All Product Names

Pivot: entertainment and social action TV network

Pivot - entertainment and social action TV network namePROJECT: Name a new entertainment and social action television network that will air feature documentaries, reality TV, drama series, variety shows and an open source talk show.

PIVOT: Beyond just turning and rotating, Pivot is the one central thing that something -- maybe everything -- depends upon. It can be a structured course correction or a re-alignment of priorities. Pivot is all about thinking on your feet, adaptation and informed change. Also connotes pivotal, as in being of critical, essential importance.

BRAND POSITION: The Pivot brand is empathetic, and connotes the dance of collaborators -- auteurs and audience -- learning to work together, to understand and inspire each other. The Pivot network doesn't strong-arm or browbeat you, it uses compelling, entertaining stories to get the audience to gently pivot in their thinking, and to inspire them to action.

Explaining the thinking behind the new network's name and brand position, Pivot president Evan Shapiro says that "the world is on a path right now, but there are many different paths that we can choose. We're not necessarily saying which one's the right one, but we know where we're headed right now is not working. So it's time to shift, and it's time to pivot."

Here is a promo video that introduces the network and it's new shows and content features:

The world is changing, and Pivot will be right there in the middle of that change. And with its innovative digital distribution strategy, Pivot may just turn the television industry upside down as well. The name Pivot is perfect for this ambitious network that is both television and post-television. The old ways of thinking, acting and relating to each other and the world are not working anymore. It's time to Pivot.

Pivot. It's your turn.

VISIT: Pivot

Gogo: airline wi-fi broadband service

Gogo Inflight InternetPROJECT: A revolutionary new wi-fi service for commercial aircraft.

GOGO: From "go-go" -- full of energy, vitality, or daring; stylish, modern, or up-to-date.

BRAND POSITION: The name had to be memorable, fun, short, universally known, be available for trademark and easy to pronounce globally, and map to both the travel experience and the Internet connectivity experience.


Aquaria: small business capital lending company

Aquaria Funds logoPROJECT: Name a new financial company that provides small business loans and capital financing to entrepreneurs.

AQUARIA: A beautiful word that is the plural of aquarium, which can either describe a small tank or an entire building housing fish and other aquatic life.

BRAND POSITION: Aquaria maps to a primary brand positioning concept we developed for this project, which we called "The Source": metaphorically the source of life, and literally as a positive source of energy to help nourish your small business and, by extension, a source for new jobs in the community. Aquaria is fresh, natural, and refreshing, evoking a colorful, active, life-sustaining and nurturing organic ecosystem, just the kind of lending environment that the company has created for small businesses as an alternative to the cold, impersonal world of the big banks. Aquaria will help put your company on the map and on display for all the world to see and marvel at, so your business and your dream can flourish. An elegant and beautiful name that perfectly reflects the aspirations and brand narrative of this vibrant company.

VISIT: Aquaria

RedShift: MBA-level online training for companies

RedShift logoPROJECT: Name a new MBA-level online training product for business from eCornell drawing from a library of on-demand content from Cornell University.

REDSHIFT: In astronomy, a shift in the spectra of very distant galaxies toward longer wavelengths (to the red end of the spectrum); generally interpreted as evidence that the universe is expanding.

BRAND POSITION: Evidence that the universe is expanding, Redshift is the perfect metaphor for a system that enables and empowers the next-generation of business leaders to create expansive, sustained growth for their companies. The color red is an essential element of the Cornell University and eCornell brand identity; in fact, "Big Red" is the informal name of the sports teams, and other competitive teams, at Cornell University. So the client very much liked the dynamic reference to Cornell University, in the sense of "shifting" away from the ivory tower of academia ("Big Red") to the "real world" of corporate learning, while still retaining its roots and academic bona fides. Expanding the universe of education beyond the university. "Shift" also suggests a new paradigm in online learning, as well as shifting the balance sheet "out of the red and into the black," implying that this is good for a company's bottom line. Authoritative, proven, credible and dynamic, a forward-thinking name for a progressive leader in online education.

