Choosing a naming agency has become quite difficult with the increasing number of companies and freelancers specialized in that area. What should you look for in the provider to make the best choice? Here are some suggestions for criteria on this crossroad:
The website of the providers can seem professional and fancy but the first thing you should evaluate is their work. Don't be fooled by beautiful site content and promises, just check out the names that they have come up with so far. It's important to verify whether the namer's style coincides with yours. Think for a moment: when you walk into a shoe store, you expect to see the shoes and you usually try them out. Why should it be different when choosing a naming service? Oh, and if there is no portfolio section on the provider's website... well, that means that they only have one sample for you - their own company name.
If you still haven't searched for the portfolio on the website, we suggest you do it now.
Did we mention that portfolio is crucial?
4. Clear pricing
The lack of a pricing page usually means high prices. If an agency charges $75,000 for naming services, they probably won't highlight it on their website. Contrariwise, if a freelancer charges as much as $100 for a batch of names, he/she would definitely prefer to let you know they do. Some companies charge per hour, so that's another reason to be unclear about the final amount the client will pay eventually. If you can't find the prices, don't start the project before you get a clear and final quote.
5. Specialization in naming
The best services are the specialized ones. If you had a heart condition, you wouldn't go to a General Practitioner - you would visit a cardiologist. Same with naming, you would want to work with a provider specialized in brand identity development. Contacting a 360° marketing agency, for example, may bring you headaches unless you really need the whole 360°.
Take a quick look for any kind of attestation of competence by third party, such as testimonials by actual clients, media coverage, freelancer site ratings and other organizations' endorsements. Third party means objectivity. Refer to websites you trust, like Wikipedia, where content is never random. Read the Naming firms article and check this list of 30+ naming companies shared by Wikipedia in the References section of the article. Yes, we are there, yoo-hoo!
It may seem less important that other criteria but a blog is a smart way to see if the company is a good match as you can read and see what they are fighting for and what their philosophy on brand naming is all about. In this regard, we wish we had the time to post more often.
We are not a cocktail blog but we invented a new drink and it has a nice name so we thought it is worth sharing. It is called Nescotch and it is a compound name between NESCAFÉ® and scotch. This is how you do it:
A coffee mug or a big cup.
You will need:
1. NESCAFÉ® Classic Instant coffee
2. Johnnie Walker® Black Label Scotch Whisky
3. Lindt Excellence Orange Intense Dark Chocolate
1. Add 2 teaspoons of NESCAFÉ® Classic in a coffee mug.
2. Add 1 teaspoon of sweet honey.
3. Add 50ml of milk.
4. Fill the cup up with boiling water.
5. Pour 5ml of Johnnie Walker® Black Label Scotch Whisky and stir.
6. Serve with a piece of Lindt Excellence Orange Intense Dark Chocolate.
Enjoy and be welcome to post your feedback on the drink’s recipe… or, you know, on its name.
One common question among entrepreneurs is whether their company name should differ from the one of their first or/and most important product.
Usually, the best option is to choose one name for the company and another for the product, especially if there are plans to launch more products. We would recommend a company name that evokes values/feelings of your company and a product name that evokes relevant feature(s)/advantage(s) of your product. The type of the names should also be taken into consideration. If your product name is coined (a non dictionary word) and not suggestive of the product itself, i.e. does not describe what your product does, or does not evoke some advantage of the product, then you could use the same name for your company, just like Google is a product of a company called Google Inc. A future threat of that last option is that when the product gains brand awareness, everything that is associated with the product will also be associated with the company. One unsuccessful product could jeopardize the reputation of the whole company, no matter how many other successful products it provides.
When taking this important decision, keep in mind that if your first product is not successful, your company could always launch another product under a different brand name. Thus, the safest choice is to separate the reputations of your company and products by naming them differently.
This year, we are advertising in Google Adwords with a brand new video starring our best names created over the years. Check it out here:
Today, we have a birthday! Exactly 5 years ago The Rabbiter was launched with the ambition to become the best freelance naming agency in the world. To celebrate our birthday, we created an infographic with some interesting information about our business experience in the last 5 years:
The Rabbiter started the year with a new advertising – part of the long-term campaign “The Rabbiter is here to help”. The main communication channel will be Google Adwords. As always, the ad is created by us and relies on humour. We hope that it will make you smile.
You can see all the ads from the campaign below:
Some call them coined words, others call them neologisms. These are made up words, new words that are perfect for creating a brand name.
We decided to think of all the advantages of the coined name - we give you our top 5:
1. It's easier to remember once memorized - no one remembers the ordinary.
2. It makes you stand out - the coined name is different and unique.
3. It's easier to trademark - most real words are already registered.
4. It's often available for .com domain registration - it's also shorter if you need a .com domain without additional words like services, consulting or solutions.
5. It's more suitable for brand building - the strongest brands are coined names.
So, do you have the courage to go for a word that no one has ever heard of?
Al Ries teaches us that there should be only one word (or concept) behind your brand name, just like there is the word “computers” behind IBM and “fast food” behind McDonald’s. One of his immutable laws of branding, “The Law of Perception”, also says that marketing is not a battle of products but a battle of perceptions – winning the battle means winning the consumer’s mind. In fact, that means that your product doesn't have to be the best in the category – you should rather manipulate consumers to think that it is. But are there really products that are the best only in the consumer’s mind?
We decided to check these theories and we selected 11 car models launched between 2003 and 2008, in the lower-medium segment. One of the most popular examples of great branding is Volvo’s positioning – Volvo owns the word “safety”. Let’s check if Volvo really produces the safest cars. We gathered data from the most reliable source: The European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) - the European car safety assessment company that performs the crash tests for every car and awards star ratings for 3 different tests (adult occupant protection, child occupant protection and pedestrian protection).
Surprisingly to some (us included), the owner of the word “safety” is not the safest car! The safest cars in this selection are Toyota Auris, VW Golf and Citroen C4. Al Ries was right, after all (as far as we know, he always is). Perhaps, a logical question would be “why Auris, Golf and C4 are not communicated as safe cars?” Al Ries has the answer again – because of “The Law of Exclusivity”. No one except Volvo has succeeded in getting into the prospect’s mind with a safety message, although some have already tried (for example, Mercedes had a very cool TV ad focusing on the brakes of their E-Class). No car is known to be safer than Volvo because Volvo were the first to occupy the word “safety”. Toyota, VW and Citroen probably know this because the Auris is communicated as the reliable quality car, Golf – as the dynamic car and C4 – as the hi-tech futuristic car. Of course, from consumer’s perspective, features like reliability and futurism are very hard to prove. But apparently safety isn’t.
Well, now you know what car to look for if safety is important to you. Oh, and be careful with Chevrolet…
Inspired by the Brand Identity Model designed by Brand Strategy Insider (our favourite blog), we have decided to describe our brand identity (find it below).
Have you thought about your brand identity? Maybe now is the moment to identify yourself?
“Hello, my name is X and I work at X.”
We are not against using a personal name in a business name, especially not in industries where the person is everything, like in fashion/clothing (Armani is obviously perfect), legal services and even restaurants (e.g. McDonald’s). However, you have to ask yourself a few questions:
1. Do you have a good sounding name, like Armani or Chrysler?
2. Do clients choose your company only because of you? Do you want it to be like this in the future?
3. What if you sell your company?
Using personal names to brand a business is easy, you save money on naming consultants but, in the end, it could be restricting. For example, our favourite marketing expert is Al Ries and his company is called Ries&Ries. His daughter Laura Ries also works with him and this is obviously a family business. A final question to all those who consider using their family name as a business name: do you want your company to be perceived as a family business?