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What’s your impression of companies named after the founder?

SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 190,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our e-newsletter.

Last week, we asked: What’s your impression of companies named after the founder?

  • It’s great — I like seeing the founder’s persona as part of the company: 19.97%
  • It’s OK — it doesn’t really make a difference to me: 55.41%
  • It’s egotistical — it comes across as self-important or arrogant: 15.47%
  • It’s small-minded — it makes the company seem small or amateurish: 9.15%

What’s in a name? Names matter. For some, the founder’s name being tied to the company name is a good thing. More often than not though, naming a company after the founder carries some risks from a perception standpoint. Those negative perceptions can cost you opportunities (mostly in the form of sales). If you’re working somewhere that’s named after the founder, you might consider name alternatives because if you want to grow your company, acting and appearing bigger than you truly are can be beneficial.

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS and author of “One Piece of Paper: The Simple Approach to Powerful, Personal Leadership.”