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Jul 27, 2020    Burn Book

Startup Founder Fools: What Business Naming Services Will Spew


We’re not sugarcoating anything (we’re not really known for that). We’re a business naming service / product naming firm. As such, we have an intimate knowledge of what most (if not all) business/ brand naming agencies will tell you to try to get you to sign their contract. Think of us as your man on the inside.

There’s a lot we love about our industry: the emerging tech, the competitive marketing strategies, the way we have to be the jack of all trades and master of all (our clients can’t afford to be the best in social media and SEO but not the best in SEM, website maintenance, and growth hacking techniques). We call that mastery “conversion rate optimization” (What is CRO?).

But what we hate about it? The manipulation. In our eyes, and in our practice, we find your truth and passion as a brand and make it pull targeted consumers in–without any gimmicks or half-truths. Only masterful execution of branding strategies so you come across as optimized and real as possible. But not everyone in the industry is like that. It’s why business owners struggle with hopping aboard viral trends just for the views; it’s why we say, if your B2B branding agency isn’t also a performance marketing agency, what are they? Some don’t use their power for good, and that’s why we pride ourselves on our transparency.

Anyways– that’s why we’re here to show you what they might say — so you don’t get bamboozled by professional bamboozlers.

The Doctor – Patient Relationship

Think of how doctors hate patients that say they did their own research and argue with them about the best way forward. That’s annoying and unproductive because the patient’s hours or days of research cannot overrule the years of medical school. But marketing is not medicine. 

Marketing evolves much faster (by the day even), algorithms update, tools and platforms die out and pop up. It’s more collaborative because we (at least, we specifically at Rock Candy Media) know that you will always know your industry better than us. We love if you have a better idea than us, or give us something to work off of. Marketing and branding isn’t meant to be pretentious or uncollaborative between patient (business) and doctor (agency). Don’t let them tell you otherwise. A good business naming agency / branding firm will admit when they’re wrong and when they’re not the expert– because that’s how good collaboration becomes great- when the learning never stops.

They also might reword everything you can find by doing your own basic research, giving it to you in a pretty branded PDF, and calling it a deliverable. Now obviously there’s nothing wrong with an agency helping clients understand and sift through the plethora of info they’ll find on the internet. And seeing it through the eyes of the industry pros themselves is of course valuable. Just don’t let them fool you when they try to pass it as expert information only they have.

An example of this might be telling you the types of brand names to sound smart – let us get that out of the way for you. There’s experiential (think Explorer, Caterpillar), acronyms (TGIF, BBC), neologisms/ coinage (Kleenex, TupperWare), descriptive (GrubHub, VitaminWater), straight up names of people (usually the founders: Disney, Ikea [although that one is an abbreviation for Founder Ingvar Kamprad from Elmtaryd, Agunnaryd]), and more. You can go for that personal research we mentioned here, it’s a great starting point.

Neo ≠ Good

In that same vein, they may also tell you that, in order to stand out in your competitive landscape, you should go straight for the rebellious neologism vibe. Don’t fall for it. This is their go-to because it has worked for a lot of brands in the past– which means there has to be something better and newer. We call this habit for settling “flatlining,” and our CEO wrote about it in Forbes if you’re not sure what we mean.

We can think of a hundred cool sounding neologisms (and the other categories, for that matter) for your brand right now– that doesn’t mean they’re good. Wrex. Optimizo. SEOme. Concret. Peachy. SaveUpp. Whatever. If you wanted a brainstorm generator you could just Google that too.

The main thing poser business naming agencies will try to pass off, if it’s not clear yet, is that you know less than you think. Combat them by being the annoying patient. Combat them by bringing it your own research and asking them to structure the kickoff meeting off of that. You know they are experts in their industry, otherwise you wouldn’t be hiring them. Don’t forget you are the expert in yours.

In short, don’t let them mask their plainness with “process.”

Deliverables should be impressive, regular, and right off the bat. ROI should be evident if not available at the ATM. We practically give an entire competitive landscape and branding plan in our kickoff meeting or on cold calls before you even sign a contract with us — and it’s because we know what we offer, how it’s valuable, and that it’s hard to find. Agencies that say they can’t disclose any expertise without the signed contract first is just a jumble of codewords for “you won’t be that impressed by it so we need you to lock in beforehand.”

We’re comfortable saying we’re the best business naming service because we’ve never been comfortable staying still– we’ve never stopped fighting to get and stay at the top. Oh, you want proof? Here you go, no contract required. Simple as that.

Hit us up when you’re ready to get started with the people that will always keep it real→ Here.

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