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About Naming

Say hello to Assorted Characters 👋

  • About: Naming

Assorted Characters is a limited edition 3 volume zine of names and other found text collected by the team at A Hundred Monkeys. It is available exclusively through No Picnic Press. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been taking pictures of names and other language I find. This could be on a neighborhood…

New word, who dis?

What happens when we see words that are unfamiliar to us — in naming and beyond Ingredients, technologies, viral strains, street names, animal breeds. We see new words constantly—so much so that we don’t always notice when it’s happening. Our brains become accustomed to new words quickly after a bit of language processing, which of…

Brand architecture is a delusional fantasy

As I, a branding professional, understand it, Brand Architecture is the relationship between all of the branded elements within an organization. This could be subsidiaries, sub-brands, products, features, services—really anything branded within an organization. So if we take Nike as an example, they have owned subsidiaries like Hurley and Converse. They have sub-brands like Nike…

Ingredients to run with

Taking a closer look at running shoe ingredient branding There is a vast world of running shoe ingredient brands. What started with Nike Air and Asics Gel has exploded into a supernova of running technologies™️. While these running companies are busy churning out new innovations, what are they actually communicating to their customers? Do runners…

We’ve Got Your Number: Brand Names that Use Numbers

At A Hundred Monkeys we know that names are made up of interesting stuff. Sometimes there are rich stories, curious histories, or interesting etymologies baked in. Other times brands include unexpected “characters” like letters from ancient alphabets, mathematical symbols, or numbers. I was curious to explore the latter of these three types of names and…

Don’t kill these names

Recently, when sharing names with clients, I’ve had a few folks say something along the lines of “That’s a nice name but it sounds like a soap company” or “If I were starting an [insert industry here] brand, this would be perfect.” To which my response is something along the lines of “Yes, that name…

Is your name carrying its weight?

Here’s how to tell if your name is doing all it can for you. Also, if you decide to change your name, we’ll discuss the best time to do it. One: Start with the business side of things. Are you clear on your core business offerings, how you’re different, and how you’re positioned against the…

Trademark Screening 101: How we get it done at A Hundred Monkeys

It’s not all fun and games over here at A Hundred Monkeys. We, too, are governed by the laws of the United States. Specifically, trademark law happens to be very much a part of our business. We’ve gotten to know the intersection of trademark law and naming over the years. We’ve designed our process in…

Systematized: A look at mountain bike naming systems

Naming architecture and systems are top of mind as I’m wrapping up a large, multifaceted naming architecture project and spinning up on another this spring. As I’ve been completing this work, I’ve discovered how little information is readily available on how to evaluate and approach naming architectures and systems. For clarity on how we think…

The Brand is the Company is the Product

There are many reasons for companies to seek help with naming. One issue that confounds a number of growing businesses who have yet to make a splash is how to name their brand, company, and products. Granted, at an early inflection point they may only have one product, which actually plays to their advantage. In…