Communications as Experience Design: Naming edition

This post is part of the series I’m doing on Communications as Experience Design. To catch up, read Part I – Starbucks, Tim Hortons, BuzzFeed and brand metanarrative.

One of my favorite books of all time is Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman, where he talks about cognitive bias and this basic and strong need all humans share to make sense of the world. The most common way we make the world make sense to us is through stories. Stories create coherence, which we all crave – so much so that we don’t really care whether the stories are true. Stories we tell as communicators have the power to shape the coherence of the brand narrative, or destroy it completely.

Naming is Everything

Say My Name

Naming is a key element of true, deep communications integration, when all pieces hold together tight and feed coherence. That’s why naming is so important. Name your product “Bics for Her” and you’re the laughing stock of the Internet. Name your company “Breather” like Julien, who truly excels at the art of naming, did recently, and Bam, you create a living, breathing and beautiful space in people’s minds that wasn’t there before. You create and articulate a need which the company is addressing, by naming it right.

Case Study: David’s Tea

You could build your whole brand around great names and copy, or you could examine what you have and embrace your quirks. I visited my local David’s Tea recently and noticed that their tea names were pretty bland, while the teas were not. I saw a gap in coherence, and stepped up to the challenge by coming up with a few new tea names.

You tell me which teas you’d rather drink:

Peppermint or Mint To Be
Super Ginger or All Night Oolong
Green Maté or Soulmaté
Matcha Matsu or Besame Matcha

I came up with a few more names: Let It Tea, Matcha Wish Your Girlfriend Was Hot Like Tea, So Oolong, Nuts About You. I’m not saying all my names are better, but, since David’s Tea already has some funky cheeky names, like Forever Nuts and Choconut Oolong, why not embrace the quirk and make tea naming more fun to give the brand more personality?

Naming your products, pages on your site, your company, the titles you give people, even your email addresses (info@ is bad, bad, bad), contributes to the overall experience of the brand. Your goal is to communicate both a feeling and a concept – like Breather does. Don’t let your brand be bland.

Unleash the power of naming.

This post was inspired in part by Julien’s Medium piece on Naming and a great documentary called Art & Copy, recommended to me by Aron Solomon. And, of course, wonderful David’s Tea teas. Thank you.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s