For too many people and companies, a name is merely an identifier, a functional string of letters or numbers with little brand value. This is the baseline, primordial meaning and function of a name. As Wittgenstein puts it, "A name cannot be dissected any further by means of a definition: it is a primitive sign." The question is, what more can a name do for you? Quite a few things, actually, once you move beyond the primitive notion that names are merely descriptive, functional signs.
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
Don’t be discouraged by the difficulty of securing a domain name, and don’t let domains dictate your choice of names. It’s far better to have a great brand name with a compound word modified domain than a weak name with … »»»
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 … »»»
Consulting a thesaurus is the first stop on the naming train for most people, who think that finding the right synonym will lead to the perfect name. It won’t, because it’s already been done to death. Go deep instead – … »»»
Language is the fruit fly’s view of evolution – rapid change, mutation, morphogenesis. It is capable of being influenced, molded, formed, deformed and reformed before our eyes and ears. It is a mutant made to be torn asunder and reconfigured. … »»»
We live in a culture with so many signals coming at us so quickly, that most messages, including brand names, just get buried in the avalanche of tweets, calls to action, toll-free numbers, friend requests, dinner conversations, infomercials, podcasts, IMs, … »»»