Saturday, April 07, 2007

Wordlab v/s Thingnamer v/s Namewire

What we have here are three of the more popular naming blogs in the blogosphere. So how good are they at what they do? The proof of the pudding would have to be in the self-naming. Well, let's get down and see where they stand when it comes to generating brand names for themselves. After all, if you can't come up with a decent name for yourself how good can you be at branding somebody else?

Wordlab, to me, sounds like a name for a word-generating application. It says little about names. What's nice about Wordlab, though, is that it says words, words and not much more than words. And since names are, first, words, Wordlab does own the thing that defines names. Fortunately for Wordlab, it comes from the House of Igor, the leaders in the branding space. Thanks to Igor, the demerits of the name Wordlab don't matter as much as they should. If Wordlab were a name for standalone naming company, they'd have a much harder time making a splash in this space.

Thingnamer is interesting and stands out because it drops the space between two more ordinary words. If you had to read 'Thingnamer' as 'Thing' and 'Namer' you wouldn't give it as much thought as you are likely to, minus the space. Minus the space, 'Thingnamer' becomes much more than just 'thing' and 'namer' and registers, at first, as something unknown, exotic and unusual; and in this space, first impressions count. A lot. I wonder whether Thingnamer would throw in the space between the words if he had to design a logo for himself? My humble advice would be not to. All that said, about Thingnamer, good call.

What about NameWire? Yes, what about NameWire? Well, it tries to do the same thing Thingnamer is doing by dropping the space between two very functional words but the effect isn't as memorable. Why so? Because NameWire comes across and looks like a normal sounding single word, unlike Thingnamer. (For instance, sorta like Limewire.) As a result, it doesn't make as much of an impression. Admittedly, NameWire isn't the name of the company and the logo does try and make the name stand out by presenting it as 'NameWire', with the words 'Name' and 'Wire' in different colours. Sadly, that's just too elementary a branding tactic. Even the parent company for the Namewire blog is an oh-so-dull 'Strategic Name Developement'. (I suspect their choice might have something to do with Google key words, but they could have done better. much, much better.)

So who wins this name war? Thingnamer. And yet, Thingnamer is not as interesting as, say Brandnama or, even, Brandaclaus. Learning: Portmanteau words work better as brand names. Not that any of that matters. At the end of the day, for whatever reason, all the three names being compared here have more clients than both Brandnama and Brandaclaus put together. Just goes to show, again, that a name is only a small part of the branding game. Unfortunately.

And guys, before you label me as a troll or jealous or dysfunctional or any such thing uncomplimentary, try honest and objective. Because all this is, is an evaluation based on certain scientifically devised Übermeters. Please don't take offence. As is evident, I'm too small a fry to make any difference to your already established credentials. Feel free to jump in and rip this post to shreds. The learning that will result from such an attack will be most welcomed by yours truly. Rest in pieces.

Wordlab
Stop-start scale: 6/10
Long and Short cut: 6/10
Story meme: 6/10
Übertotal: 18/30

Thingnamer
Stop-start scale: 7/10
Long and Short cut: 6/10
Story meme: 7/10
Übertotal: 20/30

NameWire
Stop-start scale: 6/10
Long and Short cut: 6/10
Story meme: 5/10
Übertotal: 17/30

1 comment:

Tate said...

Thanks for what appear to be kind words when you evaluated our blog name - Thingnamer. We like it too.

Sadly, we didn't create the name to make anyone else happy... we did it because it made us (and our friends and associates) laugh.

You can read the basic story behind it here: http://stokefire.com/blog/2007/01/01/thingnamer-is-born-stoked-brands-fades-away/

You'll note we didn't actually create the name at all. We just had the good sense to know when we'd heard one.

I'd love to hear some more about your evaluation methods - they're not familiar to me...