity can be used to your advantage, sometimes, simple is best. Ensure that your name clearly represents your company and communicates well to consumers.