Invented names made from morphemic mashups are often praised for being “completely unique, unlike anything else that is out there.” While this might be technically true, such names are only unique in the same way that every snowflake is unique; in a blizzard, however, the uniqueness of an individual snowflake disappears. The same thing happens when “unique” mashup names join the real world brand blizzard – they vanish from sight, indistinguishable from one another.
What is the Manifesto?
The Naming & Branding Manifesto is a live, ongoing exploration of Zinzin's philosophy of naming and branding, presented here with the latest Manifesto bites at the top.
Get the Manifesto PDF
On our Downloads page, you can get The Naming & Branding Manifesto PDF, which is in chronological order, or the standard naming guide, which includes The Manifesto.
5 Random Manifesti
When evaluating the names on your shortlist, perform this little thought experiment: imagine that your fiercest competitor has just re-branded, and their new name is one of the names you are considering (try it with each name). Which of the … »»»
The lesson of snowflakes is to never confuse structural uniqueness – the “genetic code” of an individual name, its unique sequence of letters – with semantic uniqueness, its “uniqueness of meaning.” Any name has meaning on some level – witness … »»»
Great names demonstrate your brand positioning. Weak names force you to explain your brand positioning, and that’s called advertising. It is very expensive, and not nearly as effective as demonstrating. Bear this in mind when considering the cost of a … »»»
The word “consumer,” meant to describe your audience or the people who buy your products, is demeaning and should be banished. In the old days it made sense: you put out a product, advertised it, and then the “consumers” would … »»»
Language is messy. It is governed by rules that are often broken and riddled with exceptions that give it life. In order to create the best possible name for a company, product, baby, horse, character, or other, you have to … »»»