Agency: What Naming a Business is All About

by | Brand storytelling, Wordplay

Agency. In hindsight, it seems like a no-brainer. But there was some hair-pulling and gnashing of teeth, because naming things can be hard. Your business name, if you choose to operate under something other than your personal name, has to resonate with your customers, describe what you do, and stand the test of time.

A dictionary and thesaurus come in mighty handy during that process. So does word association.

When you come up with something that has a powerful double meaning? That’s pure gold. Like Agency, for example. Some of you might have already caught it (and really, if you did we should chat, or maybe work together on something, because a shared wavelength can lead to some serious creativity).

The dictionary will reveal the second, less obvious meaning on the office door: “the capacity, condition, or state of acting or of exerting power”. Social science paints a more complete picture: “the thoughts and actions taken by people that express their individual power”.

So agency as a business establishment, and something more. Power. Not aggression, but the solid, clear strength of an independent voice. Shouting isn’t necessary. Five syllable words don’t matter.

For me, agency is a mission. To empower smart, imaginative people to shape brand stories that connect with their best customers and reach their full potential. To do that in their own style and with their own voice. Agency says, “This is me. This is what I do. This is why. I respect my work and the people who buy it.” It’s power without the chest-thumping. It’s the kind of quiet that gets everyone’s attention. Gold.

You need to know what business you’re really in when naming that business, or a project, or a product. It’s a delicate balance between you, your work and your customer, but well worth the time and energy. Grab a dictionary. Stick your nose into a thesaurus (there are plenty online). Get a pencil and play.

Embrace your own agency.

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