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Coghead and Coglets… the beginning of a naming hierarchy

Phil Davis

Branding & Naming Expert President of Tungsten Branding

When Coghead was just a name on a list, who would have foreseen the meteoric rise of the Coghead “dude” and the success of the recently released “Coglets” application? This is a good example of how the right type of business name can create excitement, generate traction and accelerate brand name penetration.

This is similar to what happened to McDonald’s over the years. In their case the iconic figure was Ronald McDonald, and the Mc “Add-Product-Name-Here” became their standard naming protocol. With this type of naming architecture, each sub brand points back to and reinforces the mother brand. In this way, your marketing dollars go farther since the company and product names are mutually reinforcing.

Not long after naming PODS, I walked into their first manufacturing plant to notice one of their big hydraulic trucks had been labeled “Podzilla.” I was thrilled to see this type of internal ownership taking place and to watch how the brand began to morph and produce “brand children.”

So when considering a company name, think about what type of sub brands or brand extensions could potentially develop. If you can’t think of any, you might consider a different name or a different naming strategy. Not all names lend themselves equally to sub branding. Sometimes highly invented/coined names can be a challenge when creating sub brands. (i.e. what would you call a sub brand for Accenture?) For Coghead, there will likely be other “Cog” products coming along. From the CogBlog to the Cog “dude,” the gears are already starting to engage — and that’s the way good branding works.

About the author: With over twenty-five years of company naming and branding expertise, Tungsten founder Phil Davis is a marketing and advertising veteran, having personally named over 250 companies, products and services worldwide. As a sought after branding expert, Phil has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal,, Businessweek, Entrepreneur, and Newsday.

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