I started Rewind & Capture a few years ago because I was curious about the stories behind tech names, like Google, Expedia, Zappos, and DuckDuckGo.
After doing a quick Google search, I was surprised that nobody was aggregating these naming stories. Since I was already on the hunt for a niche topic to blog about, I purchased a domain, bought some hosting, created a WordPress account and started writing. After just a couple posts, I quickly became interested in the evolution of the domain industry, the rise of gTLDs and random things like what tech brands could have been called.
I’ll be the first to admit, I’m not a fan of my own brand name, Rewind & Capture. I still look at it and think, “that’s not easy enough to remember.” I only realized this after months of reading stories about brand names and the process of how to come up with a brand name. But the silver lining of my initial cluelessness is exactly what inspired me to help other entrepreneurs with this daunting, early stage task.
With limited resources and capital, startups thrive on their ability to move fast and get $hit done (MFAGSD). The first major milestone is launching a minimal viable product (MVP) to reduce uncertainty, collect feedback and achieve product market fit.
But, before any of this takes place, founders have to come up with a strong brand name that they are proud to see—and say—everyday. The best names quickly become memorable for a reason; they trigger curiosity, provide subtle hints of what the brand is and are cleverly wrapped in an unforgettable story.
Curiosity inspires people to explore (what’s Expedia?) When they discover a unique story that connects the dots, you get a powerful reaction which makes the name memorable, or “sticky.”
Think Zillow. The name is derived from Rich Barton’s desire to make zillions of data points for homes accessible to everyone. But a home is more than just a bunch of data points, it’s where you lay your head to rest at night—like a pillow. That’s the kind of story you’d bring up at happy hour, and makes it impossible to forget.
We built this step by step naming guide to help early stage entrepreneurs discover that magical name faster so they can launch their MVP ahead of schedule and eventually, be the hot topic during happy hour conversations.
Adam Lang is the founder and editor of Rewind & Capture. He is passionate about creative marketing, design and brand etymology.