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
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 … »»»
Old cliches never die, but they can often be turned inside-out. So while it’s true that a picture might be worth a thousand words, a great name is a word or two that can paint a thousand pictures in the … »»»
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 … »»»
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 … »»»
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; … »»»