Lisa Merriam

Selected Naming Project Portfolio

Merriam Associates names almost a hundred companies and products a year. Our naming project work crosses categories, from consumer to B2B, from billion dollar companies to start-ups you haven’t heard of (yet). Our innovative approach creates strategically valuable names with impact. Several projects demonstrate the depth and breadth of our work:

Kore Sportswear
Kore Sportswear, is a Long Island, New York company that markets athletic clothing made of 100% bamboo fabric. In addition to being eco-friendly, the product has great insulating and wicking properties. Merriam Associates was brought in by Fresh Bread Creative to name the new product. After exploring the usual clichés around bamboo and eco/green, we discovered a powerful concept that turned out to be an ideal name for this product. The name Kore Sportswear evokes the benefits of the product as an insulating base layer for serious athletes. The word is actually pronounced “koh-ray” and is another name of the goddess Persephone. She symbolizes purity and regeneration—two concepts “core” to this clean-earth product made from renewable resources. The name works on first impressions with sports enthusiasts who are not experts in classical mythology, and has the perfect back-story to reinforce the product benefits.

Tradition Francaise
Tradition Francaise was created to give our client savoir faire in the U.S. market. The company was founded to make superior professional chef grade food processors by the inventor of the Cuisinart type food processor machines, in fact he sold that original design. The company’s French name “Ronic” appealed to the French love affair with technology, but fell flat with American audiences. What appealed to American gourmet cooks was the machine’s heritage in the kitchens of Michelin star earning chefs in France. While emphasizing France and its rich tradition of cuisine, Tradition Francaise remains easy to say and spell with American Audiences.

The company needed a name that would better reflect its stature, its commitment to cutting edge technology, and to give us a better identity for growth. The Proxios name derives from the Latin word “proximus”. That word has many meanings including “nearness”, “closely connected” and “close relationship”. The variant “proxios”, literally means “freely”. The name sums up the company’s value proposition of keeping a close relationship with its clients, keeping them closely connected to applications and data no matter where they are, and freeing them of the headaches and risks of running their own information technology systems

Interpublic’s Mediabrands needed a name for its newest unit. a next generation hyper local media planning agency integrating four offerings: Consultancy, Analytics, Technology and Agency Services. Our brief was to create a name for a global player within the Interpublic stable that could take its place next to iconic names like McCann-Erickson, Lowe Worldwide, Hill Holliday, and Weber Shandwick. Referencing the geographic precision of the company’s approach with the forward energy of successful momentum, the name Geomentum simply and powerfully identified the company. Geomentum officially launched August 6, 2009 with over 500 employees and $2 billion in billings.

Buy Merriam’s Guide to Naming—in stock now at major booksellers for $12.98, or save over 20% by buying direct, with discounted shipping and handling.

Author Lisa Merriam has made a career of helping companies build and manage brands. She has led over 87 naming projects for billion dollar Fortune 500 multinationals and fast growth, small and start-up companies. Her naming experience includes business-to-business and consumer brands, in sectors as diverse as fashion, retail, technology, industrial products, business services, and more.


More naming resources:

Naming How-To:

Naming Mistakes
Six Factors for a Memorable and Motivating Name
History of Best Known Brands
Styles and Types of Brands
Choosing a Name
Try a Recycled Name
Web 2.0 Naming Considerations
What is Brand Architecture
Approaches to Brand Architecture
Brand Architecture and Business Strategy

Companies and Products:

MSNBC vs. and The Bigger Naming Problem
Macy’s Blunder with Marshall Field’s Name Change
Banks and the Name Game from Bank Marketing Magazine
AIG Name Change to AIU
Breaking Up the Motorola Brand
Google’s Speedbook Disaster
Renaming a Small Business
Proxios CEO Talks About Renaming Process
Naming a Green Sportswear Company
Unintentionally Funny Names-BARF
Unintentionally Funny Names-Putzmeister
Unintentionally Funny Names-Bimbo
Renaming a $2 Billion IPG Agency
Renaming Iraqi Freedom
Selected Naming Portfolio