The National Football League (NFL) season is in full swing, and football is once again dominating American’s weekends. In fact, according to Sports Media Watch, over 22.7 million people watched at least one NFL game last weekend. Although primarily considered a leisure time activity, one can learn a lot about naming from football.
GoPro founder Nick Woodman joined ABC’s Shark Tank panel last month in Episode 610. One of the featured companies in the episode was one called Kitchen Safe, a smart container that helps form good habits by locking away items for a set period of time, mainly cookies and sweets so you have no access to them until the set time expires and unlocks the container. The description of the product went as follows:
If I asked you what the companies RadioShack and Kayak have in common, apart from their pleasant rhyme, what would you say? You likely would struggle to come up with a common attribute between an electronics company and a travel website. The biggest difference has nothing to do with their products; it involves their name. One company chose a name that although appropriate at the time, has now shackled them to an obsolete concept. The other company chose a timeless name that will allow them to grow and transform when required, a name that will continue to keep them at the top of their industry.
A great business name is sticky and flexible. Whether you hear it in a crowded room or say it yourself, it resonates and remains. So what are the naming strategies behind some of the greatest companies of all time? Apple was able to make people believe that the high-tech world of personal computing was friendly and inviting by choosing a common, every day name. Samsonite created an image of strength and durability that only Samson himself could uphold. BlackBerry used our sense of touch by associating the phone and its small keyboard buttons to the drupelets that form the blackberry fruit.
What is the meaning of Storify? When I first stumbled upon Storify, which was quite recently, my immediate thought was that it was another company offering cloud storage or possibly a company that offered an ecommerce solution for websites (similar to what Shopify offers). When I soon figured out it was something altogether different I bothered for just a few moments to figure out what it really was. I couldn’t figure it out quickly enough so I left.
Many unique company names experience quick Internet fame despite their head-scratching and sometimes awkward sound. Pinterest anybody? Say the name about twenty times and you’ll start to get a feel for its inherent oddness. You are probably aware that the name is a combination of the words “pin” and “interest” but is it really?
Bimbo Bakeries may be the largest bakery company in the United States, but the English meaning for Bimbo has caused more marketing headaches for the company than expected. The company is a corporate arm of Mexico's Grupo Bimbo, where the company originated. One Bimbo representative commented that the name is a derivative of the Italian word bambino, meaning little boy and should be pronounced “Beembo.” Grupo Bimbo's website offers an alternative explanation, describing it as a combination of the words “bingo,” the game, and Bambi, the Disney film. Both descriptions seem far off since neither have any association whatsoever with bakery goods.
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Brandroot focuses only on content related to business naming. Before selecting the name of your venture it is important that you have a solid grasp of what you're in for.
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