60 year old Memphis advertising and PR firm archer>malmo presented their panel “When Bad Names Happen To Good Startups” last Monday at SXSW Interactive. Over 100 people attended the panel discussion and stayed throughout the entire hour long session.
archer>malmo Chief Creative Officer Gary Backaus and Senior Copy Writer Justin Dobbs presented the entertaining hour long session for startups curious about naming. The duo of advertising executives mixed humor with the session which made it quite entertaining.
Despite having a client roster that includes names like Pfizer, Verizon and RJ Reynolds, Dobbs broke the ice and established credibility by making light of the fact that the firm is located in Memphis. He showed a few slides of new technologies that archer>malmo currently employs including; email, and intranet. He also showed a slide of a rack card rack that you would find at a hotel, saying they were creating something new called the “Take One”.
When it came down to content though, Dobbs and Backaus gave out some great tips in their “5 Rules for Naming Your Startup”.
1) you’re not naming a startup you’re naming a brand.
2) Create a first impression that’s positive, intriguing and clear
3) Don’t create conceptual or technical hurdles
4) When necessary be descriptive, whoa whoa not that descriptive
5) If it ain’t broke.
It was during the fifth rule where Backaus discussed the work that the firm is doing with nibletz.com The Voice Of Startups Everywhere Else. (disclaimer: nibletz is a portfolio company for archer>malmo a>m ventures arm).
One of the biggest takeaways we got from the panel wasn’t an actual rule “You don’t need a big idea for your name you just need a name for your big idea” Backaus told the audience.