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What's in a name? How we came up with the name Synlio

We often get asked how we came up with Synlio for our company name. I mean, "That Really Cool RFP Software" was available but I'm not sure that had the right ring to it. So, HearPreneur recently asked us this very question for their article which covers our naming as well as some other companies so we thought we'd share it here too.

The Naming Process

It started when our attorney said we needed something unique so that the name could be protected. Our previous name, which we never really marketed and was used briefly prior to launch, was very common with many other companies using it and even a couple in the software world. If the name is too common, you cannot register it for IP protection, and even worse, those who had been using it longer could come after you for infringement.

Thus, we needed to change it.

We first created a list of what we should aim for. We wanted a name that was:

  1. One-of-a-kind
  2. Short enough so that we didn’t have to type out a zillion letters every time we wrote our emails or logged in anywhere (we were hoping for 8 or fewer letters)
  3. Had the .com URL still available
  4. Tied into what we do

So the partners locked themselves in a room with a bottle of bourbon and threw up ideas on a white board starting with what we were about and what we do. We then tried to mold those into names.

It took all day, most the bourbon, and several dry erase markers before we found Synlio. This satisfied all of our requirements: nobody else had that name, it was only 6 letters, the URL was available in .com, and the prefix “Syn” means to connect, which is what we do with buyers and sellers through the RFP process.

The name sounded weird to us at first, but we have grown to love it and are very proud of it. Those who were there look back on that naming day fondly.

Things to Think About When Coming Up with a Company Name

Let's dive into why we wanted each of those requirements above:

1. One of a Kind Name

There are so many companies out there. Like, sooooo many. And pretty much everything has been taken including fruit like Apple, colors like Purple, even weapons like Canon. Finding something unique is difficult to say the least. But if you can do so, then you own it. Nobody else will have it and that uniqueness is something you can build upon.

2. Short Enough

These days, we have to log in everywhere. We also have to give out our emails everywhere, and company social media accounts even use the company name. So when coming up with a company name, it is important to consider these things since when you log in, many websites ask you to do so with your email.

john@theamazingRFPautomationsoftwarecompanythatisthebest.com would be annoying after one login, much less several a day.

You can try and keep the name around 8 letters or less in order to save yourself pain and keystrokes down the road. Of course that could be difficult because...

3. Make Sure the .com is Available

Ever try to search for a potential website? No? Well try to type a normal word into this search here and see if you can get the .com. Sure the .net might be there, or .biz, or .news, there's even a .mom (which could have benefit for some businesses I guess). But for most the .com is gold (that's why so many are taken).

Customers and partners recognize the .com and know that the company is serious. There are a lot of reasons to have the .com including better search rankings and more. This article sums it up really nicely and includes some great stats too.

So go for a .com. This forced us to throw away a lot of names we really liked but it led to our now loved name.

4. Tie Your Company Name Into What You Do

If possible, try and tie your comapny name into what you do. Not everyone has the power of Google to make their name a verb that everyone adopts and uses daily. When you do this, it can allow those unfamiliar with you to quickly gain some awareness on what you offer. Even if it isn't immediately obvious to those on the outside, it can influence your culture as the staff will know how the name ties together with your offerings or benefits.

Moreover, if you want to help the name because it isn't clear you can always add a tagline (like we did with Synlio - RFP Automation). That way people can pick it up quickly.

So by using these guidelines, hopefully your new business can find the name it deserves.

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