Meet the ‘skilled namer’ behind Fortune 500 model names

William Shakespeare famously dismissed the significance of names. However a extra fashionable wordsmith has constructed a three-decades-long profession on simply that—names.

Anthony Shore, 56, is knowledgeable namer who has christened greater than 250 corporations and merchandise—and one canine. The names whose creation he’s directed embrace Accenture, Adobe Lightroom, Yum! Manufacturers, Dreyer’s Gradual Churned ice cream, Tonal dwelling gymnasium, Starry web companies, Virgin Voyages, and FedEx Customized Crucial.

Shore’s names have even made their method to outer area—a Qualcomm Snapdragon chip powered a NASA helicopter that landed on Mars—and the wrists of presidents: The Fitbit Ionic is former President Obama’s watch of alternative.

Shore is educated as a linguist, has labored as a copywriter and typesetter, and led naming tasks at branding corporations Lexicon Branding and Landor Associates. Since 2009, Shore has run his personal naming and branding company, Operative Words.

IT’s the perfect job on the earth,” Shore lately informed Fortune. “I sit round all day and simply consider concepts and phrases.”

Public naming

Maybe probably the most high-profile naming venture Shore directed was the renaming of Andersen Consulting to Accenture—“an accent on the long run.”

In August 2000, the Worldwide Chamber of Commerce ordered Andersen Consulting to vary its title after IT spun off from the accounting agency Arthur Andersen LLP. Shore, then the director of writing and naming at Landor Associates, was introduced in to guide the venture.

The title “Accenture” was initially submitted by an worker on the agency—and was among the many hundreds of authentic and submitted names Shore pored over. When IT got here time for the agency’s senior companions to vote for the ultimate title, IT was two-to-one in favor of Accenture over the following 50 names, Shore mentioned.

IT was the one title on the listing which started with AC, and the Andersen Consulting emblem was an A with a superscript C,” Shore mentioned. “So there was somewhat little bit of consolation, I feel, that got here with this title.”

Accenture reportedly spent $100 million on the rebranding—and IT turned out to be cash effectively spent when Arthur Andersen, the tax agency, grew to become embroiled within the Enron scandal in 2001.

Shore declined to share how a lot he prices for his naming companies, however according to StartupNation, hiring skilled namers can value wherever between $10,000 and $100,000 relying on the dimensions of the venture and firm.

Kill your darlings

Shore’s naming tasks usually take about seven weeks from begin to end. He first sits down with the consumer to debate their imaginative and prescient and tastes—then develops a listing of “title goals.”

With the goals as a guiding mild, Shore and his crew give you a listing of over 1,000 names—aided by linguistic software program that maps the connection between phrases.

Shore then narrows IT all the way down to a shortlist of 100 to 150 names, and sends them over to his trademark companion to display screen the names’ trademark availability. There are usually at the least 50 low-risk names left on the listing by the point the screening is full.

Shore presents these names to the consumer and will get suggestions inside a couple of days. Over the course of the following three weeks, Shore creates one other, extra centered batch of about 100 names to indicate the consumer.

After some deliberation, the consumer selects a brief listing of three to 5 names, then completes additional screenings with their authorized crew. The consumer finally chooses one ultimate title, and information an intent-to-use software with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Workplace.

“We develop over 1,000 names, and we slaughter each a type of darlings apart from one,” Shore mentioned.

He’ll typically hold the fallen names in his again pocket—however few of them reside to see one other day.

“I’m in naming for the lengthy haul, and I can’t actually spend time or effort grieving over the names which have fallen by the wayside,” he mentioned.

‘I can’t flip IT off

What makes a terrific title? Shore factors to 3 key traits—that IT’s inspirational, differentiable, and, after all, legally accessible.

“A reputation is just pretty much as good as IT is on the market,” he mentioned.

Although Shore loves his job, he typically finds himself unable to show off the naming reflex in his on a regular basis life.

“I’ve emotions about names after I see them—whether or not I need these emotions or not,” he mentioned. “I can’t flip IT off.”

One of many names Shore has robust emotions about is Kyndryl—a by-product of IBM’s infrastructure companies created in 2021. The title is a portmanteau of “kinship” and “tendril,” according to a press launch from IBM.

IT’s meaningless; IT’s unintuitive to say and spell,” Shore mentioned. “IT’s a reputation I simply can’t stand.”

If unhealthy names have been against the law, Elon Musk’s X could be on the prime of Shore’s responsible listing.

“X is a branding crime,” Shore mentioned. “To have taken the Twitter model and all of its fairness and its complete branded ecosystem—and to debrand IT with this off-the-shelf concept that’s completely undifferentiated, is against the law.”

However working in Musk’s protection is “The Boring Firm,” the title of his tunneling startup. 

“I feel that’s a brilliant cool title,” Shore mentioned. “10 out of 10, no notes.”

Shore has over 250 model names below his belt, however he’s by no means been requested to call a baby. He did have the chance to call a pal’s chocolate labrador as soon as—a uncommon event the place he may run wild, free from the constraints of trademark availability and consumer suggestions.

Shore named the labrador after a model of chocolate syrup he remembers fondly from his childhood: Bosco.

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