Behold the companies in our very own industry, naming company names in the company of the names of other naming company names.
Are we biased in our opinion? Absolutely. We believe strongly that the name a naming company names itself is a clue to the kinds of company names they believe in. And if a naming company cannot manage to give itself a distinctive, memorable name that sets itself apart from the slew of competitors you see below, a company name that can evolve into a strong brand within the industry and come to represent more than just the goods and services being offered, how can they possibly convince others that what they fail to do in their own company name they can somehow magically do for their clients?
So a call to arms is in order: Namers, name thyself well! Because you've
*Tipping Sprung: Yes it does sound like a random invented paring in the Bearing Point mode, but it's actually the names of the two founders, so it goes into the Functinal category, where it rates higher than the rest for being a little more unique and memorable.
Levels of Engagement: These eight levels (y-axis levels from minus 2 to plus 5) represent the amount of material (meaning, stories, associations, imagery, multiple layers) in a name the audience has to play with and personalize – and how "engaged" they are by a name. Names in the minus 2 level are the least engaging, and likely to be quickly forgotten; the higher the number the better, with level 5 being the best.
Functional Names: The lowest common denominator of names, usually either named after a person, purely descriptive of what the company or product does, or a pre- or suffixed reference to functionality. (Infoseek, LookSmart)
Invented Names: "Invented" as in a made-up name (Acquient, Agilent, Alliant, Google) or a non-English name that is not widely known.
Experiential Names: A direct connection to something real, a part of direct human experience. Usually literal in nature, but presented with a touch of imagination. (Netscape, Palm Pilot)
Evocative Names: These names are designed to evoke the positioning of a company or product rather than the goods and services or the experience of those goods and services. Removed from direct experience, but relevant – evoking memories, stories, and many levels of association. (Virgin, Apple, Cracker Jack)
We encourage you to print this out and move names around, and see if you think they should be classified differently. It's an exercise that will get you thinking about the names in your own industry. (Here is a blank taxonomy chart you can print out.)
The first thing we do at the beginning of any naming or branding project is to thoroughly analyze the names and messaging of the competition in your business sector, and plot those names on a taxonomy chart like this one. This document is very helpful for everyone involved in the naming project to see the competitive reality and understand what types of names are overused and where we have to go to separate from the pack.
|Computer Port Technology Name Taxonomy|