VISIT: RedShift

Groove: water bottle with built-in filter

CamelBak GroovePROJECT: Naming CamelBak's first water bottle product with a built-in filter.

GROOVE: A literal and metaphorical groove.

BRAND POSITION: The name Groove captures the spirit of life in motion, of being "in the groove," "getting your groove on" and "feeling groovy." It also maps nicely to the physical attributes of the product, with the filter slipping into a "groove" within the straw chamber and the patented CamelBak "bite valve" mouthpiece playing off the phrase "tongue and groove."

VISIT: Groove

Gravy: hyperlocal events listing app


PROJECT: Re-name a hyperlocal event listings mobile app to create an evocative brand that will become synonymous with finding great things to do near you, wherever you live or plan to visit.

GRAVY: Gravy is the good stuff, the "secret sauce," a source for discovering all the juicy things going on around you. Like the gravy you eat, the event listings in the Gravy app flow smoothly to your mobile device, and the feeds are customizable in a variety of ways.

BRAND POSITION: C'mon admit it, you want another scoop of Gravy. The brand positioning for this app, which we helped our client develop, began with "Get Engaged" – have an active lifestyle, be out and about, take part in life by discovering great events and experiences right in your own backyard. It is all about serendipitous discovery, finding your fun, getting the scoop with "insider information" about cool happenings near you. Think of it as your very own hipster tipster!

Finding and having fun, memorable experiences shouldn't be hard, shouldn't be a time-consuming chore, shouldn't be work; it should be natural and easy. Like Gravy. The brand embodies -- and the new name demonstrates -- a rich and flavorful experience; it brings out the best and makes everything taste better. Gravy shows you the way, but doesn't get in the way.

Have you ever kicked yourself for missing an event near you that you would have attended if only you had known about it in advance? Do you ever suffer from FOMO -- Fear Of Missing Out? Then get Gravy, and you'll always be in the know.

More Gravy please.

VISIT: Gravy

Jupiter Wells: online window treatments brand

Jupiter WellsPROJECT: A new upscale online window treatments brand.

JUPITER WELLS: Derived from a very small and remote Australian Aboriginal settlement called Jupiter Well.

BRAND POSITION: Evocative, memorable and differentiated from the crowd of boring, mostly descriptive names in the window treatment space. This name elevates the brand above the goods being sold; is charming and disarming; emphasizes style; has some familiarity/meaning; and sounds vaguely like it could be both a designer's name and/or evoke a non-specific sense of place. Jupiter Wells demonstrates, rather than explains, a unique, entirely new perspective, creating emotional engagement with its audience.

VISIT: Jupiter Wells

Nuage Rouge: gourmet food service brand

Nuage Rouge logoPROJECT: Rebrand a Montreal-based artisanal gourmet food service for cafes, bars, and microbreweries. French is the dominant language in Quebec, and by law all commercial signage in Montreal must appear in French. So the new name had to work first in French, but also translate well into English.

NUAGE ROUGE: The English translation is "Red Cloud." A nuage rouge / red cloud sunset occurs when unique atmospheric conditions turn the sun and the surrounding sky an intense red. Red Cloud is also the name of a powerful Native American warrior and chief of the Oglala Lakota from 1868 to 1909.

BRAND POSITION: The client came to us after they outgrew the restrictive misnomer of their original name, Tablée Terre, which most people interpreted to mean "from the land to the table," rather than intended meaning, "family table." People assumed this was a company that delivered farm-to-table produce, not pre-prepared gourmet foods. The client realized that this was a perfect opportunity to not only change their name, but create an evocative brand narrative that meshed with their passionate and disruptive spirit.

We worked closely with the client to create a powerful and memorable brand and insure that the name worked equally well in both English and French. There are myriad poetic images evoked by Nuage Rouge. For instance, "Nuage/Cloud" connotes limitless possibilities, light, air, freshness, bliss, euphoria, energy, the spirit world, mobility, freedom, liberty, abandon, independence and boundless imagination. "Rouge/Red" evokes feelings of hot, spicy, peppery, sexy, passionate, bold, daring, audacious, dangerous, extreme, and revolutionary.

