Naming start-ups


There was an interesting post about naming start-ups on Mashable today.

We couldn’t help but groan when reading how Hipmunk came into being. “Hipmunk co-founder Adam Goldstein was discussing his naming road block with his girlfriend. She suggested they go with a cute animal so they could have a cool logo.”

More interesting is the story behind Aardvark: the glimpses into a buddy war with co-founder Max Ventilla and his mate Aaron, their insight into their audience’s emotional response to an obscure animal, and the possibilities in the invented verb ‘vark.’ It was announced yesterday that Google plan to sell Aardvark off, after buying the company last year for $USD50million.

MB have recently been involved in naming a tech start-up – the just launched ‘Ness’ app (we’re still waiting on the app to hit the UK app store). Our process was a little more involved than fighting over our favourite animal….We considered the name in the context of chiclet design, app store descriptors, taglines, photography styles, UI and UX. We held workshops with the client to inform the broader strategic direction, and eventually the word ‘Ness’ emerged. You can see the full case study here.


  • Aardvark? Recent research suggests (well, ok, I made it up) that 37% of small electrical firms are called Aardvark.

    In the initial flush of excitement at startup time, mundane practical considerations such as choosing a name that will appear high up in an alphabetic listing do not weigh heavily. But such factors may have an important effect for the life of the company.