We market researchers spend many hours exploring and analysing brands. We fill in Brand Pyramids, Brand Keys and Brand Onions until our eyes water. We appreciate the value of a memorable, evocative brand name.
So if you look down a list of market research companies you would expect to be impressed. In fact there is a real mix. There are the big companies with Anonymous Initials like GfK, TNS etc; there are Corporate Speak names (eg Synovate) which presumably sound reassuring. Then there are the more creative options, like animals and food (Flamingo, Aardvark, Spinach, Sherbert) and the more attention-seeking (Voodoo, Firefish, Captain Crikey, Ftang Ftang Biscuit Barrel and so on).
Then there is the smaller company that uses founders' surnames AND an animal logo - genius!
What can you tell about a research company from its name? Is it like fashion, the more interesting the clothes the less interesting the person? Big Anonymous Initials and Corporate Speak must reflect caution, protecting the value of your reputation. Others maybe learnt from the internet gold rush, aiming to attract attention and names like Google and Yahoo! got you noticed.
I think new research companies could learn a lot from yacht names. One adman famously called his yacht Severence after how he paid for it. Yacht names would make good research company names: Serendipity, Integrity etc. There is a yacht-y belief that vowels in yacht names bring good luck (because vowels float but consonants sink?) So choose the right name for your research company and you'll stay afloat. Worth knowing, that.