The smallest branding step you can take

The word branding gets thrown around too easily these days. It started as a business tool and it has become more and more a buzzword. Branding is corporate personality building, nothing more. If you admit that, innovative and out of the box branding ideas should come natural for you and your company’s marketing team.

It all starts with names. In human interaction, names play a big role - a growing body of research shows strong correlations between simple, familiar names and career success. Names give you a lot of information about a person’s gender, background, origin and even social status. All of this triggers an immediate response - you form an opinion on someone based on their name. Exotic names almost always bring out people’s prejudices.

Having a simple, natural sounding company name is, thus, a big win. But you can’t always change the name of a company without losing share of voice, awareness or some reputation. What you can do is complement it and infuse it with more personality than it has on its own.

You can achieve this in several ways:

  1. With a strong image-building advertising campaign
  2. With good PR and lots of visible actions (CSR campaigns, press features, sponsorships etc)
  3. With internal branding tactics

The one thing you can tackle quickly and with little effort is the latter. Internal branding may sound complicated, but can be broken down in palatable morsels:

  1. define problems the company aims to solve and its attitude about them
  2. define problems the company itself cannot solve, but that pertain to the community in which it operates; name its attitude towards those as well
  3. re-read the brand manifesto and check that it still applies (or write one up)
  4. enact what the mission statement stands for
    1. through company-to-community activities
    2. through internal activities
  5. gather all data regarding the company’s brand and build a persona - a character;
    1. use this character to decide the tone of voice
    2. enforce tone of voice throughout all communication materials

We have only covered parts of what you can do - you should, of course, ask for professional help to do all of those. But there is one thing you can do right now - change something your clients and staff members see every time you host a meeting. Your meeting rooms’ names.

The trick here is to choose a theme relevant to your industry/company. E.g.: fairy tale characters’ names if you are a toymaker. Then out of that lot, pick the names that reflect your brand’s personality. And voila - instant attitudinal branding.

After some digging up, we found what other companies have been using for their meeting rooms’ names:

Company: Facebook

Theme 1 : Bad Ideas

  • Sub-Prime Mortgages
  • Windows Vista
  • Beacon
  • Running with Scissors
  • Fighting Chuck Norris
  • Knife at a Gun Fight
  • Land War in Asia
  • Crossing the Streams (Ghostbusters)

Why it works: Facebook aims to innovate. By naming their rooms after famous bad ideas, they encourage people to be bold. To be unafraid of failing.

Theme 2: Bad Tech-Music puns

  • Barenaked LEDs
  • Collective SOL
  • Flock of SQLs
  • fl33twood mac
  • The SMShing Pumpkins
  • Notorious OMG
  • Vanilla ICMP
  • GNU Kids On The Block!
  • LOL Cat Stevens
  • 50 CentOS
  • Black Eyed PC Load Letter
  • Jay-ZOMG
  • LL Cool.js
  • TLDR.E.M.
  • IMHOgen Heap
  • Johnny Cache
  • JSON Mraz
  • Linkedin Park
  • Perl Jam
  • Alicia Keylogger

Why it works: Facebook also wants to be hip, fresh, whimsical. By bridging tech-terms with popular music, their rooms say “Facebook nourishes internet culture”. Which they do.

Company: Etsy

Theme: Bad Food-Music puns

  • Ace of Bouillabaisse
  • Bon Bon Jovi
  • David Lee Broth
  • David Lee Broth
  • Fleetwood Mac ‘n’ Cheese
  • Froyo Ma
  • Johnny Cashews
  • Lil Kimchee
  • Nine Inch Snails
  • Oreo Speedwagon
  • Pjork
  • Public Edamame
  • Red Velvet Underground
  • Soy Division
  • Sushi and the Banshees
  • The Rolling Scones
  • Wu Tang Clams

Why it works: Through these names, Etsy references 2 brand-crucial items - food and culture. They’re in the business of helping stay-at-home people (or hobbyists) break into pop-culture. Names like The Rolling Scones highlight that brilliantly. Though some of the others don’t.

Company: Mozilla

Theme: Internet Memes

  • All Your Base
  • Bikeshed
  • Chuck Norris
  • Holodeck
  • Icanhazcheeseburger
  • Mullets Galore
  • Numa Numa
  • ORLY

Why it works: This is one of the best cases of form and function blended together. The names themselves exude personality AND they’re ordered alphabetically, which makes the rooms easy to sort through. Mozilla is a friendly browser, but an efficient one, is what these names are suggesting.

Of course, your rooms don’t need to have whimsical names. But give your visitors something interesting to think about when they enter them or plan them so that they can generate some chit-chat. It always helps to start meetings with a smile.


What do you call your meeting rooms? We’d love to feature them in this article.

Adrian, MO, YArooms

Written on Tuesday, 02 Feb 2016



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