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Author Topic: Name for Company  (Read 6532 times)
lesbianvampyre
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« on: April 13, 2006, 11:35:55 AM »

I'm trying to think of a name for my comic book and role-playing game publishing company and I could use some help. Which sounds better Parallel Universe Press, Parallel Universe Publishing, Parallel Universe Publications, or Paralllel Universe Publishers?
John
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2006, 01:50:54 PM »

Hi John,

There is no answer. None of them "sounds better" and none of them "sounds worse." You simply have to pick the one you like best, and stick with it.

You may not know that a word like "press" or "publications" is not required. Therefore "Parallel Universe" could be among your options as well.

Folks, let's not have this thread turn into a bunch of opinions about which is "best." This is John's problem. He's the publisher, so he has to deal with it.

Best, Ron
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Chris Peterson
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« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2006, 02:45:13 PM »

Does "Parallel Universe" pass the Google-ability Test? Check out this article by Guy Kawasaki (of Apple/Mac fame) about naming companies and products:  http://blog.guykawasaki.com/2006/02/the_name_game.html

Anyways, I kinda like "Lesbian Vampyre"... Wink

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chris
Sydney Freedberg
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« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2006, 02:53:51 PM »

Larger question:

Under what circumstances do you actually need a name other than your own? This ties somewhat into the whole confusing question of whether you create a company at all (let alone incorporate), but even then, you can name your company after yourself, because, y'know, it's basically just you. So I'd presume it's all about marketing.

So what's the actual difference between "Sorcerer, by Ron Edwards - an Adept Press game" and "Sorcerer - a Ron Edwards game"? Obviously, Ron, you chose the former, but presumably for specific rational reasons that might not apply to everyone in all cases.

P.S. And yes, "Lesbian Vampyre" is a hell of a name. It's the reason I looked at this thread, for instance.
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guildofblades
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« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2006, 10:03:14 PM »

>>Under what circumstances do you actually need a name other than your own? This ties somewhat into the whole confusing question of whether you create a company at all (let alone incorporate), but even then, you can name your company after yourself, because, y'know, it's basically just you. So I'd presume it's all about marketing.<<

Yep, its marketing. If your chief goal is to market yourself, then of course, name your company after yourself.

If, however, your chief goal is to simply have a name that is most easily remembered by customers and potential customers, then yes, a business name different than your own name might be better suited. I guess it just depends on what your name is, what your product is and what your target market is. If your goal is to market your product/s rather than using your products to market yourself, then you want the most memorable name possible. If your actualy name fits that bill, then by all means, you can use it for your venture. But if not, then pick a business name that suits better.

Another thing to consider is, will what you are doing now be the only thing you plan to do in business? What happens if you spend the next 5 years building up your own name as a brand and tying it to your role playing games, but then started on year six you decide RPGs isn't the right thing for your business and drop your RPGs and move on to publisher cook books or something else. How much consumer confusion will come when they google and get search results for both? Sometimes its better to just pick a "doing business as" name best suited to what you are doing NOW, leaving yourself free to pick another "DBA" name later for what you are doing later. Big business often have so many sub brands and DBAs that operate under their corporate umbrella its nearly imposible to follow them. Not saying you ought to go that far with it, but just be conscious of that fact that whatever name you chose, once you've branded yourself a particular way, it will be harder that much harder to rebrand with a different focus later.

Ryan S. Johnson
Guild of Blades Publishing Group
http://www.guildofblades.com
http://www.1483online.com
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Ryan S. Johnson
Guild of Blades Publishing Group
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Thunder_God
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« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2006, 06:53:41 AM »

You can use CoolWhoIs to check availability of desired domain name and for similar names.
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Guy Shalev.

Cranium Rats Central, looking for playtesters for my various games.
CSI Games, my RPG Blog and Project. Last Updated on: January 29th 2010
David "Czar Fnord" Artman
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« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2006, 08:23:00 AM »

And, not an insignificant issue: you might want to be sure you can get that business name in your local area, if you intend to get any sort of licensing (or even a business rate Costco membership). Or you'll be "John Whatever Publishing, dba Parallel Universe [Yadda]."

Also, not for nothing, but have you considered "Design" or "Designs"? You know, in case you ever spin-off a MMORPG or computer game or cartoon or functional applications for your products or Lego sets of popular NPCs or....

HTH;
David
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Dav
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« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2006, 09:20:29 AM »

Not especially useful, but something to consider: gamers, much like the military, abbreviate anything they can get their grubby lil paws upon.  Parallel Universe -- abbreviated as PU, is probably not the best of all worlds.

