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
While there are definitely parts of a naming project that can be hard, challenging work – trademark screening, due-diligence research, linguistic connotation screening, domain checking, etc. – the actual name generation, discussion and deliberation should be engaging, thought-provoking, cathartic, stimulating, … »»»
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 … »»»
If the perfect name for your product is “Blue,” but you have a naming convention that only considers geometric shapes and sounds, not colors, then you have an arbitrary filter in place that is limiting the names you can even … »»»
It’s a very simple calculus: if your competitors are all doing the same thing, then you will stand out if you do something different. And the first and most visible point of differentiation is with your name. That’s why every … »»»
When naming, companies often make a fundamental mistake about the nature of risk. The faulty assumption is that they need a descriptive name in order to “describe what they do,” or what their product does, because they “don’t have a … »»»