Generating a Company Name That Fits The Ski Lifestyle

Published by Colin Finkle on

Finding a novel, short, impactful name that is in the intersection of personal care and the snowboard / ski lifestyle.

Executive summary | Abstract | TL:DR
You can have a good company with a bad name, but it’s growth will be inhibited. A name is an opportunity to signal what your brand is about; in this case, we want to signal two things: 1) snowboard /ski lifestyle and 2) personal care products.

We used the Multiply Method to generate names. We came up with a list of words associated with mountain sports, and a list of works common in personal care. We combined the words in a table. After brainstorming hundreds of names, we eliminated them based on workability, length, domain name availability, social media handle availability, and the opinions of our stakeholders.

We arrived on a great name and registered a 7-letter .com domain (amazing!) But you are going to have the read (or scroll) to the end of the article to see the name.

10 minute read | 2500 words

This article is part of our Lifestyle Brand Series where we explore how brands become associated with aspirational lifestyles. 
– Part 1 to understand what is a lifestyle brand
– Part 2 on Beats by Dre
– Part 3 on DC Shoes, 
Part 4 on Arc’teryx
Part 5 on what they have in common
Part 6 we applied what we learned, creating a brand strategy for a ski lifestyle brand
– Part 7 we made a list of action steps
In this article, Part 8, we make a list of names and choose the best one.

A good name is not going to make for a good company, but a bad name can inhibit an otherwise good company. The same is true for a logo.



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There are many examples of companies that make a brand for themselves in spite of a crappy name. A good name is never going to be make up for a crummy operation or poor customer experience. But would companies with great operations and customer experiences be better off with a good name? Undoubtedly.

A name is an opportunity to signal potential stakeholders on what your brand means.

Finding a name for our lifestyle brand that is representative of how we intend to be perceived is a head start in the race to build an experience that connects with our target market: skiiers and snowboarders.

What are we trying to signal with our lifestyle brand name?

To summarize the Lifestyle Branding Series, we are building a lifestyle brand as an example so that you can create one as well. We have developed a strategy and a plan. The brand promise we prepared for our strategy outline is:

“Codename: Champagne Powder is going to keep people clean, dry and smelling good through a suite of personal care products so people can spend all day on the slopes and be fresh for apres-ski.”

There are a few things we want to signal to people. They are, in order:
1) We are associated with the ski / snowboard lifestyle
2) We offer personal care products
3) Our products smell good
4) Our products keep you clean
5) Our product keep you dry

Maybe this is a lack of imagination on my part, but I cannot envision a name that will signal all five of those. Please, prove me wrong in the comments, but that is my take. Given that, we need to focus on what matters most which was the connection to the snowboard / ski lifestyle and the offering of personal care products; the others were criteria that we will use later to choose the best name.

The Multiply Method, revisited.

I have never seen a fulfilling method for naming a company, and naming without process is a total disaster.

There are company name generators and people who suggest common brainstorming tactics like mind mapping. But these both generate ideas that are top of mind; thus the domain names and social media handles have already been taken. And when an entrepreneur goes without a naming process, they usually get overly invested in an idea they had in the shower and are unaware of other options that may have served them better.

I came up with a process for naming companies called the Multiply Method. The principle behind the Multiply Method is that you take two lists of words and try to combine them in unique and fun ways. We’ve taught this method on the blog, and we have offered an Excel sheet that makes it very straightforward. Everyone I talk to gets results from it… every time.

There are five easy steps to the Multiply Method. You can use pen and paper to do it, or set up your spreadsheet, or save yourself a lot of time and use the one we offer.

Step 1: Create two lists of relevant words
Step 2: Set up a table
Step 3: Write the full word combinations
Step 4: Combine the words together
Step 5: List the names with potential
Step 6: Eliminate the unusable names

For detailed explanations of the steps, I invite you to read the Multiply Method article. For this article, we are going to do each step with our snowboard / ski lifestyle brand without going into as much detail as we did in the original article.

Step 1: Create two lists of relevant words

We know from our list of objectives with for a name that will associate the brand with both the snowboard / ski lifestyle and personal care products. The Multiply Method combines two words, so combining a word from mountain sports culture and a word familiar to personal care products would be ideal. I generated a list of words for both.

