Your name is the tip of the spear.
Your company name is the first point of contact. It's your first chance to show people you're different. The right name can give you a strong, clear voice in a crowded marketplace. When you're faced with 1% click-thru rates and two-second attention spans, having a name that stands out can be instrumental to your success.
How it works
Calling a meeting and throwing a bunch of names up on a whiteboard is not a naming process. When you approach naming this way it puts the emphasis on agreement instead of creating a brand.
We call it the Ice Cream Principle: send 10 people to get ice cream and tell them they all have to agree on one flavor – it will be chocolate or vanilla every time. Boring.
Our process is designed to keep naming creative, avoid groupthink, and intelligently incorporate parameters like trademark and URL.
"The whole point is to stand out from the crowd. But these days we're so afraid of making a mistake that we market-test creative, cool, and fun names to death. They all end up sounding the same." -Danny Altman in Fast Company
Who We've done naming for:
Here's how you end up with a great company name
We probably don’t know you from a hole in the wall. This is a good thing because it allows us to learn about you the same way your audience does. We get to see how everything is organized, what you are communicating clearly, and what’s hard to grasp.
From there we ask a lot of questions to strip it down to the bare metal. What do you stand for? What’s your point of view about the world? What territory do you want to occupy? We want to know who you really are, what makes you tick, what you care about and why.
There is nothing easy about taking risks and standing out. It can be nerve-wracking and even the most savvy clients can have a crisis of faith now and then.
So we put you through a course that helps you understand the naming process and focus on thinking like your audience.
Great names communicate one thing really well instead of trying to draw a circle around the attributes of a whole company or product. During this phase we establish communication goals for the names we're going to present.
This way when you look at names you can judge them against objective criteria instead of saying "I sorta like this one."
You’ll receive two to three rounds of names from us, depending on the scope and timing of your project. The first round will explore a lot of fresh, creative directions in order to help you see your project in totally new ways. We present names in contextual situations so you're not just looking at a naked word on a page.
After presenting names we use your feedback to start to narrow in on an approach we’re all excited about. After each presentation, we create a feedback summary that goes over what we learned and how we’re going to zero in on the target.
We’ll also be keeping you informed on the legal/trademark issues that come up along the way. All of our names are checked, and then checked again. First for the obvious on the Web, then with rigorous scrutiny by intellectual property attorneys before we present them.
This is where we stress-test the top 3-4 names. Together, we look at the relative merits and strengths of each potential company name. Our goal during this phase is to give you a look at the brand the names are working to establish. We'll also advise on URL options and acquisition if necessary.
After the dust settles, we give you our company name recommendations in order of preference. Then you take the leap.
"A good name can be a strong wind at your back. If you can't think of a name, I would absolutely spend the bucks and hire A Hundred Monkeys. They're going to come up with a better name that the ones you've thought up." –Rich Skrenta, CEO, Topix
Who are these people?
We're A Hundred Monkeys. We've been doing naming since before you were born if you were born after 1975 when we named the Rhode Island Lottery "The Lot." We're a small group of strategists, writers, and designers who took a particular interest in the early stages of company and product development.
We approach naming as a highly specialized marketing exercise. At this point we've done naming for everyone from small biotech startups and international conglomerates to ex-Special Forces security consultants and frozen banana stands.