What's in a name? 11 March 2014

Over the years we've been asked to name a number of new, spin-off or existing businesses. As with our design work, sitting down with our clients to create an accurate and relevant brief is critical to the success of the project.

Naming projects, whilst great fun to work on and the blankest of all canvases, should not be treated lightly. History tells us that a business' name whether good or bad, sticks in the consumers' mind. Many companies rebrand with relative ease, supported by clear business case and a visual output which brings their vision and values to life in a co-ordinated way. Consumers seem to be far willing to accept a visual change than a name change. Why so?

We think that a name resonates deeper in the consumer's mind and clearly represent a business without any visual interaction. Therefore, it's creation or change should be well thought through, tried and tested before release.

A great name, such as 'Innocent', embodies everything that their business stands for; purity, simplicity and honesty. They also have the advantage of a great product and supporting brand, which backs up the name and makes the whole package believable.

On the flip side, 'Monday' – the abandoned name for a leading professional services firm's consulting arm, won little support in the market, not because they didn't have a good product, but the name meant nothing to its target audience nor was believable. The rationale was feasible and brave; fresh thinking and a new start, however it would appear that most people associate Mondays with less positive attributes!

At Living, when we create a name, we ensure that it embodies our client's business and passes a series of internal tests to ensure that it becomes memorable and relevant. We also conduct searches with company registrars and domain name providers to highlight any clashes and ensure usability.

Clients that include Asana, Azentus, Farema, Pensato and Silkstone have all benefitted from Living's expertise in naming and if you'd like more information on this service, please contact Abigail Vyner (+44 20 7739 8899) in London or Melanie Osborne (+852 3711 3100) in Hong Kong.

Whats in a name