I started with Google to come up with words for the words from the ski / snowboard lifestyle. There were great lists of words in articles people had made that explained the ski / snowboard vocabulary to regular folks. I also referred to some of the interviews videos I had watched to get a better sense of the culture back from when we were defining our strategy.

Generating a list of words for personal care products was also straightforward. I just went to an online store and looked at the common words in the listings for the products that we plan to produce: fragrances, shampoos, deodorants, etc.

For both lists, I pulled only words that I thought were well known and sounded pleasing. I left out the overly technical words that would not have any meaning to most people if we used them.

Words to common to ski / snowboarding:
Alpine
Apres-ski
Carving
Downhill
Freestyle
Mogul
Nordic
Slalom
Mountain

Words common to personal care:
Aroma
Parfum
Eau de …
Extract
Top Note
Cleanse
Fresh
Invigorate
Personal Care
Crisp

Step 2: Set up a table

This step was easy. I opened a blank spreadsheet in Google Sheets and put the list of words from mountain sports in the first row, and the words from personal care products in the first column.

I did this many months ago, but if I did it now, I would have used the Multiply Method worksheet and saved myself a lot of work.

Here is the blank spreadsheet:

Lifestyle Brand Naming Table

Step 3: Write the full word combinations

Save Time Populating. Multiply Method Excel sheet with the words populating through the sheet.
You type the list of words into the Multiply Method worksheet once, and it automates all of the word combinations for you.

To perform this step, you write out the full words one way (A + B) and the other way (B + A). For example, in the first cell, I was combining the words “Alpine” and “Aroma,” so I wrote out “Alpine Aroma” and “Aroma Alpine.”

Again, I did this months ago, before I had access to the Multiply Method worksheet. The worksheet automates this step.

The word combinations were good starting points to see how the words would combine. Just seeing “Alpine Aroma” suggested “Alproma.” But I deleted the word combinations that were nonsensical.

Step 4: Combine the words together

Save Setup Time. The Multiply Method excel sheet setup for the method already.
The Multiply Method Worksheet has spaces to collect the words you brainstorm.

To perform this step, write out all the combinations of the words that you can see. Our brains are meant to form connections and see commonalities between two things; have you been thinking of two words and said the combination? I have.

You don’t need to be particularly artsy, creative, or right brained to do this step. It is just a process. I don’t want anyone, and I mean anyone, to get scared off this step because they do not consider themselves “creative.”

This step is fun but is also challenging. It took me approximately fifteen working sessions to get through the list; I added a link to the Google Sheets doc in my browser and would return to it when I had a spare ten minutes in my schedule. It is mentally exhausting work, so you have to be generous and forgiving of yourself as you work through it. For every combination you write out, your subconscious has probably run through twenty others. If you take it slow, then it will stay fun. If you pound your way through it, then you will get exhausted and frustrated.

Here is the filled-out table:

Lifestyle Brand Name Brainstorm

Here is the full list of words:

