As you read through the names that I’ve created over the years, you might be thinking “I like it” or “I don’t like it.” That doesn’t matter. What matters is this:

How relevant is the name to the product’s positioning? How differentiated is it from the competition? Does the name offer layer upon layer of meaning? Does it have confidence, mystery, a sense of humor? Is it provocative, cocky, fearless? Is it easy to pronounce? How much energy does it have? Is there a visual component to the name besides what the letters look like? Does the name defy conventional wisdom? Is it a name people will talk about?

All that, that’s a lot to ask from a name. And that’s what makes naming so damn hard.

  • wine country concierge service

  • "wild" mezcal brand

  • global networking conference

  • Pine Mountain wine brand

  • epicurian travel company

  • high-concept luxury wine brand

  • Left Field, an ad agency, my first

  • "badass" tequila brand

  • rebirth of former Carmenet winery

  • French-inspired wine brand

  • another ad agency, my second

  • wine #5 in "Prisoner" series

  • not-for-profit wine label

  • bakery founded in Australian outback

  • Zip2, Elon Musk's first company