So, Facebook want a new brand name. As a London based brand naming agency, who also names new companies we can say it’s not easy. An art even. So, for inspiration, let’s read a writer's take on it.
Jack Kerouac drew up a “List of 30 Beliefs and Techniques for ‘Prose and Life,” which was allegedly tacked on the wall of Allen Ginsberg’s hotel room in North Beach a year before his iconic poem ‘Howl’ was written. (Source: Brainpicker Maria Popova.)
Kerouac’s list is inspiring not just for writers, but also for for brand naming.
(Feature image from Changing Footsteps)
Each item in Kerouac’s original list, below, is in italics, and each is followed by comments relating it to the art of naming
1. Scribbled secret notebooks, and wild typewritten pages, for yr own joy
Keep lots of notebooks, scraps, post-its and shreds with names, ideas, concepts. You never know when and how they may lead to the development of a name.
2. Submissive to everything, open, listening
Always. Very important. The world is speaking the name you are looking for, but if you aren’t listening, you’ll likely miss it.
3. Try never get drunk outside yr own house
Avoid getting drunk in general, but if you do, make sure you have a notebook with you…
4. Be in love with yr life
Yes, its the only one you've got
5. Something that you feel will find its own form
Trust your gut. Follow the glimmer of the idea. They will lead to the “form” of the names.
6. Be crazy dumbsaint of the mind
Because it’s a fine line between inspiration and madness. You have to push the limits to know where the limits are.
7. Blow as deep as you want to blow
Dive deep into a name or idea and don’t let anything hold you back.
8. Write what you want bottomless from bottom of the mind
Names will come from writing often, whether lists, stories, poems, blogs…
9. The unspeakable visions of the individual
Visions and other unnameables that nevertheless might lead to names. Just because something can’t be described (named) doesn’t mean you can’t describe (name) it.
10. No time for poetry but exactly what is.
Poetry isn’t a magic place you have to travel to or make time for. It is all around us all the time. It is exactly what is
(Jack Kerouac by Tom Palumbo circa 1956)
11. Visionary tics shivering in the chest
Exactly where great names often begin. You can almost feel them coming before they arrive, tickling your heart before your brain catches up.
12. In tranced fixation dreaming upon object before you.
Focus on the task at hand, meditate on the brand positioning that a name must map to.
13. Remove literary, grammatical and syntactical inhibition
All that can come later, when you’re in editing mode. When developing names, start with no rules, then gradually introduce the most important one: that the name supports the brand positioning.
14. Like Proust be an old teahead of time. Step out of the linear flow of time
A name can come from any place, or any time, and the collision of disparate eras can be powerful in developing a name.
15. Telling the true story of the world in interior monolog
Turn the naming problem into a story and run through it in your mind over and over.
16. The jewel centre of interest is the eye within the eye
The best names have many layers of meaning, and you can drill deep into them and keep discovering new things.
17. Write in recollection and amazement for yourself
Draw on your memory and follow what makes you most passionate, obsessed and excited.
18. Work from pithy middle eye out, swimming in language sea
Immerse yourself in words to the point of drowning.
19. Accept loss forever
Not every idea works. Most, in fact, are “failures.” Failures smartly explored can lead to success. But not Silicon Valley style. keep the humility.
20.Believe in the holy contour of life
All of life is waiting for you when you are in need of a name, not just the dictionary and thesaurus. Believe in life and immerse yourself in it, following its trails.
21. Struggle to sketch the flow that already exists intact in mind
Great names are already flowing in your mind; the trick is to get them out into the light of consciousness without your editor brain and logic filters keeping them locked up out of sight.
22. Don't think of words when you stop but to see picture better
Visualize the brand you are naming, and visualize how a name might be used.
23. Keep track of every day the date emblazoned in yr morning
You want to create space for free range roaming in the playground of your mind, but it’s equally important to keep the process structured, to temper unbridled freedom with the constraint of process.
Michelangelo said, “Art lives by constraint and dies of freedom.” We have to stay focused on the big picture.
24. No fear or shame in the dignity of yr experience, language & knowledge
Don’t think for a moment that you are not creative enough, or not up to the task, of creating a great name–you probably just have the wrong filters in place.
25. Write for the world to read and see yr exact pictures of it
A name has to work in the real world, which means it should be more engaging and memorable than the names of your competition, and it should be inspiring to people.
26. Bookmovie is the movie in words, the visual American form
A picture may be worth a thousand words, but a great name can paint a thousand pictures in the minds of your audience.
27. In praise of Character in the Bleak inhuman Loneliness
Think of every great name added to the world as making the world a better place for all of us to live, and another flash of human connection illuminating the darkness.
28. Composing wild, undisciplined, pure, coming in from under, crazier the better
Start by following your gut, uninhibited, free, flowing
29. You’re a Genius all the time
Ginsberg may have been, but we’re not. It never hurts, however, to think positive.
30. Writer-Director of Earthly movies Sponsored & Angeled in Heaven.
What you can put on your business card or website once your angelic visions have been bought and your name has taken the world by storm. In the meantime, keep it to yourself.
Why is good brand naming so important?
(Passport Photo, 1953. Fingerprint on paper. Originally published in Steinberg, The Passport, 1954)
The answer is simple: a company, product name or brand name is the first and most elemental point of definition and audience contact with your business.
In most respects, the name IS the brand, and sets the tone for everything your brand is about. In short, everything you do or ever will do begins with your brand name. That’s why it’s vital to get the brand name right.
Most companies that settle for a mediocre branding name do so because they fail to understand that a name is the single most important element of brand strategy.
When you have great brand name, people will remember it, talk about it, and have an emotional connection to your brand. The name becomes a natural and authentic extension of your brand, and demonstrates to the world the values of your brand positioning.
We are not just developing a brand name for your company or product. We are naming the positioning of your company and product, the unique tone, personality, ideas and story you want your brand to express to the world. All great brand names support the positioning of the business or product they speak for.
Where do you go for brand name creation?
London based Anew are a brand development and marketing agency for luxury brands Developing new brand names is part of our expertise.
We help companies increase brand profitability through sharper insights, distinctive propositions, creative ideas and faultless execution. We are particularly adept at working directly with luxury brands, business owners, start-ups and entrepreneurs who are committed to sustainability, outstanding quality and craft.
We'd be delighted to meet for a coffee, either face-to-face or virtually, to discuss any new projects you might be considering.
You name it.
Get in touch here.