Alpine Aroma, Alproma, Aroma Alp, Aroma-Ski, Apres-Aroma, Aproma-Ski, Carving Aroma, Carvroma, Downhill Aroma, Hillroma, Freestyle Aroma, Freestyle-roma, Mogul Aroma, Mogulroma, Aroma Mogul, Nordic Aroma, Noroma, Nordaroma, Aroma Nordic, Aroma Nordique, Slaroma, Slaloma, Aroma Slalom, Mountail Aroma, Mont Aroma, Aromont, Aromount, Alpine Parfum, Parfum Alpine, Alparfum, Apres-parfum, Parfum-ski, Aparfum, Carving Parfum, Downhill Parfum, Parfum Hill, Parhill, Freestyle Parfum, Parfum Freestyle, Freestylefum, Mogul Parfum, Mogfum, Parfum de Mogul, Nordic Parfum, Parfum Nordique, Parfum Nord, Parfum de Nord, Slalom Parfum, Parfum de Slalom, Parfum-mont, Mont-parfum, Mountain Parfum, Monfum, Eau de Alpine, Alpeau, Eau De Apres Ski, Apres-eau, Apreseau, Eau de Carving, Eau Downhill, Eau de Hill, Eau de Freestyle, Freestyle Eau, Eau de Mogul, Moguleau, Nordeau, Eau de Nord, Eaunord, Slalomeau, Eau de Slalom, Slaleau, Eau Slalom, Monteau, Mountaineau, Eau de Mountain, Eau de Mont, Alpine Extract, Alpstract, Alpstraction, Apres-extract, Carving Extract, Extract Carving, Carvstract, Extracting, Downhill Extract, Downhill Essense, Extract Downhill, Hill Extract, Freestyle Extract, Freestyle Tract, Mogul Extract, Extra Mogul, Nordic Extract, Nordtract, Extranord, Slalom Extract, Slalom-ex, Slalom Tract, Mountain Extract, Mont Extract, Mountainex, Mountain Tract, Alpine Top Note, Alpine Note, Alpnote, Top Alpine, Apres Top Note, Apres-note, Apresno, Carving Note, Carvnote, Downhill Top Note, Downhill Note, Hill Note, Hilltop Note, Top Note Freestyle, Freestyle Top Note, Mogul Top Note, Top Mogul, Mogulnote, Nordic Note, Top Nord, Top Note Slalom, Slalom Note, Slalnote, Top Note Mountain, Mountain Top Note, Mountaintop Note, Alpine Cleanse, Alpeanse, Alp Clean, Apres-Cleanse, Carving Cleanse, Cleansing Carve, Clean Carve, Downhill Cleanse, Hill Cleanse, Down Cleanse, Freestyle Cleanse, Mogul Cleanse, Cleanse Mogul, Nordic Cleanse, Cleanse Nordique, Nordicleanse, Nordiclean, Slalom Cleanse, Mountain Cleans, Mont Cleanse, Monteanse, Alpine Fresh, Alpfresh, Freshpine, Alpesh, Apres Fresh, Fresh Apres, Apfresh, Apresh, Carving Fresh, Fresh Carve, Cresh, Downhill Fresh, Fresh Downhill, Freestyle Fresh, Fresh Freestyle, Mogul Fresh, Fresh Mogul, Nordic Fresh, Nordfresh, Fresh Nordic, Fresh Slalom, Slalom Fresh, Fresh Mountain, Mountain Fresh, Mont Fresh, Alpine Invigoration, Alpinvigoration, Alpinvig, Alpinvigor, Apres-Invigorate, Invigapres, Invigorating Carving, Carvigorate, Carvig, Downhill Invigoration, Freestyle invigorate, Freestyle Invig, Invigorate Mogul, Mogul Invigorate, Invigmogul, Nordic Invigorate, Invignord, Slalomvigorate, Slalom Invig, Invigorating Slalom, Invigoration Mountain, Mont Invig, Montinvig, Mountainvioration, Alpine Care, Alpcare, Personal Alpine, Apres-care, Carving Care, Care-ving, Downhill Care, Personal Hill, Hill Care, Freestyle Care, Freestyle Personal Care, Mogul Care, Personal Mogul, Nordicare, Carenor, Personal Nordic, Personal North, North Care, Slalom Care, Personal Slalom, Personal Mountain, Mountain Care, Mont Personal, Mont Care. Crisp Alpine, Alpine Chrisp, Alpcrisp, Crisp Carving, Crisp Carve, Downhill Crisp, Crisp Downhill, Freestyle Crisp, Crisp Mogul, Nordicrisp, Crisp North, Slalom Crisp, Crisp Slalom, Crisp Mountain, Mountain Chrisp, Mont Crisp, and Chrisp Montfin.

That is an insane amount of choices. I will hang my hat up as a brand marketer if I cannot find a great brand name that works on that list.

Step 5: List the names with potential

The steps above were all about generating quantity, not quality. Now we hone down and concentrate on the brand names that have some potential.

In this step, we highlight the ones that we could see being the name of the brand and eliminate all the rest. I am looking for ones that are short, easy to pronounce, and catchy. I am eliminating ones that do not signal both mountain sports and personal care.

