Our Brand Naming Process

The Outline

The Execution

A Brand Name Has Work To Do. Create A Job Description For It.

Naming Agencies  

Building the Perfect Beast: The Igor Naming Guide

Everything you wish you didn’t need to know about creating brand names

We wrote the Naming Guide to bring clarity & uncommon sense to the naming process.

An essential framework, it gives your team a shared set of criteria and a strategy for evaluating names.

Our guidebook provides the clear principles & actionable insights necessary for you to create the most powerful name in your space, like a brand naming expert.

Download the Naming Guide:

Naming Agencies

Want To Create A Viral Brand Name?

Naming Agencies

This is the most overlooked, counterintuitive truth in naming – the difference between the way a literal critique will evaluate a potential brand name and the way a target audience will receive it.

A literal approach judges names based on dictionary definitions or a singular association, in the form of an objection. It asserts a negative meaning or association means the value of the word as a name will also be negative, but it's the tension created by positive and negative forces that makes a name engaging. The literal evidence cited is irrefutable fact, yet 180 degrees from the reality of how the brand name will perform.

Every viral name is a provocation: Slack, Virgin, lululemon, Target, Yahoo, Caterpillar, Hotwire, Bluetooth, Google, Oracle. To qualify as a provocation, a name must contain what literalism would label "negative messages" for the goods and services the name is to represent.

As long as the name maps to one of the positioning points of the brand, consumers process these supposedly negative messages positively, which means they aren't negative at all. They're positive.

Potential names need to be judged on how well they map to positioning, memorability, stopping power, emotional impact, connections to the collective consciousness, distinction from competitors - the sum of which answers the most important naming question, "Is this name interesting?"

Here are some literal objections to some of the best brand names:





Virgin Air










Banana Republic



You’ve never felt threatened by Target, dismissed lululemon as a child’s brand, deemed Virgin’s pilots inexperienced or thought car thieves ran Hotwire. The reason is because as long as the name maps to one of the positioning points of the brand, people never take its meaning literally, and the negative aspects of the name just make it more memorable and engaging.

These literal, negative objections are not reasons to abandon a name, rather they have demonstrably positive effects on the public. They're what make a name engaging, differentiating and unforgettable. We don't process names literally; we process them emotionally. Getting your committee to acknowledge this counterintuitive truth and to interact as the public does with names, rather than the way the dictionary does, is essential: