You’d be surprised. Most are descriptive, others are simply named after the founders. Some spent a few moments with a thesaurus, naming themselves Metaphor, Lexicon, Catchword, Idiom, etc.
Those from the Obfuscating School of Naming cobbled together a string of letters based upon languages their target audience doesn’t speak – perhaps just because they could get the dot com: Nomenon, Nomina, Nomino, Tanj, Zinzin, Cintara, et al.
The full list of Naming Agency names resides here, humanely caged for your viewing pleasure.
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.
July 30, 2015
How One Man Helped Name Many of Today’s Popular Travel Brands
By Valarie D’Elia
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.”
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.