What would the word raffen mean in general conversation? Not the Google definition. I am trying to pick a business name, and this came up as “to gather”, however some colleagues seem to think it means a miser, or a money grabber. I don’t want a company name that in common use means greedy. I am trying to find out what a German speaking person would feel or think when they heard the word raffen.
Raffen in the meaning you seem to be concerned about has definitely a negative connotation - "Geld raffen" or "Reichtum raffen" would translate to grub or hog money or wealth and would probably not be appropriate for a company name.
The verb has some more meanings you apparently are not looking for like gathering clothing or, colloquially, understanding something.
In colloquial speech raffen is (very much like to gather) often used in the meaning of to understand or to comprehend.
Ich raff das nicht, kannst Du mir das näher erklären?
Hast Du es jetzt gerafft?
A name for an informative or educational business like e.g.
Ich raff das!
would be prefectly fine. No negative connotation to this. But keep in mind that raffen then would be colloquial speech used amongst (nowadays not more so) younger people and should not be used in a formal setting.
Today amongst young people checken is used rather than raffen (confirmed by my teenaged children):
Ich check das nicht... Checkst Du's jetzt?
Jemand, der es blickt oder rafft, wäre also heute ein Checker (oder, falls nicht, ein Non-Checker).
Perhaps it is helpful to see the broader semantic field
raffen - (directly) Stoff in Falten zusammenlegen (see also reffen - the same thing for sails on a sailing boat)
raffen - (metaphorically) Dinge an sich reißen, zusammenhäufen...
Raffgier - der Drang, Geld o.ä. an sich zu reißen, ohne Rücksicht auf andere
Raffzahn - ein Mensch, der solchen Drang verspührt bzw. so handelt
If you think your company is described well by this word, then go for it. (Is it a bank?)
Depends on your company. There is no general conversation without context.
- in connection with textiles or sailing, it's fine
- with money, credits, insurance, I would stay away from it
- with intelligence, learning, quizzes etc. again fine
You need to take care about ads, that people don't miss the context, and get the wrong impression first.