It is easy to forget that is was predicted that ‘Google’ would fail because it is a stupid name that no-one would want to say.

They said the same about ‘Twitter’.

And Heinz makes no sense as a name for baked beans, or for tomato ketchup, or for soup.

So a name is unlikely to break a genuinely good product, but it can be unhelpful. And a good name can accelerate success, and so why make life difficult for yourself? We offer such a niche service amongst all the broader things we offer because we have seen so many incorrect criteria attached to name selection. Whatever the stated criteria happens to be, we see the real criteria all too often being what is overly rational, or what feels familiar and comfortable, which can be the worst possible criteria as that can quickly turn into bland and forgettable. And the name is usually considered in isolation of the rest of the brand, as if it needs to work in isolation, which it almost never has to. So we decided to develop an approach that would help clients get to a name that would:

  1. Fulfil their communications objectives
  2. Be distinct and memorable, not bland and easily ignored
  3. Be liked by their audiences
  4. Be able to be registered everywhere needed

We’ve named it ‘Why Have A Bad Name When You Can Have A Good One?’

Here is the story of a name:

Talking of Google, the most sophisticated search engine in the world has been developed by some students at Stanford University because they got tired of having to search endlessly for things on the internet. Pouring over a computer screen, endlessly searching, made their backs ache, so they called their new search engine ‘Backrub’, because it relieved the pain in their backs. (Computer nerds!) They decided they wanted to commercialise their search engine and were told they would need to change the name. Wisely advised, they picked a name that reflected the product benefit: it can search further than any other search engine. In fact it can search so far that it can search as close to infinitely as is possible, and so they were going to name it after the number closest to infinity. But they were advised not to do that as they couldn’t trade mark it, so they altered it a bit. What is the number closest to infinity? Googol. If you put ‘Backrub’ into Google, the first entry you get is the history of Google.

Whilst most of us can make no sense of Google as a name, to the original target audience for Google it made perfect sense, and for them it had some wit to it, too. A very good name.

Examples of our work

(Click on the image to find out more)


Nestle impress us. Of the multinational FMCG businesses it is the most flexible and adaptable, maybe along with Pernod-Ricard.

We were appointed to identify portfolio priorities and define key brand propositions.


Our first publishing project.

Defining audience, brand, and communications plan.

Very successful.


Stella Artois has long been one of Britain’s most successful beer brands. But it hasn’t always been plane sailing. It has gone through several periods of decline.

We got involved during the last one. A repositioning was planned. The ad agency wasn’t sure that was right. They suggested we have a look.


Big initiatives hadn’t resulted in big growth in visitor numbers.

We were appointed to find out why and propose actions.

The window of Gerry’s Wines and Spirits at 74 Old Compton St.

In the world of drinks and the world that is Soho, Gerry’s is an institution.

Stuck in a décor time warp, this old curiosity shop is crammed to bursting with bottles, accompanied by hand-written prices and information. The walls and ceilings are plastered with faded photos of the more well-known, or just plain eccentric fans. Despite its heritage, or more likely because of it, Gerry’s also has the ability to predict the Next Big Thing in the spirit world.

Ted Haigh, Curator of The Museum of the American Cocktail said “Gerry’s isn’t like a liquor shop, it’s like a spirits museum where you can buy the exhibits…and the docents are very helpful.”