It is not just about finding the best name

“We were pioneers. In those times, almost twenty years ago, nobody did this”, says Francesc Arquimbau, Manager of Nombra, a branding consultancy specialized in “naming”. “It took a big effort to convince companies of the importance of a name. A bad brand may work fine with a strong investment in advertising, but with a good name, the possibilities skyrocket”, he adds. The company’s own motto makes it very clear: “No name, no brand”.

Art, literature and music

It may seem simple, “but it is not just about the name, it is a forward-looking approach, it lasts for years. And even it outlives the executives themselves”, highlights Arquimbau. “Its sonority and to be remembered” are key for a name to bring success, says Nombra’s Manager.

In this state of things, Nombra has twenty creatives with very different backgrounds related to architecture, literature or music. Each assignment implies roughly a month of work, in which each of these creatives come up with 200 or 300 possible names. That is, around 6000 possibilities. Afterwards, names must undergo the corresponding linguistic and legal controls. Linguistic controls to avoid misunderstandings, and legal controls to discard names that have already been registered.

“We try to be very rigorous, our methodology is the result of many years of experience and quality controls such as scientific tests to potential consumers”, tells LA RAZÓN this businessman. “With an assignment for Givenchy, for example, they loved the name Pi, for it suggested eternity, infinity, … But it belonged to a Japanese lab, so they bought the lab and kept the name”, explains Arquimbau. In the light of this example, it is not surprising that Nombra have worked with giants from different fields like Nestlé, Danone, Seat, Nissan or Repsol.

The key for a good name

A campaign for Renfe stands out among this consultant’s first naming assignments. The company’s trains were named after acknowledged Spanish writers but, after the first AVE, it was time to update them.

So they put their hands to it and the resulting name for the train that links Madrid and Levante was Alaris. The problem was that, back then, the writer Camilo José Cela was in Renfe’s board, and the word “Alaris” reminded him of “alar”, a rope full of bristles used to catch partridges. After some pushing and pulling, Alaris triumphed and “even today they still tell us it could not possibly have a different name”, he explains visibly delighted. Then, to sum up, what is the key for a good name? “its sonority and to be remembered” asserts Arquimbau.

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