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What’s In a Name?

Friday, April 4th, 2014

So, you decide to set up your own Glasgow PR agency…but what to call it?

There’s a question. What would you do?

Perhaps something that appeals to your target customer? Of course. Or how about something that is quintessentially you, the ultimate expression of your personality, that killer name you’ve been itching to unleash on the world all these years?

First I Googled, read books, researched the life out of the topic. My findings:

  • Must be me, must appeal to target customers (largely senior marketing professionals and chief executives of private and public sector companies/organisations based in Scotland and across the UK).
  • Must fall in to one of three categories: surname and surname e.g. Cholmondley Warner; made up name e.g. Google or evocative name such as Apple.
  • No initials.
  • Must not be a rude word in a foreign language.
  • Capitals or not capitals?
  • And, crucially, could you picture yourself in the Question Time audience, sticking your hand up and saying: “Yes, David Sawyer here from Glasgow PR agency XXX.”

Next step, a bit of due diligence. So it’s on to Companies House website and GoDaddy to check if the company name is registered and, crucially, does anyone own the domain name. Obviously, if you choose an obscure or made up name, there’s more likelihood that you’re on to a winner here. Incidentally, another option I considered was PR Man but although the company name was available the .com and addresses were owned by different people (and yes, you can find out who owns domain names).

Then the acid test, you’ve shared your chosen name with your nearest and dearest, mulled it for a while, now comes the hard bit: opening up your chosen name to old friends, family, fellow start-up business owners, chief execs, PRs. Sample responses below:

  • “I like it, short and memorable.”
  • “Yup, I like it, I’d add Social to the name, it’s where PR is going.”
  • “I get the whole family connection thing which is good. I like the fact it will be last on the list too. It should definitely have PR in the title: it does what it says on the tin.”
  • “I’m not sure if it sounds a bit funky for a Glasgow PR agency.”
  • “It says fun, creative, fashionable – chunky glasses, blow up furniture, that sort of thing.”
  • “Love it, sounds confident.”

Glasgow PR agency Zude PR's naming process.

Almost overwhelmingly positive (I even own a pair of chunky glasses). Job done. I did consider David Sawyer PR, or as is the vogue nowadays “Communications” but with a name like Zude you need PR on the end of it to tell people what you do. Zude Communications sounds like a telecommunications provider.

The letter Z implies speed and fluidity, it’s not geographically limiting (I’ve always worked for clients across the UK), it’s memorable and one syllable, and the strong Z works well in terms of branding, apparently.

And why Zude? Why is that “me”? Simple, I have two sons called Zak (five) and Jude (three).

Friends have compared the establishment of this business to like giving birth to my third child. I want to give it the best start in life so stick around and if you like what you see, do me a favour and share the love…


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