March 20th, 2015

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What’s a ButFor?

by tyler doyle

Have you heard of Spoonrocket? It’s like Uber but for food. Have you heard of YPlan? It’s like Uber but for events. Have you heard of Wolfpack? It’s like Tinder but for friendless straight dudes. Have you heard of Coffee? …

March 3rd, 2015

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Emoji Brands: Taking Names at Face Value

by 100m

Doubters beware: emoji are here to stay. Their Western invasion (or welcomed arrival, depending on your point of view) began in earnest in 2010, when Unicode, the computer industry text standard, released Unicode Standard 6.0. At Google and Apple’s behest, …

February 23rd, 2015

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Football brands deserve more fitting sponsors

by Eli Altman

Let’s start with something really obvious: football (“soccer” for the Americans and Australians) is the most popular sport in the world. Unlike the NBA, NFL, NHL and MLB, most professional football leagues allow for sponsorship on their uniforms. Considering all …

February 5th, 2015

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Descriptive Names: Wasting Space Since 1900

by tyler doyle

A name shouldn’t tell people what a business or product does. These names—descriptive names—are everywhere: Microsoft, General Electric, Carfax, Jacksonville Sports Store. The business version of occupational names like Smith, Carpenter, and Miller, they’re united by their flare for generic …

January 26th, 2015

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Naming Contests and You: A Cautionary Tale

by tyler doyle

Before you start that naming contest, take a deep breath. Choosing a name is a bit like choosing a spouse: you aren’t locked in forever, but it’s better for all concerned if you are. It’s a hell of a lot …

January 19th, 2015

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How Company and Product Naming Shapes First Impressions

by tyler doyle

First impressions are pivotal. In one-tenth of a second, we decide how we feel about a person—we form a mental image to build on in the future. That image is unusually tough to change. It takes some doing to override …

January 8th, 2015

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Empty Vessel Company Names: The Fortune 500’s Secret Weapon

by tyler doyle

Cigna, Avnet, and Alcoa are all Fortune 500 companies. Each has what we call an “empty vessel” name—a moniker with little meaning for a given audience. Empty vessels are extraordinarily popular with large companies in most industries. Names are an …

November 21st, 2014

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Show and Tell

by tyler doyle

Let’s translate a few common phrases: “You can trust me” means “Don’t trust me.” “This is going to be fun” means “This will definitely suck.” “We care” means “You are a number to us.” Say these, and you’re sending a …

September 15th, 2014

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The Frozen Pea Problem

by tyler doyle

It goes like this: Have you ever named food? Yes. Have you ever named frozen food? Sure. Have you ever named frozen peas? No… We’re really looking for someone with specific expertise here. A fictional version of a conversation that’s …

August 25th, 2014

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Don’t Call It Anything: House Bills and Hurricanes

by tyler doyle

Even without Katrina and Audrey, hurricanes with female names are twice as deadly as their masculine counterparts, according to a recent study. The theory: potential victims aren’t as threatened by feminine-sounding storms, don’t prepare as diligently, and suffer the consequences. …