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Giving a Company a Name

Aug 12, 2019

Guillem Fernandez

Every good story starts with a good title.

The title provides the first information of the story and predisposes us to read something interesting, or not.

That is why it is important that you take your time to choose the title of the story.

In the case of a company something similar happens. If we do not take the task of choosing the name seriously, we will most likely miss an excellent opportunity to present our company.

We only have one chance to make a first impression.

What characteristics should a company name have?

In general there are four main methods for naming a company.

We can name it with a short phrase, “Burger King” or “Gas Natural” style in which the name defines the main product or activity, this model is complicated for a technology company since it is not always easy to define a main line or service , and when it is, as in the case of “Natural Gas”, to diversify and change implied to be immersed in a rebranding, in the case of “Gas Natural” becoming “Naturgy”, which is a name created using a different model. This can be though very limitating.

Second method consists in naming the company with the name of its founder or character, real or not, on which they are based or from which the products or services we offer come from. Typical examples are Ralph Laurent, Lacoste, Channel, but not only brands linked to clothing, there are others such as Arthur Andersen that belong to the consulting world or Braun from the world of consumer electronics or the famous Hewlett Packard and Disney. This is a very little replicable model nowadays since it depends greatly on the name and reputation of an individual and, after the years, it has been proven that in many cases the dissociation of the character at his death or termination of the collaboration, can be catastrophic.

The third method consists in using a noun that, somehow, identify the values or that represents the type of company or experience, or simply breaks with all of the above. Examples of this typology are Apple, Mango, Oracle and a host of companies. This option is probably the most complicated of all when promoting, announcing or explaining to our clients the meaning of the name or the mission fo the company, not to mention the complexity in SEO and possible collisions with other companies, entities or the object that the word represents. From my point of view this is the least recommended of the four methods, except if we have large funds for advertising and promotion.

Finally, the most common of the methods is the creation of a name based on parts of the words of the phrase with which we name our company. Imagine that we start from the first modality, define a phrase that explicitly explains what we do in an abstract way or what our principles are, and we take part of the words or simply the initials of each word to form an invented name with which to name our company. This is probably the most common and effective method, but we need to be open enough in the sentence creation. Examples of this are:

  • ASICS : Anima Sana In Corpore Sano
  • ADIDAS: Adolf Dassler ( In this case it is the contraction of the name of the creator )
  • FedEx: Federal Express
  • IBM: International Business Machiness
  • MicroSoft: MICROcomputer SOFTware
  • CoKaiDō

How did we name CoKaiDo?

Given all of the above, the decision was to follow the model of finding a good definition of what we wanted to do and transmit in our new project and, from that point, find the name that would allow us to make ourselves known.

Our principles

We are a software company, specifically a software creation company. We create software and transmit our way of creating it and those we consider best practices for the production of the optimous result. From that work we do, we extract as concept Coding, in the sense of programming.

We have in our DNA the principle of continuous improvement.

In Japan after World War II, during the economic recovery, a group of American scientists called ´The Economic and Scientific Section´ (ESS) developed a training method that they named “Improvement in Four Steps” which in Japanese was called “Kaizen eno Yon Dankai “ This methodology implemented the continuous improvement cycle or Deming Cycle in honor of W. Edwards Deming, creator of the methodology. This methodology was implemented with great success in Toyota where it strengthened the concept of Kaizen.

The last of the principles that we wanted to introduce in the name of the company was the learning process, knowledge path, methodology for professional improvement.

This principle is excellently defined in the concept of Tao or as it is called in Japanese, Dō. It is a word that is much more familiar if we remember it in words like Karate Do, Taekwon Do, Ju Do, etc.

Dō as a path, methodology or philosophy of life in the learning of any discipline.

The Name

Joining these three concepts, Coding, Kaizen and Dō, appeared the phrase that could define us.

The path of continuous improvement in software development 

We took the first syllables of each of the words to form the name we want to be known by.

Coding -> Co
Kaizen -> Kai


The result somehow encompasses all the concepts we intend to convey, both philosophically and functionally or at the company level. The rigor of the expression but also the involvement and relationship with Japanese philosophy that brings concepts as important to us as those of Sempai and Kohai.

This was a very interesting process for us, gradually discover what we wanted to be, and translate it into a single sentence and finally into a name. From all this derived a very important process of our image creation and design, but this a topic for another post.

Copyright 2019, CoKaiDō