Tag Archive: Naming

  1. How to name my company using poetry, fish, a front porch, and a set of made-up rules

    One of the most interesting and challenging things our clients ask us to do is to name things – products, service lines, and even entire companies. A brand’s *name* is critical to its identity in the marketplace and the impression it gives to consumers.

    While waiting in line for my first COVID vaccine shot, I was struck by the name of this business: Fishy Business Aquarium. It’s clever in that anyone who’s in the profession of trading in fish is, in fact, in a “fishy” business. Fishy is also a fun term because it’s playfully used as a reference to “suspicious” or “arousing in feelings of doubt.” Just ask Webster. Throwing in ‘Aquarium’ is also helpful in that it tells the story to those who don’t get the joke.

    The problem with this name, though, is that it’s tough to trademark or “own.” It’s why Starbucks doesn’t call itself “The Daily Grind” (there’s one in every city) or why Apple doesn’t call itself “Cupertino Computer Sales and Service.” Can you imagine?

    The temptation to do this is understandable. By default, we want brand names to tell the entire story about the product or company. But that’s too much to ask. A name can’t tell the entire story about a company, product, or idea, any more than a logo can. When we try to force that issue, what we often end up with is a name that doesn’t stand out, is boring, or lacks confidence. (Yes, it’s OK for your name to reflect a little swagger.) 

    I recently heard former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins refer to the title of a poem as its front porch – an invitation of sorts A title of a poem is meant to invite and welcome the reader, not to serve as a summation of encapsulation of the entire meaning of the poem. I think we might use that characterization of a poem for how we might think about brand names: merely a brand’s front porch. 

    Naming can be messy, confusing, and downright frustrating. Prepare to have lots of handwritten lists with most everything crossed off of them. Prepare to hear from your inner creative voice telling you that “these are dumb,” “these are stupid,” and “people will make fun of you.” Prepare to hear from your friends and family telling you all of these same things. Take it from a guy whose company is named “Findsome & Winmore” and whose tagline is Not a Law Firm. 

    To guide you in the process, think of some guidelines – rules of sorts. Here’s what we encourage our clients to think about when it comes to changing or shifting a brand name: 

    • Think like a customer, not an owner or employee 
    • Memorability is more important than likability 
    • Passion from a few is more important than consensus from the whole 
    • Emotive names are more profound than literal or descriptive names 
    • Controversial names have more impact than safe names 
    • Initials and acronymnare generally more confusing than clarifying 
    • Consider the ownability of a name within the marketplace 
    • Don’t set reasonable expectations 
    • Don’t expect the name you arrive at to jump off the page and give you a feeling of euphoria: it will take time for it to grow on you 

    When working with clients who want to name things, we encourage them to think about names that shy away from the descriptive and lean toward the obscure, fishy or not. For some further insight, thought, and therapy on the issue, take a listen to Seth Godin’s podcast episode called “Entrepreneur’s Guide to Trademarks.” 

  2. Company Naming with Findsome & Winmore

    Company Naming 

    What’s in a company name? Besides the inevitable fact that you’ll say it at least once a day and see it on signage, business cards, mugs and the like, names are the ultimate label for your company (no pressure). Company names are often your audience’s first impression of your brand and being. The naming journey can be daunting, whether you’re a well-known local shop or a budding startup, the challenge is the same: uncovering a name that speaks to who you are and who you serve. 

    To dig deeper into our own processes, we took the time to chat with some of our clients and even asked ourselves to reflect on some of our most game-changing company name endeavors. 

    Findsome & Winmore 

    In 1995, WebSolvers was born in its founder’s college dorm room. As the company grew, so did its ambitions, and it blossomed into a full-service marketing agency. With a focus on helping companies grow and thrive just as they had and inspiration from the spirit of two marketing legends, the team landed on a name that spoke to their main goal: finding and winning new customers. 

     

    Interview featuring Matt Certo, CEO & Principal at Findsome & Winmore. 

    What inspired your rebrand in the first place? 

    MATT: We were rebranding because our name WebSolvers was too limiting. We wanted to grow beyond just website development. For many of the years that we were in business, we built websites, and that was it. Overtime we realized that we needed to be more, we wanted to be more, and that we had become more. 

     

    How does your company name relate your industry? 

    MATT: The advertising and creative industry is generally looked to be off beat, to be out there, to be a little on the fringe as far as names are concerned. Findsome & Winmore was one that we felt reflected that expectation out of the advertising world. 

      

    What inspired you most during the naming process? 

