At A Hundred Monkeys we make every word count. From naming to brand messaging, our expertise is distillation.
We believe human attention is a resource worth earning and respecting. We use language to draw people in and explain why they might want to stick around.
We are a Berkeley, California-based naming and writing studio. Since 1990, we’ve kept busy working with passionate people who can embrace creativity without being assholes. So far, so good.
EERO was the first wireless router to bring design sensibilities to setting up and using a Wi-Fi network. The name Eero, inspired by the life and work of architect and designer Eero Saarinen, positions the product as an extension of the hearth and home.
We worked with the founding team to develop a name for the company that could also work as the name of their product. Years later, we worked with their marketing team to develop a strategic naming architecture for their expanding product line.
Their placeholder name when they first came to us had trademark challenges. It also didn’t quite work with their positioning. We conducted preliminary trademark screening in the U.S. and the deeper legal clearance was conducted by their legal counsel.
While it was not a driving factor in our process, they were able to acquire eero.com
If given the right conditions, the unexpected always seems to find a way. In this case? The CEO happened to attend elementary school in a building designed by none other than Saarinen himself.
WHEREBY is a video product that gives people the freedom to work from wherever they live best. The name embodies the same principles the team lives by. Whereby is an adverb that essentially means “by which”—it’s the means, or the method. It’s a real word, albeit not one that’s common in everyday language—a sweet spot for a name that you can own that still means something. Here, we also get a direct association with location, reiterating the concept of remote work.
We worked directly with the leadership team of the company, formerly called Appear.in. Up against trademark litigation they could no longer fight, it was time to change the name to something new—something that could also signal the company’s evolution and maturation.
Trademark was incredibly important. While the company is based in Norway, they operate in a number of countries globally where they’d need to protect their brand name for the future.
While a dot com was not the priority, it was a very-nice-to-have.
There were a number of names that the team felt had potential to carry the brand into its new chapter. Ultimately, a combination of the positioning, trademark landscape, and URL options brought Whereby into first place.
OVERTURE is a 55-seat supersonic passenger jet designed to go Mach 2.2. An overture is an introduction, in music and now in flight. Considering this will be Boom’s first commercial aircraft, it says this is just the beginning. The name also has “over” in it, signaling that the jet will literally be 30,000 feet above the competition.
Fairly easy because not a lot of people make airplanes and most people who do name them alphanumerically or after birds of prey.
We took 4 names into deep legal screening with Boom’s trademark counsel. All names passed the test. In the end, Overture was the CEO’s favorite name.
ATMOS is environmental. It places you at the scene and makes you swear you’re really there. The name is atmospheric for a reason. Dolby wanted to move past the linear and logical system that brought us 5.1, 7.1, and 10.1 to a system where sound could come from anywhere—just like the real world. Our job was to name that feeling.
We worked with Dolby’s senior leadership team in San Francisco to position and name the strategic move away from their long-standing X.1 naming architecture.
Names were screened domestically and internationally.
We took 3 names into deep legal screening with Dolby’s trademark counsel. Atmos was the top contender at Dolby and A Hundred Monkeys.
Who do we work with?
We aren’t going to regale you with an exhaustive list of everyone we’ve had a meeting with since 1990. We’ll keep it short. What matters most to us is doing interesting work with good people.
This is a group of companies big and small where there’s mutual respect and a solid track record of collaboration.
- Designer Fund