Charted courses and completed missions from the high seas.

November 2014

A Rose by Any Other… Naming Your Business

November 10th, 2014


In the words of William Shakespeare, “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet?”  Many people think that selecting a name for a business should come naturally and without a lot of work, research, or process. However for most, naming can be a very drawn out and even laborious process.

Here’s a quick list to consider when naming your company.

  • Will the name fit who you are as a business?
  • How will your name resonate with your clients or customers? What will it mean to them?
  • Will the name limit your potential and future growth?
  • Are there any negative connotations to the name?

The right name needs to be timeless and memorable. The name should stand for something unique to your business, your values, and your big picture. Selecting the wrong name may hinder your branding efforts and bottomline for a variety of reasons. While it may not make or break your business, it certainly can make your communication efforts an uphill battle.

Click here for some examples of Companies that have struggled with their names. 

Naming requires a creative, disciplined, but more importantly, a deliberate and strategic approach.
We can help. 

5 Principles of Great Branding Pt. 5: Great Visual Design

November 5th, 2014

Image Credit – CBS Outdoors

Today we wrap up our five part series on defining what we believe make up the top five principles of crafting a great brand experience.

5. Great Visual Design 

Often times, this is the most neglected and difficult principal, and yet it is possibly the most important one. The assumption by many is that the message and saturation are the most important elements of branding. However, since we are such a visually saturated culture, in just a matter of seconds, someone is sizing up your brand and deciding whether or not to go further. For this reason, you must ask yourself, do you have distinctiveness and differentiation in the quality of your visual design?

You need to stand out and be distinctive in the minds of your clients through providing a great design experience.

When hiring a creative agency or contractor to help you with your branding needs, and we know this sounds counter-intuitive, but don’t just look at their brand or website design as a deciding factor for whether or not you should work with them. Pay attention to their portfolio in the results and design they’ve achieved for their clients. Chances are if you don’t like the agencies’ work, you are not going to like the work that they do for you, regardless of how cool their website or logo looks.


Pros – Initiates attention, gets your customers interested and pulls them in to the experience. Great design tells a story that beckons your customers to learn more.

Cons – The danger here is when the creative design experience becomes such a dominate force in the work that it over shadows the needs and desires of what the client hoped to achieve by branding in the first place. Sometimes establishing a visual design can be too conceptual or miss the mark completely.

Application – Crafting a creative design experience isn’t just about being innovative for the sake of being innovative. That’s just showing off. Instead, your firm should collaborate with you to plan a strategy and move forward with a process that works to meet your communication goals. You need to design an experience that people will both enjoy and connect with.

Visual Design Example

We often find ourselves amazed and excited to see what the e-mail marketing platform, MailChimp will come up with next. Their brand has a mascot named Freddie who is a friendly mail delivering chimp that has become an extension of their brand’s personality. MailChimp will take part in traditional advertising, but in a very non-traditional way. Their ads, campaigns and ideas make you work to figure out who this friendly little chimp is. Their campaigns generate buzz and excitement by supportors of the brand as well as people with no exposure to it. We could continue to gush about MailChimp, but you get the gist.


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