Igor http://igorinternational.com/blog Naming and Branding Blog Sat, 14 Nov 2015 14:48:01 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.5 Tesla – Anatomy of a Great Company Namehttp://igorinternational.com/blog/2015/11/13/naming-agencies-of-a-great-name/ http://igorinternational.com/blog/2015/11/13/naming-agencies-of-a-great-name/#comments Fri, 13 Nov 2015 00:05:06 +0000 http://www.igorinternational.com/blog/?p=5271 Tesla is a fantastic name for revolutionary electric car company, but not a name that could navigate a typical corporate naming process and survive.

The death of a thousand cuts would include:

  • We can’t acquire Tesla.com, we’d have to use Teslamotors.com, a non-starter. Electrificity.com is available. Let’s go with “Electrificity” instead – we can get the domain.
  • Nicola Tesla’s inventions were all in AC, not the DC battery power the cars use. Edison was the man when it came to DC. Tesla advocated the opposite
  • Most people don’t know who Tesla was
  • “Tesla” was a big selling ’80s hair band

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Most Teslas are sold online, and though they were unable to secure Tesla.com, they knew the common wisdom that going with Teslamotors.com would hurt sales was and is nonsense.

Tesla knew it was a great name even though Mr. Tesla’s work was with AC electricity, not the DC electricity the car runs on, which was the domain of Edison. They knew Tesla is a much sexier word attached to a sexier, more mysterious personality. The name Edison is just boring all around. So no one cares about the glaring discrepancy – they just associate the name with electricity.

For Tesla, going with the domain Teslamotors.com and using the name Tesla was a better move than changing the name to Electrificity or some such because they could get the Electrificity.com.

Tesla is memorable, has a great look, sound, meaning, mystery and sexiness to it. Do you walk away from that over domain availability? (Hint: “What would Elon Musk do?”)

We are all for a matching domain name, but it must be a powerful one.

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The Difference Between PR, Branding, Marketing & Advertisinghttp://igorinternational.com/blog/2015/11/04/naming-companies-agencies-firms/ http://igorinternational.com/blog/2015/11/04/naming-companies-agencies-firms/#comments Wed, 04 Nov 2015 14:40:23 +0000 http://igorinternational.com/blog/?p=6400 CNEs_6jVAAAU6BN

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How To Create Compound Names Like Instagram, Snapchat & Airporthttp://igorinternational.com/blog/2015/10/27/naming-firms-name-like-instagram-snapchat-airport/ http://igorinternational.com/blog/2015/10/27/naming-firms-name-like-instagram-snapchat-airport/#comments Tue, 27 Oct 2015 00:53:56 +0000 http://www.igorinternational.com/blog/?p=6055 Instagram and Snapchat are identical constructions. Each simply substitutes new words from an accepted utility name: Instant Message. Insta & Snap are synonyms for Instant, and Gram & Chat are substitutes for Message.

Since Instant Message is already a universally adopted name, you know that Instagram and Snapchat will be accepted as well. If what you’re naming doesn’t map to a two-word generic, break it down into one first.

You can do this by re-purposing an unrelated, well-known compound word, as in Apple’s Wi-Fi base station being called “Airport” – a port accessed through the air. It’s easy to remember and readily embraced because everyone knows the word Airport already.

Proposing a name like Airport to a committee will be met with immediate pushback such as, “Everyone hates the experience of an airport” or, “Last time I was there they cancelled my flight, I had to sleep on the floor and I missed my child’s birthday” or “The first thing I think of is stress, long lines and bad service”- as if any of this will make the name less successful, which of course it doesn’t.

As soon as the name Airport is applied to a Wi-Fi device the primary definition disappears, your audience puts the clever double meaning together in their heads in an “aha!” moment, and smile at the humanity you’ve brought to the game. They will think well of you and warmly embrace the name and its new meaning. And never forget it. You are immediately best of breed in their minds, having uttered only a single word.

Because this simple concept is inherently difficult for corporations, names like Airport are rare indeed – but they do happen.


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Brian Eno On Innovation, Art, The Medium & The Messagehttp://igorinternational.com/blog/2015/10/16/naming-firms-on-innovation-art-the-medium-the-message/ http://igorinternational.com/blog/2015/10/16/naming-firms-on-innovation-art-the-medium-the-message/#comments Fri, 16 Oct 2015 12:59:45 +0000 http://igorinternational.com/blog/?p=6436 12193555_10153110709391389_2149100443911909927_n-1

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Why TED Works As A Company Namehttp://igorinternational.com/blog/2015/10/15/the-naming-agency-with-ted/ http://igorinternational.com/blog/2015/10/15/the-naming-agency-with-ted/#comments Thu, 15 Oct 2015 23:30:28 +0000 http://www.igorinternational.com/blog/?p=5120 You know it, you love it, it’s TED:

TED works as a name because it’s memorable, it demonstrates something new is happening and makes potentially difficult subject matter warm, inviting and simple. It’s also very confident and comfortable with itself – always an attractive quality.

The trouble with TED is it’s a name that companies will tell you they love, want something like it for their similar venture, but would likely get killed in a corporate committee .

“TED doesn’t convey “Best and Brightest””

“TED” skews too masculine; its a man’s name. The name needs to be gender neutral to appeal to both sexes”

“The thought leaders we need to attract may not want to be associated with something so trivial sounding”

“The acronym “Technology, Entertainment & Design” is too limiting”

Would TED make it through your corporate naming process? If it is a process designed for real world efficacy & power, yes it would.

