Coming up with a brand or company name is no easy task, especially so if it is for your own company; I became self-conscious trying to think of one. I do not want it to be too cheesy or sleazy neither do I want it to be so geeky for a tech and creative brand. As I had wanted to register this venture as a business with ACRA, hence coming up with a company name is necessary. I told myself that I should not take any longer than half a day in working out the brand name.
“I do not want it to be too cheesy or sleazy neither do I want it to be so geeky for a tech and creative brand.”
I believe that the first few words, names, sentences that come to mind will be the one that is close to the heart, just like how the heavy metal guitarist Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath records his solo parts of the songs. He would take the first cut when writing guitar solos as the basis which he then puts it into the song. Being a huge fan of Tony Iommi during my days of guitar playing and rocking out, this concept somewhat is embedded in me for most things I do.
So I first sit down and think why I am doing this in the first place. The first of the three reasons was that I love to do designing, scripting, and programming which is not possible for me to do so with my day job. Secondly I would love to get a second stream of income, which eventually I hope will be the long-term plan making it the primary source and turning it into a full-time business. Lastly, I would want to do it as a form of dedication and appreciation to my significant other, my beloved wife.
The latter would eventually lead to the formation of the name.
You know how in those days (and possibly is still the same now), where we will give nicknames to the contacts of our loved ones in our mobile phone. You do not save them using their own names but rather save it something like Wife, Darling, Sayang and so on. No! None of these is going to be the brand name!
So you have guessed it. I save the contact as HoneyBee! (with the exclamation mark like that). How did I come to put up with that name? Well again, that goes back to my days of being a guitarist. I classify myself as a metal head and a classic rocker. But I do have a soft side when it comes to music and that I love anything that has a wacky, significant and cool guitars licks and solo to it. The name HoneyBee comes from the title track called Honey Bee by Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble from their Couldn’t Stand the Weather album. I was that 18-year-old boy who locks himself up in the room practicing and jamming to songs from the PC and listening to Texas blues. I love that catchy vibe that it has to this song that blends really well with that bright and crunchy sound of the Stratocaster of Stevie Ray Vaughan (SRV). I was heavily influenced by SRV back then that I even name a Tumblr blog named Cold Shot (another title from the same album as Honey Bee).
I was set on that but still somewhat undecided. A couple of days later I was listening to a khutbah (Friday sermon) by Ustaz Norman Ali Khan entitled “Be like the Bee”. I didn’t think much of it as first and only after listening to the entire clip than I got remembered of naming the brand as HoneyBee. Therefore, I listened to it again and from the key points mentioned in the khutbah, it was then that I decided to use the name HoneyBee. In brief, the khutbah speaks about the virtues of the Honeybees which was made mention in the Quran and has its own surah (chapter) named after it called An-Nahl (Chapter 16). Ustaz Norman speaks about the characteristics of the honey bees and how they are important to mankind and what is the wisdom that God Almighty is trying to convey to us in the Quran.
Now that I have the root word, I am in search of another word to pair up and complete the brand name. To keep it in perspective and it wasn’t too hard think of a word hence I decided on using “creative”. But just to add a little twang to the name I spelled it as Kreatif. Why? Because I am Malay! With that Honeybee Kreatif was born and came to life for the very first time in 2015. It’s a word combination that is something close to the heart and one that tells what the brand is all about.
Brand names should be meaningful and memorable; it should communicate with your customers on your brand values, what services or products you offer and your value proposition. As ambitious as I would like to be but I don’t think I would want to actually name the company using my own name like how Michael Dell, John McAfee or John Cadbury who are founders of their own company and is the face of a brand. Whatever path you decide to take, to name your brand with your name or otherwise, know that there is always that possibility that someday your brand name might change.
Hence, during this early and exciting stage of your company’s journey, find a company name that is close to your heart. One that carries a value that not only you but also your customers can relate with. Do not spend too much time trying to figure that one perfect name because the brand might or might not work. But hey if you like to generate a name and stick with it for as long as it’s longevity, that would be awesome too! Name change during a brand or company lifetime is not something new. There is also the possibility that you will do the name change down the line. Even a big company like Michael Kors is changing its name to craft a new identity.
So this how I came up with the name and the meaning behind it. I don’t go through a complicated process but rather it is more of a sentimental and personal approach. But I do foresee that someday I might have to make a slight change or re-brand entirely. Well that’s one for the future but I leave you now with the words of Texas Blues legend Stevie Ray Vaughan,
“Dive in your hive, and into your life. Tell me little baby that you’ll buzz me all the time.”