Brand Neonatologists: A Work of Poets And Linguists

Brand Neonatologists: A Work of Poets And Linguists

Like human beings, trademarks are born from natural or induced childbirth and enter the world at the hands of neonatologists, midwives, or midwives.

In some, births take place a little violently and in precarious conditions. In others, they are the result of careful and thoughtful months of gestation where the name is tested and cared for in its smallest details.

In short, while some brands present themselves naked and shouting, others do so freshly washed and well dressed. Because although there are many other factors that determine the success of a brand, a good name is always an excellent start.

Conditions that a brand name must meet

The expert Denise Yohn comments on LinkedIn’s 5 criteria that a good brand name must meet. Let’s see


A good name has to be easy to pronounce, understand and spell. It must convey confidence, not create confusion or uncertainty. This is true now more than ever as we find ourselves in the midst of tremendous advertising “noise” and consumers are less and less likely to take risks and waste their money.


A good brand name should be relevant and attractive to the intended target. That is to say, first, it will be necessary to see what type of person the brand is aimed at and, once this has been decided, select the name appropriately.

For example, a bold name may be attractive to the singles segment but not appropriate for families.


A good name helps the brand to position itself by communicating the personality of the brand. Of course, it does not need to be literal but rather evokes the most appreciated characteristics of the brand’s personality.


It is related to the previous attribute. Differentiating yourself from competitors is essential. Using a name that is too common or a name that sounds too similar to that of other companies can influence consumer purchasing decisions.


A good name will work effectively in different applications. You have to see how the names work aloud, in text, in logos, or in other visual elements.

It is also important to check how it is translated in the different media channels and in the different languages ​​in which the brand will work.

To get a better idea of ​​the problem Western brands have when entering Asian markets, reread this note.

The naming machines

There are three internationally recognized Name Incubators: Lekicon, NameLab, and Idiom. From their offices come not only the majority of famous trademarks but also countless terms that liven up our daily jargon, to the delight of some and the annoyance of others.

But who are these companies?

Lexicon was founded in 1982 and to date, they have developed more than 1800 brands. A brand is more than a word, it is the beginning of a conversation. According to the statements of this firm, they help the development team to establish that conversation between the company, the market, the channel, and the client.

Idiom, a San Francisco firm, invented the SuperSession, a team working with poets, story writers, and experts in different disciplines.

NameLab was founded in 1981 to apply a proprietary notation system for morphemes to develop new words for IBM and other companies as the increasing complexity of technology began to exceed the capacity of everyday English.

The Importance of the Name

PowerBook, Acura, and Compac are some of the famous babies born in these incubators. Oscar Wilde had already warned us about “The importance of being called Ernest.”

On the Lexicon site, we can read that in 1969 Sir Roger Penrose, a British physicist, announced that he had discovered what he called “a totally gravitationally collapsed object.”

A few months later, the name was changed to “black holes.” ring a bell? A very interesting story about the importance of the name. A black hole denotes something provocative, intriguing, exciting, conceptual, and most importantly believable.

So every time they tell you that the name doesn’t matter, tell them the story of black holes.

Companies invest quite a few dollars to name their “kids.”

With budgets starting at $30,000, those numbers are likely to grow in the near future due to the cutthroat competition between acronyms (suitcase words) and dictionary word counts.

This of course aggravated by the internationalization of firms. Why tell me, is the name of your product attractive and easily communicable to audiences of different languages ​​and writing systems?

And speaking of the number of known words, we can always resort to neologisms, that is, to invent words. In fact, one of the main causes of the continuous emergence of new neologisms was, in the United States, the Trademark Law Revision Act of 1988, which enabled the patenting of trademarks to be used for a period of up to 36 months regardless of their existence. or not of the products at the time of the request.

The main medicinal laboratories thus “reserved” the use of some interesting names, preventing their use by smaller laboratories.

Something similar to what happened at the beginning of the Internet boom, where there were real abuses with the reservation of trademarks such as domains (marks whose ownership did not correspond to the domain registrant, of course) and of any significant name in the universe.

They were reserved, for example, from names of cities or countries:, (now returned to the city government); to generics like,; famous people like and well-known commercial brands like (the ice cream shop), etc, etc. And it is that, as always, the “living” usually arrive before the legislation.

But let’s go back to the US patent office; As a result of his tolerance and an unusual explosion of new products, this office went from receiving 83,000 trademark orders in 1989 to 200,000 in 1996.

In class 9 alone (there are 42 possible classes) there are more than 300,000 applications pending against just over 650,000 words in the 20 volumes of the Oxford English Dictionary!

The Methodology Employed

The three companies mentioned differ quite a bit in the methodology used to create the names.

Lexicon brings together an interdisciplinary group for each project, explains the product, and creates them. One of the best-known brands that have emerged from this methodology is PowerBook®, which combines the concepts of “Superbook”, not bad for a powerful laptop.

From each project, thousands of possible names arise to be used on other occasions.

NameLab, on the other hand, works exclusively with morphemes. To give us an idea of ​​the work of these people, when they entered this business the most complete dictionary of morphemes in English had 1400 phonetically organized by sounds in English. They coined a new one with 6200 morphemes.

The senses of small, integral, and computer were crystallized in Compaq, synthesis of 2 COM PAK morphemes. Then, due to readability issues in WSJ ads, they changed the K to q.

Starting in 1995, the company started working in virtual sessions where linguists from some prestigious universities earn a good extra income, working anonymously and remotely.

The third company, Idiom, works through intensive sessions that it calls SuperSesion and that brings together poets, journalists, imaginative professionals, philosophers, quirky characters, and, of course, linguists.

At the risk of going a little off-topic, I cannot resist the temptation to recall a recently published note on the contribution of anthropology to the analysis of consumer behavior. Anthropologists, linguists, poets, definitely, the professions are no longer what they used to be…

And neither are the brands, which went from being, in the 50s, simple acronyms like IBM (International Business Machines), ENIAC the first computer (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer) to the extraterrestrial names of the 70s-80s, such as Xerox, Xydex, Xerofin, although, of course, there were some advanced ones like Apple, brand of the Beatles’ music label and the most imaginative computer ever invented.

In the 90s we became full of personality: Java, Marimba, Yahoo, Excite, Google, Wired. At the beginning of the 2000s, we began to resist the “altogether and mixed” of globalization, telling the world who we are through brands that reflect the local, such is the case of Ñus, the Latin scene, where the “n” reigns. with little crown

After so many creative parties, will there be names still available? Hmm, rest assured, in this new millennium, something will occur to us and someone will gladly pay.


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