So, there I was: all ready to launch my new business. The website was designed. The copy was written. The business cards were approved. And I was pleased, so very pleased, with all of it.
So, hours before I was about to announce all of this to the world, I decided to do a search for my new website to see where it was falling on Google’s standings. Brilliant Julie, who’d designed my site, had just recently turned it “on,” meaning that it would undergo Google’s indexing analysis and that process would decide its, for want of a better word, ranking.
My new business is an editing service for college admissions essays (plug, plug!). The goal is to help college and graduate students write their personal statements and other essays required for their applications.
Anyway, I couldn’t find my business when I typed in the search “college admissions essays,” but didn’t despair because Julie had told me it would take a few days to get sorted. Instead, I typed the name of my business in Google’s search field just to see it appear: www.savvyessay.com
It popped right up on top and it was then, and only then, I saw another website underneath mine called www.essaysavvy.com
“Pray tell?” I wondered, feeling the beginnings of acid reflux. I clicked and discovered it, too, was an admissions essay editing service. And the founder was in Chicago. And she had her PhD from Princeton.
“Gah!” I declared, as everything ground to a screeching halt.
And so, with just a few tears and a few glasses of wine, I began the search for my new business name.
Now, Brilliant Julie had been smart enough to notice that if you fuse the words “savvy” and “essay,” the word “yes” is between them. In addition, the word “essay” ends in the word “say.” In turn, she came up with the tagline, “Make colleges say yes.”
I loved this tagline. I was married to this tagline. If I needed to give up the beautiful word “savvy,” I was going to do everything in my power to at least keep “yes.” As such, I needed a word that ended in Y.
It turns out, thanks in large part to Scrabble, you can search for every word in the English language that ends with this letter.
That’s I came up with:
All of these, of course, were vastly (vastlyessay) inferior to savvyessay, because they implied the essays have a specific tone, which is not the goal of my business at all. The goal is to write your own story using your own voice (plug, plug!).
So, it was back to the drawing board.
After Day 2, I had gone through every (everyessay) word ending in Y that I could find, and was simply (simplyessay) trying to come up with something clever.
This is how I landed on:
None of these, of course, were any good, though took a shocking amount of time to come up with, in large part because so very (veryessay) many (manyessay) website domain names are either already (alreadyessay) being used or squatted on.
I was new to the world of the domain squat, but quickly realized it’s a tricky business. For example, I approached one lady who owned essayink.com, which appeared to be unused and seemed like a good substitute name. She was extremely helpful, but wanted $1,200 for the domain. To give you some perspective, I’d spent $12 for savvyessay.com and, thus, a 100 percent markup was hard to swallow. I was nearly ready to shell it out, however, until Julie discovered there was a collegeessayink.com already in existence.
On Day 4 of the search, I got the idea to shop for words at Kroger. A bowl of Starburst at the pharmacy led me to essaystar.com, but it was already taken. A mosey around the baking aisle led me to essaypie.com (also taken). The highlights of this experiment were:
I didn’t think essaytea (get it?) was bad, so I emailed its owner to find out his asking price. He was a student at Yale University and willing to part with his domain for $200. It was a good deal, but I ultimately concluded that the name would be misleading as I would not be providing SAT study prep.
So, it was back to the drawing board. By now, I was only marginally able to have a conversation that didn’t involve pairing the word “essay” with any other word in the English language. And, honestly, I was in mourning. I dreamed of the word “savvy.” I loved the word “savvy.” Its beautiful S. Its adorable double V. The Y that both echoed and added resolution to the twin Vs.
I went to sleep on Day 5 pretty sure my business name was going to be compromised. Until …
Coming next week: Finding My New Name