I am asking for each: Can I see this name on a bottle or an ad? Can I see this name as a brand?

Here is our short list:

Alpine Aroma
Nordic Aroma
Nordaroma
Aroma Nordique
Mountain Aroma
Aromont
Alparfum
Parhill
Parfum Nordique
Eau de Alpine
Apreseau
Nordeau
Eau de Nord
Monteau
Downhill Essense
Slalom-ex
Mountain Extract
Mountainex
Alpnote
Top Alpine
Nordic Note
Alpine Cleanse
Alp Clean
Clean Carve
Nordic Cleanse
Nordiclean
Alpine Fresh
Alpfresh
Apresh
Nordic Fresh
Nordfresh
Fresh Nordic
Alpinvig
Invignord
Alpcare
Personal Alpine
Nordicare
Personal North
North Care
Alpine Crisp
Nordicrisp
Crisp North

Step 6: Eliminate the unusable names

Names are going to be unusable for a variety of reasons, but the big one is that another organization is currently using them. Technically, you can use a name that another organization is using if you are in another industry (I am not a lawyer, and this isn’t legal advice.) But practically, it is best to have a net new name that no one is using. This is simply because you want your brand to be the only one to come up when someone goes searching for it.

We started the process with 42 names, so I was not worried that we would not widdle down to a good one. The first step in the process we used was search Google to see if another product or organization are using the name. After that, we eliminated by the domain name, Instagram handle, and Twitter handle; the website called NameCheckr made this step easy.

After that, I showed the shortened list to friends in the snowboard and ski lifestyle as well as colleagues in marketing. We eliminated the ones that didn’t sound right or were too many characters. Finally, I made the final choice.

Lifestyle Brand Name Elimination

And the winner is:

Nordeau

I am very excited to have a short, sweet brand name that says what we need it to say and to have a 7-letter .com domain name!

But unfortunately, Nordeau comes with a catch. The Twitter name is in use, but someone hasn’t used the service for nearly a decade. Maybe if we ask Twitter after we have the trademark, they would give it to us. It is a risk. Also, while the Instagram handle, @Nordeau, isn’t in use, I can’t seem to register it. Again, I am not going to worry about it for now, but I will contact them once I have a registered trademark. Where there is a will, there is a way.

A Tale of Love and Loss, and a Triumphant Return

I tell anyone that I teach the Multiply Method to: “do not fall in love with any name until you go through the elimination step. You could get your hopes up for a name that will not work out.”

But I did not follow my advice this time. When I was brainstorming, I was so excited when I came up with Nordeau. It was hard to continue generating other names. So I checked the .com domain; it was taken. I looked to see what was there, and someone was parking it. I thought that I might be able to purchase it, but they wanted thousands of dollars. After that, it was easy to return to the brainstorming process.

That was over six months ago. Thanks to a member of the BMB Premier List, I returned to the Lifestyle Brand Series. In that time, the parker let the domain name expire!!!

I was so excited that I ran out of the room and told my wife. “Hun, I registered a brandable 7-letter .com domain name! Someone let it expire! Dreams do come true!!!”

She didn’t care…

…but was happy to see me excited.

Conclusion. The Multiply Method is a Long but Fruitful Process

Everything in life worth treasuring is the result of hard work. Naming a company is no different. You can come up with some crummy name in the shower, or you can use the Multiply Method to generate hundreds of names to choose amongst.

The quality of the name will be a direct function of the number of options you generate. This is called a funnel; put a lot of options in the top and a single great idea will come out the bottom. The funnel way of thinking works for all design and creative endeavors.

Now It’s Time To Take Action to Build Your Brand

Go and download the Multiply Method worksheet whether you have a brand name you like or not. It will remind you that you need to generate a lot of names to get a great one, and there is a process in which you can come up with those names.

Godspeed! It is not easy, but I genuinely hope you find a brand name that you are as excited about as I am about Nordeau.


Colin Finkle

Colin Finkle is a brand marketer and designer with ten years of experience helping Fortune 500 companies tell their story at retail. You can see his work at finkle.ca

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