The Compendium of Amazing Names (CAN): S

Sinking Barge

Boldly Going Where Other Companies Couldn’t Even Imagine

Most companies might only think of “Sinking Barge” as a tragedy, but Compendium favorite Crumpler instead envisions a “mathematically enigmatic,” “shape-shifting” camera bag. Once again, Crumpler is unafraid to boldly go with its names where most companies couldn’t even imagine going, further burnishing their unique attitude and “cool brand” cred.

[ Sinking Barge ]

Skivvy

Be Not Afraid Of Names With Negative Connotations

A fun, interesting word with multiple meanings that some might find “negative” — underwear; a maid who does menial work of all kinds; drudge — that nevertheless works great for this small, stripped-down bare-bones messenger bag from Compendium favorite Crumpler. Don’t be afraid of names with some negative connotations — consumers don’t deconstruct and reject them because of those meanings, but those meanings often give the name the necessary friction to create sparks in the marketplace. See Banana Republic for an even more startling example.

[ Skivvy ]

Snapple

A Perfect Mash-Up Invented Product Brand Name

One of the best invented names to be created not from scratch, like Oreo, but from the mash-up of two existing words (“snap” and “apple”). A beautiful name that perfectly captures the energy and freshness that this tea and soft drink brand is all about, and proving by its success that even having the fruit word root in the name doesn’t limit the brand to selling only fruit juices. A big enough idea to work as both a company name and a product name.

[ Snapple ]

Sons of Britches

A Daring Pun For A New Generation Of Jeans

Yes it’s a pun, but a nice one for men’s denim jeans created by a company, Betabrand, that does a great job of creating and burnishing its distinct personality. Not your father’s jeans from a company that’s not your father’s clothier.

[ Sons of Britches ]

SpringBack

A Company Name That Works On Multiple Levels

SpringBack is one of those names, like Heartstring, that works on multiple levels and is simultaneously both descriptive and evocative. In the literal sense, SpringBack recycles old mattresses and box springs that often otherwise end up in dumps, landfill or streets, because they are relatively difficult to recycle and few companies want to take on that work. The average mattress contains foam that can be recycled into carpet padding and 25 pounds of steel springs. But there’s a secondary, social benefit as well as the environmental benefit: SpringBack only hires ex-convicts, providing them a chance to re-integrate — to “spring back” — into society. Combine all this with an evocation of “Springbok” — a graceful South African gazelle noted for springing lightly into the air — and you’ve got a winning company name.

[ SpringBack | NPR story about SpringBack ]

Stingray

A Smooth, Sleek, Powerful, Mysterious And Dangerous Name

A great American sports car, the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray was manufactured in two distinct flavors, from 1963-1967 and 1968-1982. You could imagine a naming committee shooting down the name Stingray with arguments like, “it’s a slow, bottom-feeding fish, not the message we want attached to this fast sports car.” But of course, people don’t deconstruct names like that, which Chevrolet was smart enough at the time to recognize, and the name went on to become part of American cultural history, evoking a smooth, sleek, powerful, mysterious and even dangerous feeling. Plus the sleek car looked a little like a stingray. A true masterpiece.

[ Stingray ]