At Catchword, if we had a nickel for every client who expressed concern about “bad” meanings associated with proposed brand names…well, we’d have a ton of nickels. Keeping an eye out for potential hiccups when creating new brand names is not only natural—it’s critical. But it’s also important to know the difference between edgy-but-viable name […]
As branding professionals, we want more than our customers’ money—we want their loyalty. We want them to fall in love with our brand. Ideally, we’ll create such a strong relationship with customers that they’ll stick with us—with our brand, I mean—in good times and in bad, in sickness and in…you know the drill. What’s […]
I worked on my first naming assignment about 15 years ago at Interbrand San Francisco. I liked it so much that after leaving Interbrand, I decided to start moonlighting as a freelance namer for agencies all over the world. I’ve since lived and worked in Asia, eventually returning to Interbrand San Francisco as director of […]
For the last year, I’ve been teaching a Brand Strategy Workshop at General Assembly. The three-hour class covers basic definitions and a range of brand-related topics like market research, brand positioning, and naming. Given the time constraint, I can only dedicate about five slides to brand architecture—barely enough to cover the basics of what’s arguably the most complex […]
Trademarks are a consumer protection mechanism, ensuring that customers don’t mistakenly acquire an item because it bore a confusingly similar mark to another product. This is a twist on the other IP forms, which benefit the items’ creators.
Midterms are fast approaching, and all the candidates have at least one thing in common: they have names, many you haven’t seen before. Can the branch of linguistics that deals with names, onomastics, help us predict election results? That is, do some candidates have advantages simply because of their name? Election research in California, North Dakota, Ohio, […]
Don Norman, design legend and author of The Design of Everyday Things, invited me to speak at UC San Diego Design Lab about how to name innovations. My talk focused on how to create descriptors for innovative products—the part of a name that conveys a product’s category. “Smartphone” and “universal remote” are examples of descriptors. […]