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 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 … »»»
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. … »»»
It’s not enough to just “produce” products for “consumers” to consume. You need to foster engagement with your audience. Live in the big world and be a part of it, treat individuals with consideration, and be open, transparent and helpful. … »»»
Communication began with grunts and squeals, crude vocalizations, painted images and a lot of hand waving. From this names evolved to identify the bison to be hunted or the ideal cave for shelter and ceremony. Names are the beginning of … »»»
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 … »»»