Bad Business Naming : Adverbs Ending in “ly”.

Back in the day, those of us who advocated unique corporate names decried the “e” prefix. It quickly became passe with the bursting of the 1990’s Internet bubble. But those intrepid entrepreneurs today have this new trend: adding the “ly” suffix to common words.

Yes, the naming lemmings have invented lemminglys. They’ve turned nouns and verbs into adverbs by adding “ly” and finding they can register them as domain names. Yes, this is basically an Internet phenomenon.

And the cry has gone out for restraint as noted in the blog called “ValleyWag”, and the Pinterest Board by Nancy Friedman.
I join their cause. Following a trend, particularly in naming, is dangerous in several ways

Just a handful of nouns and verbs that have been transformed into adverbs to become bad corporate names.
Just a handful of nouns and verbs that have been transformed into adverbs to become bad corporate names.

The Danger of Adverbial Names

First, this is a fad that will date your name as a 2013 imitator.
Second, with so many following the trend, every name loses its uniqueness , not to mention originality.
Third, the “cleverness” of this technique will wear off very soon so that those “ly” names will all blur together in people’s minds.

I know that Internet companies must attempt to find names that others have not taken if their names are to also be their domain names. There’s no room for two or more “Doves” (one a chocolate bar, and another, a beauty soap), as Internet addresses. And because of the still-thriving business of buying and stockpiling names for sale at a later date for “big bucks”, it can cost dearly for a name that is not only customer-friendly, but also Internet-ready. So…what to do?

Take Time with the Naming Process

Begin by generating lists of name candidates – many lists from all sorts of sources. Create a set of “best practices” and “company specific” criteria. Then with your list(s), begin looking for how you can substitute characters, delete or add others, mix and meld words and do many of the other little tricks I’ve introduced in the blogs here at Business Naming Basics.

Then use your criteria to make your selections. (And I suggest NOT turning name candidate into adverbs as a major criterion).

So you may then find some disappointments when candidates are not available for your use. Be patient. Create more lists Review candidates that didn’t make the first cut. Modify some more. Add some more.. Call for reinforcements if necessary. Give it time.
You want a name that will last over time, that will still be fresh, albeit familiar by then. Because it is so important for your immediate and future success, spend time now getting it right.

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