How are company names created?

How are company names created?
How are company names created?

The growth in the number of markets on the Oxxo network has generated hundreds of memes on social media. The big question was how to pronounce the brand name: Osho, Óquisso or Ósho? But what does the word mean?

Of Mexican origin, the two letters “x” of the brand refer to the percentage symbol (%%), to convey the idea of ​​low prices. The company’s first logo was a shopping cart in which the letter “o” represents the wheels and the “x”‘ stands for the handle and chassis.

See below how the names of the companies are born.

How are names decided? There are communication agencies that work for months to decide on a company’s name — or, in some situations, to rename it.

“First, we carry out the diagnostic work. We see where the customer wants to go, how the brand is perceived and how the entire sector in which it works is understood by the public and we see the purpose of the company. We have to understand all the details. , even to avoid that the name is restrictive for the future, that it is below what the company actually delivers, being a service or product”, says Ana Couto, partner of the Ana Couto agency, one of the traditional ones in the national market.

Are there different types of names? Yes, there are three.

  • Descriptive: which describes exactly what the company does or shows the benefit the product delivers. For example, Correios or Banco do Brasil;
  • Suggestive: which suggests what the product or service does or what it delivers. For example, Kibon.
  • Abstract: that have no meaning or their meaning has nothing to do with the company’s main service. For example, Apple or Itaú (black stone, in Tupi).

Which type works best? It depends. For Couto, on some occasions the descriptive names, which seem to be the easiest for the public to understand, need to change over time —she gives the example of Telefônica, which is far from the company’s current business model. It used to be just a phone company. Today, it acts more as a digital services hub. Therefore, for the executive, suggestives have been more successful among companies.

Luciano Deos, founder and president of Gad’, a branding and design agency, recalls that the Claro brand was born with the suggestive concept.

It was founded from five operators (Americel, ATL, BCP, Claro Digital and Tess) and needed to show that its cell signal worked better than other operators.

“It could not be descriptive of the activity. It had to be a brand that connected people. And Claro emerged from the clarity of the signal, the quality of the signal at the time it was launched”, he says.

How long does it take to create a name? The work can last from three to six months, according to Couto.

“Of all the branding and communication work, this part of naming is the most difficult. Today, the objective is to create a name with strategy, which goes far beyond being creative”, he says.

“The name is the beginning of a story I want to tell. The first role is to translate this value proposition, this brand strategy. There is no good name or bad name, right name or wrong name. The appropriate is what translates the proposal of value”, declares Deos.

Couto says that one of the biggest challenges is to check if the name is available in other countries, since brands are born global. In this process, accents, tildes and cedillas end up not being used.

How is the final decision reached? Generally, a first list is made with around 600 suggestions, says Couto. After all the cuts, a final list of eight to ten suggestions is passed on to the customer. From there, they go into design and research, even to understand if consumers are understanding what each suggestion means.

Deos says that all projects are conducted through workshops with the board: there is no longer the “big day” of presenting the name. The process is one of co-creation between agency and company.

Mesbla was created with syllable combination. Mesbla returned to activities recently, in a onlineafter being declared bankrupt in 1999.

The company began its activities in Brazil in 1912, as a subsidiary of a French firm, with the name Sociedade Anônima Brasileira Establishments Master et Blatge. Vequipment and machinery.

In 1939, it was renamed mix SA, a combination of the first syllables of the original name (Mestre et Blatgé), after an internal contest.

David Neeleman, CEO of Azul Linhas Aéreas, at the time of the contest

Image: Reproduction

Blue lost contest, but took it anyway. The name of Azul Linhas Aéreas also emerged from a competition, in this case, external. But he was not the winner of the contest.

The airline, founded by the American David Neeleman in Brazil in 2008, held a contest online in which internet users gave suggestions for names.

Afterwards, a panel chose the finalists and a vote was opened. There were more than 130 thousand suggestions, with 108 thousand consumer registrations and 155 thousand votes in total.

The name “Samba” came out the winner, with “Azul” in second place. Other finalist names were Abraço, Alegria, Brasileira, Céu, Mais, Nossa, Pátria and Viva.

But Neeleman argued that the name “Azul” reflected feelings such as serenity, loyalty, and, of course, referred to the sky — in addition to being the executive’s “lucky color”: he had already founded the airline JetBlue airwaysin the United States.

The first consumers who suggested the names “Samba” and “Azul” won lifetime tickets from the company, the grand prizes of the contest.

What about Oxxo? Should he have been Brazilianized? “Brands sometimes change over time. As she has ambitions, she is faced with decisions of this type”, says Karin Ligia Brondino-Pompeo, professor at ESPM (Escola Superior de Propaganda e Marketing).

She cites the example of Leroy Merlin, of French origin — there, it is pronounced “Lerroá Merlan”, as the surname of the two founders of the company is spoken.

“When they came to Brazil, they made the decision not to use the French pronunciation. They adapted it to the local pronunciation, with a TV campaign that pronounced the name in the commercial. The company adapted in favor of the consumer”, he says.


The article is in Portuguese

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