The Naming Challenge

Henry David Thoreau once mused, "With the knowledge of the name comes a distincter recognition and knowledge of the thing."

Although it probably wasn't his intention, Thoreau's statement holds true in the realm of verbal branding or naming. A good brand name serves as the most tangible form of verbal interaction between company and consumer. It creates the ”distincter knowledge of the thing” it signifies.

In the past, branding served only to identify products and services. Now, with the vast array of stuff available to us as consumers, brands must do much more than simply categorize. They must have personalities, create experiences, and establish relationships with their audiences.

Most companies used to create their own brand names. Today, with many dictionary words registered as either legal trademarks or dot-coms, not to mention the consideration of a global marketplace, the process of naming has become infinitely more challenging. Most amateur attempts at naming result in either entanglement in a gigantic web of trademark law or a bump on the head from banging it into the wall.

And that's where I come in

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  • Wachovia
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