Put yourself in their shoes. You’ve procured the necessary funding; you’re sure you’ve got a good senior management team who you can depend on; you know your company’s unique selling points; you’re confident that you can provide a better service than the competition; you’re filled with optimism and aspirations of great things to come for your business… Then you decide to call it Cheeze.
No, this company is not in the dairy industry, but is actually a media agency. Now, having dealt with many disingenuous agencies in my time working in advertising, I couldn’t be sure if such a name wasn’t simply an honest admission of a lack of sincerity and over-the-top fake niceness.
But it probably wasn’t, which makes it all the more baffling a choice of name. And it doesn’t stop there. It is entirely possible to eat a full meal at the media table, with Steak Media accompanied by Fresh Egg and the aforementioned Cheeze. Oh, but the latter must be cool as it is spelt with a ‘z’, right? Sorry, I meant kool. And Fresh Egg I guess must be meant to symbolise a new and innovative idea? I’m sure someone was very self-congratulatory about it, even though the people who, ahem, gave birth to the Egg credit card kinda thought of the idea first.
I’m also not sure about the merits of the Goldfish credit card – named after a stupid little fish that I found to have a propensity to die far too easily when I had them as childhood pets. Speaking of children, the insurance company Hiscox has a name to make school boys snigger uncontrollably.
Other silly names that just don’t seem right include Bitch Productions (you wouldn’t like ’em when they’re angry), Crayon Direct Advertising (useful for targeting the toddler market) and Tomorrow. That’s not a typo, the company is actually named Tomorrow, which leads to many confused office conversations such as: “Dave called from Tomorrow.” Huh, someone called from the future?!
But perhaps worse than pretentious media agency names are the excruciatingly boring and predictable business names such as those with the universal A1 or ABC prefix. Guys, be imaginative! And I really have a pet hate of company names that are just someone’s own personal name, like Robert White. Now I understand that in some industries it makes sense to trade off your own name as a unique brand, such as in the fashion world. But, not if you’re starting up a fishing shop in Nowheresville. Your delusions of grandeur may also see you shot to flames on that visit to television’s dragon’s den.
And don’t get me started on the companies that think it’s clever to play around with the use of upper/lower case letter or weird and unnecessary punctuation, such as the cosmetic surgery chain called sk:n… Should be called sl:ce or chöP if you ask me. Or those people who think they are clever by naming their brand after what customers do in their premises, such as EAT (in capital letters of course). In which case, it’s just as well they don’t move into the portable toilet industry…
I’ve had enough of these pathetic attempts at creating a memorable brand name. There was me thinking that quality of service and product would win out, regardless of gimmicks. So I propose a solution to ridiculous business names – let’s boycott these companies and banish them to distant memöry, nvr to RETURN.