Nuage Rouge is the perfect metaphor for an eclectic fusion of French, Cajun, Belgian, Spanish and South American cuisine. The vision for the kitchen was inspired by the ethos and food preparation techniques of a community of Trappist monks which settled in Quebec in the early 20th century. The Trappists deeply believe in the power of work and the creation of goods. The 48th chapter of the Rule of St. Benedict states, "for then are they monks in truth, if they live by the work of their hands." Nuage Rouge shares this deep commitment to the land, food, and the spiritual powers of honest craft.

But the brand also has a more playful and wild side that is invoked by its philosophical associations with the Trickster archetype. The Trickster in Native American mythology is a spirit or anthropomorphic animal who plays tricks or otherwise disobeys normal rules and conventional behavior in order to raise awareness, and acts as an equalizer and catalyst for change. Tricksters can be cunning or foolish or both; they are often funny even when considered sacred or while performing important cultural tasks. The mission of Nuage Rouge is to disturb the conventional bar food paradigm with its rustic and sustainable approach to food preparation, delivery, consumption and package recycling. Another unique and disruptive aspect to Nuage Rouge is that their products can pop up anywhere, anytime and in any form just like a mischievous Trickster. Or a cloud. In fact, you might think of them as the first cloud-based kitchen in Canada. Perhaps the entire world.

VISIT: Nuage Rouge

theWit: upscale downtown Chicago business hotel

theWit hotelPROJECT: Name a new upscale urban business hotel in downtown Chicago.

theWIT: Keen perception, sagacity, intelligence and humor.

BRAND POSITION: "TheWit" captures the essence of a remarkable hotel experience infused with intelligence, creativity and joie de vivre, in a business hotel that refuses to take itself too seriously.


truTV: television network renaming

truTVPROJECT: Rename Court TV to reflect a wider array of programming.

truTV: Television vérité.

BRAND POSITION: The new name reflects the network’s popular line-up of series that offer first-person access to exciting, real-life stories, and is no longer restricted to court-themed shows.


Braven addiction recovery program for young adults

Braven addiction recovery programPROJECT: Name a new addiction treatment program for young adults who are at high risk of relapse. The program provides a personalized 12-step approach, individual therapy sessions, gender-specific group therapy, recreational therapy, life-skills training and access to state-of-the-art psychiatric medical services.

BRAVEN: A rare English word meaning to make brave, embolden. Or, to paraphrase the Urban Dictionary definition: A strong, courageous, warrior; a leader of many in fairness and truth; a man or woman with a purpose.

BRAND POSITIONING: Elements Behavioral Health, a repeat client of ours, came to us to rebrand what had been called "The Impact Program" for high-risk young adults at The Recovery Place, an Elements treatment center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Traditional alcohol and drug rehab programs tend to treat everyone the same way. This approach isn’t very effective, especially with relapse-prone young adults who have unique issues and triggers.

Elements was interested in a name that demonstrated rather than described their unique approach to recovery. We responded by developing the distinctive and empowering name Braven, saluting the boldness and bravery required of these young adults to overcome powerful negative forces in their lives, with a nod to contemporary usage that elevates their struggle to the heroic and emphasizes positive traits of integrity, strength and honesty. Recovery is a program of action, and Braven is a very actionable and "verbable" name. The Recovery Place Bravens its young clients, empowering them with the courage, strength and hope to thrive in the adult world.

Braven: Fearless in the face of addiction.

Visit: Braven

Exo: advanced telecommunications network

PROJECT: Name Shaw's next generation telecommunications network, offering high-definition television, on-demand programming, high-speed Internet and advanced telephone capabilities.

EVO: Derived from the prefix "exo-," meaning "outside of" (exoskeleton, exosystem). Shaw Exo is short, sweet, cool, futuristic, and works great as a graphic "bug" on TV, computer and mobile device screens.

