What's in a Name? Everything

Meg gets help from the team to brainstorming a business name.

Hero image for Issue #3: A Name

What if we just call it Mailchimp Store? Easy to remember, easy to spell. The Twitter handle is available. No problem. Is that boring, though? It feels a little boring. Do we even want to brand the store with the Mailchimp name? This is stressful. My questions have questions.

So I bribe a few coworkers with beers on a Friday afternoon and ask them to brainstorm with me.

In between long silences and distracted tangents about other projects, we came up with a list:

Mailchimp Shop , the favorite, is very basic and “on-brand,” but it lacks character and interest. It tells me nothing, but it is a nice blank slate to build on.

Freddie’s General Store is fun, evokes a family-business feeling while still leaving room to create a playful identity around it.

Dept. Co. and Variety Store aresilly options. They’re intentionally vague and provide no context, which is funny, but could be prohibitive.

Freddie and Company has all the pros of Freddie’s General Store, but without the old timey connotations.

As we debated, David pointed out that part of why this is challenging is because we’re essentially naming…nothing. There’s no store — yet. There’s a very basic idea and purpose, but there’s no thing.

We need to figure out what this store is all about before we can name it, and especially before we start building the online storefront. What will we sell? How will it feel? What kind of personality do we want it to have? Melissa taught me that this is called “brand positioning,” and that it’s important! I’m learning there’s so much to learn.

It’s funny. After Issue #2, a lot of people reached out to suggest something similar:

“Think you need to start with what you’re selling and to whom and why they would want it. And all of that is just the tip of the iceberg as they say.”

“Everything (name, content, customers, items…everything!) starts from your core mission statement. Once you know that, the rest will come.”

“Just wait till you get to branding and mission!!”

“AH yes, what is in a name. Don’t let it slow you down, but there are so many things to consider!”

Time to take y’all’s advice. Let’s position this brand.