I've never been a fan of tagging your company with straightforwardness.  Adding "designs" or "studios" sounds pretentious and dull, adding "publications" or "press" to the end of a name that doesn't require it, seems kind of weird.  "Adept press" for instance, requires the "press" bit, as "Adept" isn't really a full name.  I mean, Parallel Press or Parallel Publications is fine, but Parallel Universe is a thing all its own, and doesn't need a tag to the end to shape it.  (This, I realize, has far passed the boundaries of "giving it thought" to becoming "obsessively anal")

You could also go with more oblique references to parallel universes (I find the term parallel universe to smack of 50's hopeful sci-fi, but that is likely just me and mine own brain), I'd consider stuff more obscure-yet-cool sounding, such as: False Vacuum (thus, each one of your products would be a "False Vaccuum Creation", which is awesome), Causal Contact, Oscillating Worlds, Double-Slit Experiments (that sounds dirty), Integral Paths, or Quantum Suicide Machines.  Y'know, something with some 'zaz.

Dav

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LloydBrown
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« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2006, 07:12:05 AM »

There is no answer. None of them "sounds better" and none of them "sounds worse." You simply have to pick the one you like best, and stick with it.

You may not know that a word like "press" or "publications" is not required. Therefore "Parallel Universe" could be among your options as well.

I'm going to have to partially disagree with Ron.  While having "press" or some other descriptor is not required by law, it is a good idea to include your industry/genre/whatever in your business name to avoid infringement problems.  You do it for the same reason you probably don't play golf in a thunderstorm--it's unlikely that you'll get struck by lighting, but the results if you do are pretty disastrous. Parallel Universe Press (or whatever) will keep you from getting sued by a company named Parallel Universe T-shirts, while simply "Parallel Universe" won't. 
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Lloyd Brown
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Jake Richmond
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« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2006, 04:12:03 AM »

Lesbian Vampyre is a good name. Seriouly, what was said before about having a name that is easy to remember or survives a Google search often comes down to having something so different that no one lese has it. Most likely Laesbian Vampyre is a bad one for Google searches, but a great one for the Origins catalog. It sticks out among the "so and so games" and "such and such presses" that are common in this business. No one will forget you with a name like that, and if that's what you want, then that's what you should go for. I named the game I'm working on now "Panty Explosion" and people seem to be remembering it pretty well (much better then they remember my name).

That being said, you dont want to come up with some crazy name just for shock value. Parallel Univers (Games, Press, whatever) isnt bad. I'll never remember it though. But you don't want to call your company "Kick a Baby Comics" just to get attention ( I assume). There should be a medium ground somewhere. A name that sticks in consumers heads and gets their interests without sounding like it wants to be noticed.

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Tully305
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« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2006, 05:48:43 AM »

The name of your company will be important for several reasons; many already stated in this thread.  The key is deciding on what you are focusing your marketing efforts...your company name or your product?  If you are going to publish multiple product lines in different genres, it may be bedeficial to focus on marketing a creative company name.  Much like how the WWE markets the company as a whole ans makes the wrestlers interchangeable.  The suggestion of tying your name to your business is excellent advice to avoid future legal problems as well as for marketing purposes.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2006, 06:19:42 AM »

Folks, internet publishing discussions are absolutely full of speculative crap about "preventing being sued" and what will or won't occur in a legal suit. I'm seeing some of that here.

If you are an actual lawyer, with actual legal experience regarding branding in small press games, then you can start your own thread about the issues of branding and suing. Otherwise, posting points about that issue really isn't posting points, it's posting empty gas.

One thing is missing, badly, from this discussion - a reply from John. John, empty gas about legal/suit things aside, some folks have made some very good points for you. You began this discussion, and it's now on you to provide more information and focus the discussion a little. At present, we have no idea about what stage of publishing you're in, or your goals. That's why people are talking to each other and getting into subtopics of their own invention.

No one else post until John does.

Best, Ron
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lesbianvampyre
Member

Posts: 5


« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2006, 12:32:58 PM »

Thanks everybody for your advise. Does Press make me sound more like a printer than a publisher? Thanks again.
John
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Dav
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« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2006, 03:08:22 PM »

"But you don't want to call your company "Kick a Baby Comics" just to get attention ( I assume)." -Jake

Holy Hell!  I am 100% doing something with just that name!  AND, I am giving you full credit for coming up with it, Mr. Richmond.  That is effing priceless!

Few are the names that make one immediately stop, think to themselves, "Kicking a baby isn't all that bad, therefore, this can't be all that bad."

Dav
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Zahtevnik
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Posts: 11


« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2006, 11:54:11 PM »

There is always cheating to be had. If you're wanting a decision out of those four names then Googling is your best bet.

Google doesn't think these names have been taken:

Parallel Universe Press
Parallel Universe Publishers

Google came up with something for:

Parallel Universe Publications
Parallel Universe Publishing

Personally, I'd put my vote in for Parallel Universe Publishers.

Hope that helps : )

Jennifer Reynolds
Insomnium Games
http://insomniumgames.com
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