BRAND POSITION: Shaw Communications, the leading cable television and Internet provider in Canada, wanted a name for its next generation television and communications network that was short, powerful, and different from the competition. Exo deftly delivers, positioning the product as beyond the usual, beyond expectations, beyond what has been done before in this space, and "outside the box," both figuratively and literally (the TV cable box). The name is aspirational and future-forward:

"Shaw Exo is a promise that we will continue to innovate, lead, and provide the latest in technology and entertainment offerings to customers," said Peter Bissonnette, president of Shaw Communications. "With Shaw Exo, the power of our network allows us to continue delivering the products and services that our customers are looking for."

"Above and beyond" the parameters of the competition and most definitely outside the box, Exo is the perfect name for Shaw's network of the future. Available now.

VISIT: Shaw Exo | Shaw Exo 2012 Super Bowl commercial

Criterion: HCM software company and brand

CriterionPROJECT: Rename an established HCM (Human Capital Management) software company to create a brand that better represents the values and aspirations of this reenergized HR, benefits and payroll software firm.

CRITERION: The ideal in terms of which something can be judged; a basis for comparison; a reference point against which other things can be evaluated.

BRAND POSITIONING: PerfectSoftware came to us as a thirty year old software firm with a new management team, game-changing product enhancements, and fresh capital investment that positioned the company for explosive growth. The management team saw this as the perfect opportunity to rebrand and asked us to create a name that better exemplified the company's bold new vision and ethos.

We created the name Criterion, which is the perfect brand name for both the company that is setting the new standard in HR software performance and the software platform that delivers on every important criteria of Human Capital Management (HCM). Criterion provides HR professionals with a comprehensive, integrated and flexible human resource and payroll solution for managing their company's most valuable asset — human capital. Which is another way of saying People Power.

The name also maps to the unique approach the company takes in product development, which is to design and implement each system based on their client's individual criteria of system features and functionality. In essence, each system is a not only setting a new standard of excellence in software engineering, but also the criterion by which they are developed. In addition, Criterion's HCM suite allows businesses and organizations to manage a broad range of critical human resource functions more effectively and efficiently, within a single system.

VISIT: Criterion

Tizzy: a “yogurt café” restaurant chain brand name

TizzyPROJECT: Create a brand name for a new "yogurt café" restaurant chain.

TIZZY: A state of nervous excitement.

BRAND POSITIONING: Several soon-to-be-ex-Golden Spoon Frozen Yogurt franchise owners who were passionate about expanding the "single category" frozen yogurt menu to multiple complementary products that meet the needs of active and healthy-lifestyle customers hired Zinzin to put a name to their vision. Tizzy captures the feeling of great excitement and elation when you enter one of the shops and discover that this is not your typical frozen yogurt experience. This brand is all about energy, vitality and joy. Tizzy offers a healthy and nutritional menu and has something for everyone: parents, kids, seniors, college students -- even elite athletes. The stores have a warm and comfortable environment, with free wi-fi, where customers can meet friends and family, hang out, conduct business meetings, and get a pre- or post-workout energy boost.

There are also many ways that the brand and its customers can play with the language around this name: Get into a Tizzy. I'm in a Tizzy. Meet me at Tizzy's. I'm in a Tizzy for great frozen yogurt. A short, sweet, powerful and memorable name.

Visit: Tizzy -- Thousand Oaks, CA
Visit: Tizzy -- Simi Valley, CA

Exeter: enterprise healthcare payer software platform

Exeter logoPROJECT: Name a new enterprise healthcare payer software platform from DST Health Solutions.

EXETER: Derived from the historic city Exeter in Devon, England. Originally the ancient Roman city of Isca Dumnoniorum ("Isca of the Dumnones or Devonians"), it was important because of its strategic location. A few hundred years after the Romans left, the river's name morphed from the Celtic word Isca (water) into Exe, and the strategic city on its banks became known as Exeter. The city's motto is Semper fidelis (Always Faithful). Indicative of its associations with power and speed, five different ships of the British Royal Navy and one Star Trek starship have been named Exeter.

BRAND POSITION: The strategic business demands of today's healthcare industry call for internal payer software that is adaptable, secure and fast. The name Exeter is short, poetic and energetic. It has an epic, historical feel, but also a nice high-tech connotation, without sounding trendy or appearing faddish. With its "-eter" suffix, it implies exactitude as well as measurement -- think units of measure (meter, kilometer, centimeter) or measuring devices (barometer, altimeter, speedometer). The name Exeter evokes this software platform's precision, speed, and reliability. Exeter is the new standard in healthcare payer management software.

