The art of naming

There are some myths, or rather misconceptions, about naming. Two of the biggest are: it’s easy and that you will know what the right name is as soon as you hear it.

Wrong and wrong

Naming, whether it’s a company, a consumer product or a business service, is truly an art. In fact, it’s more than just an art. It’s also a combination of science, skill and luck. It really is a rigorous and exhaustive process. It requires a creative, disciplined and strategic approach.

As well it should

A well-chosen name is an essential brand asset. It’s transmitted and used day in and day out –in emails, business cards, websites, commercials, presentations – or when using an actual product or service. Thus, a name has to be timeless, tireless and easy to say and remember. The sound of the name has to have rhythm. And obviously, it has to stand for something. But don’t forget: it’s the ongoing work with all the functional and emotional associations that give the name life and meaning. There’s more to it than just “knowing it’s right”.

Reality check

In 2012, Metro and MTG developed a new product. An all-new mobile application with geographically positioned offerings and discounts. In short, if you’re in downtown Stockholm, by using the application you’ll get offerings and discounts from nearby stores, restaurants, etc. They asked us to give it a name.

In the process of naming the mobile application, we started out with more than a thousand names – generated by workshops and an inventory of our name bank.

After different types of valuation and screening activities, e.g. initial qualitative assessments (matching with proposition), preliminary legal evaluations, domain accessibility, app store and Google Play availability, in-depth qualitative assessments, in-depth legal evaluations and linguistic evaluations, the number of names got fewer and fewer. From more than 1,000 names down to 400 names, to 250 names, to 80 names, to four names. Four names that we presented to Metro and MTG for them to evaluate with the request to make a final decision. And they did, so it all boiled down to the one.


A name that’s meaningful and conveys something about the essence of the brand, while being distinctive, unique, and easy to remember, pronounce and spell. A name that’s internationally viable and protectable – and now trademarked.

And doesn’t it sound really good?