Making inspiration practical

You don't have to get it to love it

People who love art museums love art museums. People who don’t go to art museums often think of them as stuffy, irrelevant, or don’t know how to interact with them.

This campaign sought to stretch nonprofit marketing dollars with an unexpected tone that fit the ad placements, all outside of your traditional arts & culture section of the paper.

Descriptive (but they also want it “cool”)

AMP

Creating a new website publishing platform is a challenge. It needs to be clear and trustworthy for users and imply the benefits (speed and improvement) in an exciting way for publishers.


Accelerated Mobile Pages is a descriptive name, putting the benefits of speed and mobile-friendliness front and center, with a fun and memorable acronym built right in that also implies the benefits.

Finding a new metaphor for beacons

A new developer-focused platform for beacons needed a name with a backstory and an approachable feel. Named after a British lighthouse that was rebuilt with the latest technology of its time (three times due to the tumultuous English Channel), the name hints at the rock-like shape of the beacons and also sounds like a person’s name.

Its logo evoking the beacon’s shape as well as a lighthouse beam.

Not every project is a good fit for a suggestive/empty name, but with deep developer relationships and a need to feel different from a variety of xBeacon industry names, the Eddystone team opted for a long term approachable direction.

Making new tech at home in yards

Dandelion

This geothermal innovator wanted to make the heating and cooling technology, familiar in Europe but relatively unknown in the US, feel friendly, natural, and welcome in American homes.

Inspired by the company’s unique drilling, straight downward like a dandelion’s tap root, the name aims to feel familiar and comfortable year round.

It’s not enough to say “we’ll spoil you” to jaded film crews – you’ve got to prove it

The Serrano Hotel was a boutique hotel that had a good reputation for supporting film crews shooting in San Francisco and wanted to focus on that lucrative repeat business by emphasizing how they went above and beyond for them.

Ran in "Variety"
Ran in “Variety”

Ran in the LA Times
Ran in the LA Times

Slated to run in the New York Times anniversary edition (cancelled due to the events of 9/11/2001)
Slated to run in the New York Times anniversary edition (cancelled due to the events of 9/11/2001)

 

Art Director: Janny Yang

Creative Director: John Marin

 

When a last ditch effort becomes a huge success

The Pacific Palisades Hotel needed a severe boost to occupancy. They had a small marketing budget and were surrounded by big chains that had much more brand recognition. So we looked at what we could do for them. We opportunistically bought cheap, last minute ad space in the local newspapers left over when other advertisers canceled. We wrote ads that were designed to get attention by speaking to the competition, the context and pushing an edgy personality that none of the other hotels could copy in order to draw in the younger, hipper tourist. The results? An unheard of 80% boost in occupancy – and a campaign that got talked about throughout the city.

Pacific Palisades

sneaklair

Ran on Friday the 13th
Ran on Friday the 13th

Creative Director: Dan Elmslie

Art Director: John Marin

Creating a record label on the strength of a music school

EP_records_2When Pyramid, a San Francisco music production school, wanted to create its own music label to give its students wider exposure and a chance to be discovered, it needed a name that sounded like a big record label – and had a serious story.

I led the effort and was the sole namer for the project. After a round of work, I presented the word “epiphyte” – a plant that grows on another plant but is not parasitic – which was a wonderful story about growth and about the students leveraging the strength and power of the school behind them to get their careers growing. It had a relation to neophyte. It also had the added nod of starting with “EP” – a reference back to the industry that the designer leveraged by combining a sense of musical notation and a turntable.

epiphyte

Extending a healthcare leader into a pharmacy leading brand

WellPoint was getting its pharmacy benefits management brand in order. Not only were they giving it a new structure as part of WellPoint rebranding, they were adding new offers that changed the way the category would be seen.

resize_nextrxI led the effort to develop the deceptively simple, but always memorable brand “NextRx.” The market loved the brand and the customers intuitively understood it was their pharmacy insurance when they received their next healthcare card.

The effort to give NextRx its own personality in the market was so successful, in fact, that it was targeted and acquired by the biggest player in the industry – Express Scripts. Thus sometimes a great name is so successful that it leads to its own retirement.

The work on NextRx built a relationship that allowed me to pitch and win a much larger engagement for our company with the WellPoint master brand for design, voice and brand training.

Giving a spin off a clear purpose

Sensata TechnologiesWhen Texas Instruments was preparing to spin off its sensors and controls business, they needed a name that felt big and trustworthy, close in to sensors and controls, but still had an evocative feel.

I led the effort with the client, found a name they could rally behind and worked closely with design to bring these close-in names to life.

Not only did they adopt the name, the effort went so well, it led to nomenclature, brand positioning, design and even more engagements with the Texas Instruments master brand as well.

Bringing order to a product portfolio

How do you create a cohesive naming system that can accommodate 130 product launches a year? That can span from $4 computer mice to $500 music systems and still feel like a master brand? That could accommodate the constant improvement of technology, but didn’t lose the story of the category? That engineers could get behind and that had room for the big marketing pushes that consumers needed to fall in love with?

Logitech nomenclature

Armed with some research, some insight into the road maps and a (way too deep) understanding of everything the company was asking of its names (including a trip to their factory in China), I created a detailed system of nomenclature that simplified numbering across categories, built criteria for evocative names within the system (and the rules around when numbers had to appear and could be left off), demonstrated how the names would work in each touchpoint and created guidelines and a wiki to allow company-wide visibility of the names in use.

Logitech Touch

While numbers aren’t always the solution, this combination of clear and descriptive naming, supported by tiering numbers with the flexibility for evocative names that could fit seamlessly into the system has been a success in helping customers and sales teams clearly understand the line up – and speeding time to market on the products they create.