    MATT: The level of effort and focus itself, it’s not easy. I tell people that naming products and companies is one of the hardest things we do, if not the hardest thing. To me, what was inspiring was going through the process, lists of names and concepts. Then also the collaboration. The back and forth between team members, that always gets your juices flowing. Knowing you’re going to end up with a name is very, very exciting. It kind of gets your adrenaline going knowing that this is a big deal that you’re embarking on and it’ll forever change the face of the company, literally. 

     

    How does your company name reflect the overall brand? 

    MATT: To me, I think it makes you chuckle. Theres a little mystery and intrigue to it, like what does that company do? The fact that we use the tagline not a law firm is really a play on our name because it doesn’t really tell you anything more about what we do. It leads to some level of intrigue and asking some questions. 

    26Health 

    After entrusting Findsome & Winmore to rebrand their corporate identity, the 26Health team is pleased to say their name and brand is the epitome of who they are. Providing care for every letter, 26Health’s new brand identity (including a name, tagline, logos and secondary marks, typography, inspirational imagery and collateral implementations) spoke to individuality and acceptance of each patient’s truest self. 

     

    Interview featuring Dr. David Baker-Hargrove, President, Co-CEO and Co-Founder of 26Health; and Robert Baker-Hargrove, COO, Co-CEO and Co-Founder of 26Health. 

    Can you speak to your company culture and your team’s drive to provide an all-inclusive health clinic to the Central Florida community? 

    DAVID: I think more than anything, it stems from who Robert and I are as a couple. Through our entire relationship, we’ve celebrated diversity and believe in how important it is. We wanted diversity to be more than a slogan or nice words in the employee handbook. Diversity hiring for us has always been intentional, not because we wanted to fill seats or make quotas, but because we intentionally looked for people who would be reflective of the patient population we serve. 

    All of this was done in mind with the patient population that we serve that has that rich reflection. We are primarily set up to provide services for people who have multiple identities. They can be LGBTQ, but also people of color and people who have a different immigration status. All aspects that occur within identities within 26Health also happen within our patient population and we want people to see themselves when they walk in the door. 

     

    With that in mind, what was most important for your company name to achieve? 

    ROBERT: We wanted a name that honored who we are as a company and the community we serve. We wanted it to have a level of standing beyond us as individuals. And we also wanted it to be memorable. Whenever you think about the people in our organization or the people that we serve or even the businesses that we do business with, it’s extremely important to us that everyone feels included. Diversity and inclusion is a huge aspect but then it’s also about acceptance. 

    And the other aspect and something really fun that we talked a lot about was that we wanted something that would have a logo that identified who we were before you even had to say it. So we were really focused on the logo as well as the name. Going through that process, we went through a lot of identifiers. 

    We allowed Findsome & Winmore to take that information and present us with some options – the name 26Health – we all fell in love with. That was it, that was the one. No matter what letter you are or how you identify, we care for you. That’s when the tagline ‘care for every letter’ came out of it. 

     

    How does your name lend itself to visual creativity? How does the name 26health provide opportunities for unique visual branding? 

    ROBERT: When you’re looking at the logo, if you slightly tilt your head to the left, you’ll see an equality sign. The curvature of the two and the six also create an infinity sign. We really thought that there were a lot of embedded symbols in there that give us something that really has a lot of meaning to the logo aspect of it that really takes it to another level. 

    We also wanted a logo that could stand on its own and looked really cool on things. We wanted something really broad, yet striking, that was innovative and different. So when we were going through the process and they showed us what the logo could look like on different things and how we were treating it, it was just something that we absolutely fell in love with. 

     

    How does your company name reflect your company’s mission?  

    ROBERT: Every person on staff really connects to it and the mission and the vision. We often talk that the mission is the mechanism of how you grow to your vision. Being able to have a name and a logo that truly encompasses everything we do for the community and encompasses how we feel and integrates our systems of care and how we bring them together really speaks to that people are more than just one letter. People have depth. They have feelings and there are dimensions to people. So what we really hope and feel is that when our patients come, they get that level of care that we’re treating them as an individual and not treating them as a number. They can come to us and they can bring their true authentic selves regardless of how they identify. 

    etectRx 

    Also undergoing a name change since its debutetectRx now has a company name that reflects its mission. Following the change, etectRx asked Findsome & Winmore to lead the way in creating a design identity that would bring their name to life. Learn how the evolution of a company name that was created over lunch conversation, combined with a compelling brand aesthetic, works for the leader in digital pills. 

     

    Interview featuring D. Eric Buffkin Jr., Sr. VP. Development and Technical Operations at etectRx; and Jessica Schein, Sales Operations Coordinator at etectRx. 

