Vox pop

Following the Consignia naming debacle (Comment, DW 21 February), what are the best and worst company names that you have encountered – and why?

‘I dislike pretentious conjunctions, like Innogy (innovation and energy). The worst is Unigate’s change to Uniq. Apparently, “Uni” evokes its heritage and “q” represents quality. But Uniq could be anything from a local disco to a software reseller. And how’s it pronounced? You-nick or you-neek? My current favourite is cheeky Texan box maker Ugly & Cheap Products. Its slogan – because saving money is beautiful.’

Tim Rich, Writer

‘I don’t think the name of a company matters that much, it’s the tone of voice you surround it with that matters. My best nomination, Innocent, is a great exponent of this. I dislike names that have obviously come out of the name-generation machine, created to keep all the stake-holders happy. For that reason my least favourite company name is Accenture (sorry).’

Tim Watson, Managing director, Duffy Design

‘Snappy, familiar single-word names usually work best. Recontextualised, you can read as much or as little into them as you want. The ad agency Mother and the commercials production company Gorgeous (which answers its phones “Hello Gorgeous”) have relevance and character. Turn-offs include highbrow, foreign or compound words, initials (unless they spell something) and tediously long lists of surnames.’

Jim Davies, Writer

‘I hate the name Consignia because it discards centuries of stories imbedded in “The Post Office” and replaces them with the thinnest veneer of pseudo-invention. Names are about words, words are about ideas and emotions, so let’s care for the words we choose as names. mmO2 is meaningless even after it’s explained. Where’s the story? The best new names enable new stories to be told. Orange, Google and One World are good examples of names that do that.’

John Simmons, Director of verbal identity, Interbrand

‘I’ve always liked the names of ad agencies when they sounded like solicitors – probably because my first job was at an agency called Horniblow Cox-Freeman. I like Duckworth Finn Grubb Waters because of the pond-life theme. But Rusholme Taxis is one of my favourites. I do, however, have a problem with Smeg on my cooker.’

Ben Casey, Creative director, The Chase

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