* Clients come in search of information, and a name can clue them in on the direction and attitude of the company
* Names can get people to take notice, so it helps to pull something from left field
* Names aren't always objects to possess and protect; they can be shared and interpreted
Once every clear Sunday, my friends and I stroll through the beer section at BevMo. It's a daunting task. We wander through the stretch of aisles without knowing what to expect. Though, eventually, we'll stop at an item like "Old Speckled Hen" or "Hair of the Dog." Someone says, "Hey, I wonder what 'Hair of the Dog' tastes like," and the rest of us will nod in agreement, affirming our collective interest.
What we've learned is that a good name goes a long way in provoking intrigue. Marketers understand our lot. As 21st century consumers, we're caught in a blitzkrieg of detail. We're swamped with buzzwords and technical spiel, so we're conditioned to skim through the fine print. To incite that initial point of connection (visually and emotionally), we require something conspicuous at the forefront, and what's more conspicuous than a name like Rouge Dead Guy Ale?
Never before has a name been so tantamount, and ad agencies are conscious of this zeitgeist. It's reflected in the evolution of their own names. Gone are the days of Anderson & Anderson. Welcome to the present day of Circ.us and Mother. But while agencies are having fun with their names, it would be shortsighted to say that it's all about the flash and novelty. The name can act as a one-word pitch as well; what does the agency want to instill in the client? Is it a sense of trust? Maybe even a hint of intimidation? You might say a name is poetry distilled to its finest point.
Below are a few of the more provocative names in the interactive industry. What do they mean? How were they born? As it turns out, a single word can be a mouthful.
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