The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

What’s Yours Called?
April 30, 2009, 6:14 am
Filed under: Comment

In my time, I’ve been in lots of situations where I’ve had to ‘come up with a name’.

Whether it was a band I was playing in or a product I was discussing or a company I was starting … the choice of name has always been something that has inspired great debate.

Some companies have processes and theories in how to choose a name – however having seen what that actually entails first hand, I don’t think shoving a word into a thesaurus and then writing down all the answers while you charge your client top fees for ‘strategic counsel’ is all that smart.

Well, it’s probably quite smart from a financial sense, but that’s about it.

Of course there are some ‘rules’ you should consider when choosing a name – how it translates into other languages is one – but more often than not, you look for a name that embodies something about you or what you do.

OK, so that sounds like I’m suggesting Richard Branson was a virgin when he started the company or the guys behind Naked were errrrrm, nude a lot of the time … and whilst they might be amusing coincidences [allegedly], what I actually meant was that people deciding upon a name tend to gravitate to things that express their view or attitude or experience or something that has additional meaning to them.

Sometimes it can come quite quickly … cynic took a day thanks to a book I was reading at the time … however I also know that when we launched our ridiculously stupid and ego fulfilling company, potent_flix, we took weeks and weeks to come to some sort of consensus.

Seriously, if you want a less frustrating life, DON’T choose a name via committee … I guarantee you’ll spend half the time arguing and the other half wondering how you can kill everyone else and get away with it.

And whilst people say a name isn’t important – it’s more about what a company does – I don’t think too many people would like to fly with Crashalot Airlines.

So how do you choose?

Well contrary to companies like LANDOR, I don’t think there’s a ‘process’.

Sure there’s a bunch of things you have to consider … but interms of a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach?

Well maybe that works in the minds of certain companies however on planet earth, I doubt it.

You fluctuate between going ‘cool’ or ‘corporate’.

What you ‘do’ or how you ‘think’.

‘Attitude’ or ‘delivery’.

You get the idea …

And that’s only the first stage … wait till you have to decide on how the bloody thing looks!


Anyway, as usual, I digress, I mention all these things because whilst in China – amongst all the piles and piles of DVD’s from production companies – one stood out.

Now you could say it’s a very clever marketing ploy – because in a very competitive industry, getting noticed is half the battle – however something tells me that whilst this company might appeal to certain deviants within the industry, that wasn’t the real reason behind the choice of name … which begs the question, what the hell was the reason?






























13 Comments so far
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what the fuck is going on? this made me laugh. laugh. your life long wish achieved. success after 38 years. are you going to retire now?
right I have some fucking points to make

1 spunk pictures would be perfect for the victorias secret ad
2 potent flix was not a ego project. fucking stupid but not ego
3 who wrote this post because it sure as shit wasnt you

the end

Comment by andy@cynic

Have you ever seen Landor’s “naming process” in action Rob? For all their highly specialised filtering techniques, they always come back with hundreds of possibilities that have no commonality of approach leaving you with the feeling they’ve just had a drunken brainstorm and written whatever came out of the dribbling mouths of the participants. And clients still think they are professional. On the plus side, people used to think that about investment bankers too. 🙂

Comment by Pete


1/ Don’t even joke, please … don’t even joke.

2/ Whose idea was it? I rest my case.

3/ My personal blog writerer, just hired them … glad you approve.


Actually I have mate. Only a few months ago I was in the presence of their ‘crafted process’ and they gave the client 728 choices of name.


What kind of filtering process do they have? Even Blighty immigration has tighter controls than that, hahaha!

[That’s a joke before anyone gets their knickers in a twist!]

And you’re right, they had no common theme other than being a total pile of shite. My favourite bit was when they basically ‘invented’ words/names.

I mean how desperate must you be when you have the World’s language at your disposal and you have to make up a name.

What good is their ‘process’ and ‘filtering technique’ when that is the output?

And the best bit was the client hated every single name. EVERY SINGLE ONE!


To be honest, I’d of wet myself in the meeting when that happened [I thought the Landor guys were going to cry] except for the fact they still got paid a fortune AND were regarded highly despite uniformly taking the piss with their ideas, strategies and costings.

Lets hope judgement day hits them as it has the once high-flying banking industry because they are stealing money out of shareholders pockets … both in their charges and in the work they do, which makes their clients at best look the same as everyone else and at worse, the sort of company you’d cross the road to avoid.

Comment by Rob

Why does this post remind me of the “why do you ask 2 dogs fucking” joke?

Comment by PJ

are spunk pictures australian? as you know, us and the kiwis also use it to describe someone who is hott (usually a guy. maybe they figured that everyone had forgotten that other meaning of the word.

i think the best names for things (including artworks) arise when you’ve stopped concentrating on the title and focus on the outcome/product/service. i’m sure mr branson’s business would be just as successful if he had called it spunk records.

and mrs c – it wasn’t really THAT bad was it?

Comment by lauren

Well Lauren, given that on their website, their logo seems to be ejaculating some weird droplet type things, I think it’s safe to say their version of ‘spunk’ is more in the Jemma Jameson territory rather than good ol’ Aussie slang.

Comment by Rob

you know, if you’re going to name your business spunk pictures, you should get behind it (ugh, did i really say that?). i mean, they should really have embraced the name and gone totally camp, or porno, or the other way to aussie slang type spunk. with that pretty naff site, it’s just a name – and an opportunity gone waaaaay missing.

Comment by lauren

You should be the face of Aussie tourism 🙂

Comment by Rob

rob, i love it when you insult me like that 🙂

Comment by lauren

In that case, you’ll love what I’ve just written on your Facebook status!

Comment by Rob

Hello all. Sorry some

Comment by Niko

Is that your apology? Is that it? Pah … even Andy can be better than that. 😉

Comment by Rob

no i fucking cant

Comment by andy@cynic

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