    Now that we know the result, tell us how you got there. Describe your company naming process. 

    ERIC: The process involved sitting at lunch and tossing names back and forth at each other around the idea that we were doing electronic detection. That’s where etect came from. Instead of calling it ‘edetect,’ we said, ‘let’s just call it etect.’ 

    We did toss around the idea of ‘smart pill’ but there was another company here in Gainesville that had trademarked the ‘smart’ term as it related to medication adherence. So, we didn’t want to just poke them in the eye completely or get poked in the eye by them, so we avoided the whole smart approach. But it was literally lunchtime conversation. And being two engineers, we had to come up with ‘OK, what are we doing and how do we make a name out of that?’  

     

    What did you want your target audience to understand from the company name and brand Identity design? 

    ERIC: It was always the intent to make sure people know we are a wireless communications technology. 

     

    What does your company name help achieve in the visual and design space? 

    JESSICA: When you mention electronic detection, as far as our new branding and even our old branding goes, there’s a frequency radiating off of both our logo and our icons. I think both the name and the visual helps tie it all together. 

     

    Can you speak to company culture and your team’s drive to solve medication non-adherence? 

    ERIC: We started out purely as medication adherence. In the many years that we’ve had the company, the scope has actually expanded to really be digital pills. Digital pills mean measuring adherence, but they also mean other things. When you take that adherence or ingestion information and feed it into some of the novel software applications being developed to help people with particular illnesses, the combination of those makes a huge impact on people’s wellness, quality of life and how much money they have to spend to get well, so there’s all kinds of goodness around that. 

    The culture here is a ‘do what it takes’ kind of culture. This is a wide-open category. We feel like at this point we define the category since the only other significant player is no longer around. We feel like we have to do what it takes to drive this company forward and the culture around here is about doing what it takes.  

     

     

    Celeste 

    Findsome & Winmore found inspiration in the stars when naming Celeste, a new hotel concept on the campus of the University of Central Florida. Working closely with the Marriott team, we established a bold company name that paid homage to UCF’s ties to the space program, mythology and astronomy while staying true to the Marriott brand. 

     

    Interview featuring Matt Certo, CEO & Principal at Findsome & Winmore.  

    Now that we know the result, tell us how the team got there. Describe the naming process for this client. 

    MATTWe were working with the Marriott marketing team and we really looked to establish the brand pillars before anything else and what the brand was going to stand on. Before we talked about a name or a logo, we looked at concepts that should be representative of the hotel itself. 

    We arrived at ideas like discovery and exploration and an experience that was transcendent of some sort. And of course, UCF has an association and a longtime history/affiliation with the space program. We looked at that as a concept of something that we could build upon as this is the kind of feeling that we want to create with this brand and the kinds of impressions we wanted people to get when they were interfacing with the brand. 

     

    What’s most important when developing a company name for clients? 

    MATT: We have a number of rules that we look to follow. One of them is: is it ownable in the marketplace? Can you really say this is your name? We also look at: is this something that sets you apart and differentiates you in some way? And then, also, does it evoke that core of the brand or the essence of your brand? 

      

    How do you immerse yourself in the client’s brand? 

    MATT: We do that by digging into the founding story of the brand. We dig into the purpose of that organization or company. We also look at mission and vision, and personality traits that personify the brand. You immerse yourself in a client’s brand by being around the people, being around the founders, being around that ownership group. 

    This was a new hotel that wasn’t out of the ground, but if it was an existing hotel, you’d probably want to go there and visit to understand what the feeling was like, what the guests are experiencing, what you want them to experience. Just really immersing yourself by being there – talking to people, listening, observing, smelling – all these things are important. 

     

    What inspired you most during the naming process? 

    MATT: I think really the celestial thinking that we gravitated to really got everyone’s wheels turning. The celestial is very, very inspiring. So, when you arrive at that as a concept to play with, you can’t help but get excited. 

     

    What makes the name “Celeste” unique in the hospitality industry? 

    MATT: It’s a name that doesn’t exist here locally. No one is going to mistake this for a different hotel. It begins the journey of telling a story when you talk about the name and how it relates to the experience that the Celeste wants guests to have. 

     

    How did you ensure the company name reflected the overall brand? 

    MATT: You have to come back to the brand pillars, the foundation of the brand. And when you think about pillars it’s things that are on the inside of the brand that people don’t necessarily see, and that’s just like the pillars of the building. You look at columns that hold a building up. Usually, those things are inside and they’re not really exposed to the outside world.