VISIT: Exeter (PDF)

Brightwater Landing addiction treatment center

Brightwater LandingPROJECT: Name a new substance abuse and mental health treatment center in Southeastern Pennsylvania. The center offers clinical, experiential and adventure-based therapies, including art therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, meditation, mindfulness, neurofeedback, ropes course, and yoga in a beautiful natural riverside setting.

BRIGHTWATER LANDING: Ring of Bright Water is an autobiographical book by Gavin Maxwell from 1960 (and a subsequent fictionalized film in 1969), which tells the story of how Maxwell brought a smooth-coated otter back from Iraq and raised it at his house on the west coast of Scotland. The book and film title was taken from a line in Kathleen Raine's poem "The Marriage of Psyche" (see below). Brightwater is also the name of a small town in New Zealand on the Wairoa River named in the mid-19th Century after a popular song at the time, "Bright Water," which was about choosing non-alcoholic drinks over spirits. The name also evokes brightness, clarity, and lucidity in a riverside setting. A landing is a place along a river where people and goods can be landed from a boat or ship, as well as an act or process of coming to land or rest, especially after a voyage or flight.

BRAND POSITIONING: In this project, one of a series we have done for Elements Behavioral Health, we were tasked with naming a new substance abuse and mental health treatment center situated on a plateau overlooking the scenic Susquehanna River in Wrightsville, Pennsylvania. The recovery program was developed by a team of distinguished clinicians and specializes in the treatment of trauma and other co-occurring disorders. The center merges traditional and complementary approaches including acceptance and commitment therapy, fitness, hypnotherapy, individual, group and family therapy, motivational interviewing, psychodrama and therapeutic drumming.

Elements was interested in developing a name that would map conceptually to this unique blend of clinical and experiential therapies and reference the center's idyllic setting. We responded by creating the name Brightwater Landing, a name that vividly evokes the center's beautiful natural surroundings on the Susquehanna River as well as the cathartic treatment process, designed to nurture the whole person, body, mind and spirit.

In addition to the powerful history of the name Brightwater/"Bright Water," the individual words that make up the name offer many other strong associations as well. Bright evokes intelligence, good cheer, enlightenment, hope, light, illumination, optimism, clarity, energy, radiance, and transparency. Water has long been associated with the powers of healing, reflection, rejuvenation, refreshment, immersion, introspection, meditation, purification, and spiritual rebirth. Landing has both literal and metaphorical connotations as it evokes the center's distinct geographic feature, that of being on a majestic plateau above the Susquehanna River, while poetically referencing the clients who come here looking for a safe place to "land" after "coming down" from the extended "high" of drug or alcohol dependence.

Brightwater Landing is a bright and shining example of the power of an emblematic name supported by a rich brand narrative.

Brightwater Landing. Rejuvenate your spirit. Rediscover your path.

Visit: Brightwater Landing

EXTRA: Here is Kathleen Raine's poem, "The Marriage of Psyche," the source for the book Ring of Bright Water — more background depth to the name Brightwater Landing:

He has married me with a ring, a ring of bright water
Whose ripples travel from the heart of the sea,
He has married me with a ring of light, the glitter
Broadcast on the swift river.
He has married me with the sun's circle
Too dazzling to see, traced in summer sky.
He has crowned me with the wreath of white cloud
That gathers on the snowy summit of the mountain,
Ringed me round with the world-circling wind,
Bound me to the whirlwind's centre.
He has married me with the orbit of the moon
And with the boundless circle of stars,
With the orbits that measure years, months, days, and nights,
Set the tides flowing,
Command the winds to travel or be at rest.

At the ring's centre,
Spirit, or angel troubling the pool,
Causality not in nature,
Finger’s touch that summons at a point, a moment
Stars and planets, life and light
Or gathers cloud about an apex of cold,
Transcendent touch of love summons my world into being.