Deciding to start my own agency was the start of one of the most challenging but fulfilling things I've ever done. And once we'd decided to make that brave leap, the questions to answer seemed never ending. Why will our agency succeed? Where will our agency be based? Who will our agency work for? And one of the hardest questions - What will we call it?!
The seemingly simple task of choosing a company name can in fact become quite an arduous process. Pressure grows out of the fact that this decision will live with you day-in, day-out for many years to come. With any luck you'll soon be standing in front of people pivotal to your success presenting yourself and proudly declaring your agency name.
There's no denying that your name adopts its own meaning in time, however, that doesn't mean that due care shouldn't be taken at the outset. A consumer product is named to target its core market - is your agency?
To help make a decision there are several simple practical steps we've found useful when naming and branding services for both ourselves and our clients. A few key questions to help form your approach are:
- • Is it distinctive in the target market? The world has enough names with 'ify' at the end now.
- • How does it sound? Are you or the client comfortable speaking it out loud?
- • How does it look? Perhaps consider in the context of domains and social accounts?
- • How does it feel? Does it evoke any emotions when heard? Do you want it to?
- • How does it express the positioning of the offer? Do you sound relevant?
For us, RetroFuzz was born out of a desire to working with bands and create digital work for Music Industry clients. The internet was relatively new and young at the time, so we knew naming ourselves with an emotive name rather than descriptive name (Music Design Associates " Sons) would fit just fine.
Ultimately, we adopted the name of a relatively obscure piece of musical equipment - the RetroFuzz guitar pedal. This gave us connotations relevant to our target audience, whilst also being memorable. Oh, and the .com was available too. There's plenty of services that can help with that now, such as https://namechk.com
Of course, once the name and logo are settled, the next step is when the work really comes in. To quote an inspiration of mine - David Hieatt of Hiut Denim;
"Some people think once they have a name and a logo for their company, they have a brand. What they have at that point is a name and a logo. No more. The job of the brand is to make that name and that logo stand for something."
As we enter our 9th year as an agency our focus has evolved to include lifestyle brands such as Lee and Wrangler, and our name now represents the reputation we've worked so hard to achieve.
If you're about to follow this path - good luck!
RetroFuzz are a creative agency driven by ideas and innovation, transforming our insights into products and services that emotionally connect people to music and brands.