Helpful words

Snacks on snacks on snacks: Snack naming at the Island Pacific Supermarket

This weekend I had the pleasure of visiting the Island Pacific Supermarket in Vallejo, California. For the uninitiated, the Island Pacific Supermarket in Vallejo is a supermarket featuring foods from the Philippines.  I entered the store looking for snacks as I had spent most of the day performing manual labor and was wanting to snack…

Problem namers

A case for brand names that wallow with us. As consumers, we’re inundated with positive messages for products meant to make our lives better. This tastes good. This makes you more appealing to others. This makes your kids happy. This makes you happy because it’s cheaper than the other thing.  Alongside this positivity comes a…

Laissez-Faire Attitudes Yield Shitty Soufflés

Thoughts on Client Enthusiasm I lead about 25 naming projects every year and I’ve noticed a common characteristic that is a solid indicator for how fruitful a specific creative relationship will be: passion. To put it simply, do you care about what you’re doing and do you get others excited about it? Further, for naming…

What to do with all this noise

We live in a noisy world, and it’s not just noisy for our ears, it’s noisy for our eyes and our minds too. Modern communication has allowed us near-unlimited access to all our loved ones and acquaintances. It’s also made for a vast sea of content and managing all of this noise can be taxing…

Build it and they will come

What we’ve learned from building naming architectures At A Hundred Monkeys we have a singular focus for most of our naming projects. We’re naming one company or one product. A smaller subset of our work is focused on naming multiple products that make up a brand’s portfolio. We call this work naming architecture. My colleague…

The state of writing at A Hundred Monkeys

  At the end of every year at A Hundred Monkeys our leadership team gets together in Mill Valley, down the street from the old auto repair shop where we first started working together. We reflect on the work we’ve done over the past year and talk about the work we want to do next…

Some of the best names I’ve come across as a professional namer

It’s fun to talk about bad names. We do so often. Our Creative Director Eli started an instagram hash tag for just that purpose: #dontcallitthat. Eli also documents all the names he comes across in the wild and discusses them on Medium. Round one. Round Two. As a group, all of us at A Hundred…

We need to stop naming people at work

People at Google are Googlers. People at Twitter are Tweeps. People at Amazon are Amazonians. These names feel like they are coming from a place of camaraderie and pride. There’s an element of shared experience. After all, you’re spending 40 (who are we kidding 50+) hours a week with these people. That’s more time than…

How to find good names

Good names do not fly out of the aether. Most are found, which requires careful looking. Books are one of the best places to look, so if you’re looking to find great names the more you read the more you’ll be successful at finding hidden gems. I’m always reading one or more works of both…

The Burning Ears 2018

  • About: Naming

For the second year in a row, the team at A Hundred Monkeys put our heads together for the Burning Ears—our annual look at the best and worst in company and product names. Last year’s Burning Ears was a product of Creative Director, Eli Altman’s naming workbook “Don’t Call it That” and his call to…