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The Name Game


We are often asked to help clients generate names for products, for promotions, once in a while for a new company or division itself. There's lots of science to it, as well as some art. And, then you get into the really fun part (we're being sarcastic here), which entails Googling and trademark searches and cultural allusions ... oh my!

For example, we once worked on naming an online directory. All of the names (dozens of them) that we came up with were rejected. The client had his own idea. And, in all fairness, it was a great idea — in English, in America. The only problem was that the name needed to work globally, and in at least one European market, the name didn't imply an online directory. It implied what the director of a porn film might tell his leading man to do.

Uh-oh ...

But, all in all, naming can be an interesting challenge. And, for some lucky businesses, naming can be great fun too.

Just take a look at these real-life and really creative solutions:

Juan in a Million
A house painter north of Boston, named — you guessed it — Juan.

The Codfather
A fish and chips restaurant.

Ditcher, Quick, and Hyde
Blunt divorce attorneys.

Sew What?
A needlepoint an sewing supply store.

Wok and Roll
Take-out Chinese food.

Many Happy Returns, Inc.
An optimistic tax preparation service.

Curl, Up & Dye
A beauty parlor. (Conveniently located near a funeral parlor.)

Indiana Bones & the Temple of Groom
A DIY pet grooming facility.

The Dirty Hoe Garden Shed
Nursery and gardening center.

Pain in the Glass
Windshield and window replacements.

Thai Me Up
Take-out Thai food.

Hand Job
Salon for manicures.

Frying Nemo
Another fish and chips restaurant.

Wooden It Be Lovely?
Toy shop with hand-carved wooden toys.

Pita Pan
Middle-eastern cuisine.

Award Weiners
Hot dog take-out.

Pawnbrokers (duh).

Sole Man
A shoe repair business.

Sofa So Good
Furniture reupholstery.

And, our favorite ...

Hairy Poppins
Which is, of course, a pet nanny agency.

When we started our agency — 18 years ago! — we wanted to do great work for good people; make enough money to pay for mortgages or trips to Comic Con, college educations or doggy daycare; and have fun. There's the potential for joy in our business, and we want to make sure we — and our clients and colleagues — get to experience that joy (at least some of the time). The creatively named businesses above may not have been success stories in terms of revenue ...

But, it sure sounds like they had fun.

Is Your Company Really About Your Customer?
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