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Creating fictious companies, commercial brands

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I've started research for my next WIP and I'll need to create a successful national company (dedicated to health and safety products from childcare to eldercare). I have no clue how to go about creating an umbrella name (that a marketer would've have created and that would've taken off), plus a few "products" or brands. Everytime I brainlist some words, I realize each one already on the market or I find it on Google. Help!

#1 - November 03, 2010, 10:34 AM

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I have the same problem, and it is more complicated because the company/product I am using is "evil" in the book.  Thus, name confusion wouldn't just be a trademark violation, but possibly slander!  I finally found one that has been used in flavors, but it not a *brand* per se.  Ask your friends and family (and even the BlueBoard) to brainstorm ideas until you hit on one, just as if you were starting this company yourself.  Then Google away to make sure there isn't already a similar company using the name. 

I do the same for restaurants and coffee shops in my books, coming up with themes and settings that are fun, but hopefully not too real:)

Good luck!

#2 - November 03, 2010, 01:13 PM
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SPIES AND PREJUDICE (Egmont USA)

http://www.YAMuses.blogspot.com

I pull out the thesaurus and/or look for Greek and Latin root meanings I can adapt. I think up words close to what I want and then look at the possibilities. After that I see how many google hits I get on what I came up with.

Messing around with the thesaurus for a sec helped me come up with these.
Truegen: Truly remarkable products, caring for every generation (sounds too close to Trojan though)
Apex: Peak performance for life (A lot of companies use this, but in HUGELY diverse fields. That could be a form of safety net for you.
#3 - November 03, 2010, 01:30 PM
Bazooka Joe says, I have the ability to become outstanding in literature.
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Remember the products the coyote used in the Road Runner cartoons? They were all "Acme" this or that. It's safe to use a name that's widely used, because then it becomes generic.

Also, don't drive yourself crazy with the name research. Choose something you like, and let your publisher's legal department worry about it for you. And if you get to that point, they will.
#4 - November 03, 2010, 08:04 PM
Harold Underdown

The Purple Crayon, a children's book editor's site: http://www.underdown.org/
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I love making up fake company and product names!

Health and safety products, you say? You don't necessarily have to have a name that indicates this. Think of Proctor & Gamble!
#5 - November 04, 2010, 12:07 AM

My esteemed guinea pigs (sample chocolate truffle eaters) to the rest of you keep telling me should get out there and try to sell them, which is easier said than done, but I'd love to come up with a company name for the fun of it.  John suggested "Sugar Plump Dairy" after one of the characters I created.  Won't go into the logistics of it, too bonkers for words.

"Botchett & Scarper" was photographed in a magazine for a decorating company.  It looked brilliant on the side of the van.
Any company names for chocolatiers?
#6 - November 04, 2010, 02:59 AM

EricJ

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I love making up fake company and product names!

Health and safety products, you say? You don't necessarily have to have a name that indicates this. Think of Proctor & Gamble!

Calls to mind the joke from the Simpsons:
"Today, the 3M company announced plans to merge with M&M/Mars, and change their name to, (chuckle!), yes.....the Altria Corporation."

(Nowadays, most multi-industry companies, especially health companies, tend to pick abstract, ethereal names that don't tie themselves to any particular industry that might become dated or that they might want to divest themselves from later.  Whether your company's good or evil, either way, you can make just about anything to fit.)
#7 - November 04, 2010, 03:47 AM

 :wow Thanks, everybody! You gave me great advice. Proctor & Gamble, which in turn made me think of Johnson & Johnson, is a good example for a major company Eric, you're right that most companies use generic names. and then use your suggestions, Sam, for the brand names & products. I never thought of looking at Greek or Latin roots.

Harold, thanks for your reassurance, too. I really feel out of my element, but you're right; all I have to do is think of something roughly suitable and let the publisher take it from there.

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I have the same problem, and it is more complicated because the company/product I am using is "evil" in the book.  Thus, name confusion wouldn't just be a trademark violation, but possibly slander!

I can see your point! Good luck with creating your company name! In my case, the fictitious company has an excellent reputation at large, but some unethical, shady types have gained positions of power to further their agendas at the expense of two members of the MC's family, meaning the MC has to dig down and get to the bottom of it.
#8 - November 05, 2010, 09:31 AM

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