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What makes “Hotwire” & “Pandora” Powerful Names?http://igorinternational.com/blog/2015/10/15/why-are-hotwire-pandora-powerful-company-names/ http://igorinternational.com/blog/2015/10/15/why-are-hotwire-pandora-powerful-company-names/#comments Thu, 15 Oct 2015 16:35:01 +0000 http://www.igorinternational.com/blog/?p=5920 To understand why they work so well, you have to get literal for a moment:

Hotwire = “to steal a car”

Pandora = “unleashed plagues, diseases & all the evils of mankind”

These types of meanings will get a name dismissed ASAP by a naming committee – a committee that would have been wrong to dismiss these names, obviously.

Consumers don’t attribute these literal, negative qualities to the companies who use Hotwire & Pandora as their company names (you don’t, do you?). But naming committees erroneously believe they will.

In each case the name is a metaphor for something about the company. Hotwiring a car is a “hack”, Hotwire positions the site as a travel hack – a way around high prices. Pandora Radio is a marketplace, positioned metaphorically as a “box full of intrigue”.

When juxtaposed in line with the company’s positioning, the names simply become interesting – they have personality. They demonstrate confidence and uniqueness. Metaphorically re-purposing the negative is what makes them so positive.

The names are provocative, differentiating and memorable.

From a business perspective, these names are a pure positive, derived from a literal negative. It’s called “The Principle of Negativity”.

Don’t fear the Negative – well executed, it’s a Positive.

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“AeroBurner” Golf Clubs & Balls by TaylorMade. Named By Igor.http://igorinternational.com/blog/2015/10/15/aeroburner-golf-clubs-balls-by-taylormade-named-by-igor/ http://igorinternational.com/blog/2015/10/15/aeroburner-golf-clubs-balls-by-taylormade-named-by-igor/#comments Thu, 15 Oct 2015 09:29:43 +0000 http://www.igorinternational.com/blog/?p=6294 The complete line of AeroBurner Clubs and Balls


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Igor’s CEO on NY1http://igorinternational.com/blog/2015/10/15/igors-ceo-on-ny1-today/ http://igorinternational.com/blog/2015/10/15/igors-ceo-on-ny1-today/#comments Thu, 15 Oct 2015 02:03:15 +0000 http://igorinternational.com/blog/?p=6366 July 30, 2015

How One Man Helped Name Many of Today’s Popular Travel Brands

By Valarie D’Elia


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One man’s agency is behind the names of many popular travel brands. Time Warner Cable News’ Valarie D’Elia filed the following Travel with Val report.

Vegas hotels with names such as Wynn, Aria and the Signature at MGM Grand come from a partnership with the creative mind of Steve Manning. He is the founder of Igor Naming Agency, a 13-year-old business in Marin County, California.

“You’ve got to do something that taps into people’s brains and makes sense, and makes them sort of say, ‘Oh yeah, I get it,'” Manning says.

Sure, naming the Wynn hotel after the owner might seem like a no-brainer.

“He really signed the hotel, sort of like an artist would sign a work of art,” Manning says.

He got into the name game not long after a stint at the Travel Channel, so he knows the territory.

“Northwest, Southwest, United, American – those are all really the same types of names. They’re just moving a few key words around,” Manning says. “Until somebody comes along and names something Virgin, and suddenly that’s a different game.”

Manning usually presents 45 names to a client before one sticks, so he knows how tricky the process can be.

“Somebody’s going to raise their hand and say, ‘What if we have an accident? The headline will read JetBlue-up.’ It takes them a while to realize that people won’t associate car theft with Hotwire, nor do people think that the pilots at Virgin are inexperienced,” he says. “But that’s people’s gut reaction when they try to name something and you have to help them get over that fear.”

And that in-flight wireless at our fingertips? Yep, Manning named it originally for Richard Branson.

“You know the name GoGo worked with the Virgin brand, like go-go dancers – plus it’s on the go and it’s kind of fun and exciting,” Manning says. “But also, once it starts going on the other aircrafts, you don’t think of Virgin.”

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Our Latest Naming Work Launches: Zoichttp://igorinternational.com/blog/2015/10/12/our-latest-naming-work-launches-zoic/ http://igorinternational.com/blog/2015/10/12/our-latest-naming-work-launches-zoic/#comments Mon, 12 Oct 2015 14:29:49 +0000 http://igorinternational.com/blog/?p=6392 Zoic Capital is a life science and medical technology venture capital firm focusing on concept to early stage opportunities.

Zoic is a suffix meaning “of life” – as in Paleozoic, Cryptozoic, Protozoic, Mezozoic, et al.
Zoic is short, unique, and has a great look & sound.

Zoic sums up what the company is about in a disruptive, differentiated & intriguing way.
An instant classic.
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Chain of Children’s Dental Offices We Named Launcheshttp://igorinternational.com/blog/2015/09/01/naming-agency-offices-we-named-launches/ http://igorinternational.com/blog/2015/09/01/naming-agency-offices-we-named-launches/#comments Tue, 01 Sep 2015 17:06:50 +0000 http://www.igorinternational.com/blog/?p=5969 Smart Mouth

As you would expect, lots of their competitors have “smile” in their names. So instead, the name Smart Mouth makes you smile.

Using the word “smile” in a name is explanative, using words that cause your audience to smile is demonstrative.

In naming & branding, demonstrating is always more effective than explaining.

It’s also a twist on a descriptive name, saying “It’s a Smart choice for your Mouth” and that the dentist is “Smart about Mouths”.

Since parents, not kid’s are the audience, giving them a laugh about their kids makes it work, makes it warm – and unforgettable.

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