With over 2,000 digital agencies using SEOptimer, we’ve seen our fair share of agency names! For founders of start-up digital agencies, finding the right name can be a real challenge. After all, digital agencies are creative businesses. We expect an agency’s creative abilities to be on display when it comes to market. There is so much thought and research in a word or a few words that ultimately becomes the identity of the company.
To complicate matters further, domain names are snapping up quickly. If you like the idea of simple marketing agency names like “your city + your industry,” chances are these names have already been taken.
The names of today’s digital agencies sometimes seem random on the surface (think Kroon Studio or Comrade Web Agency), but are actually anything but random. We’re going to explain why digital agencies choose the names they choose and how you can take inspiration from the best agency names in your niche.
How to choose a good agency name
The best digital agency names should match the brand’s personality, grab attention, be easy to remember, and convey an idea of the agency’s specialty.
In the past, many agencies simply used the same formula as law firms or consulting firms: Associate A + Associate B + Associate C = agency name. Think of the Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce from Mad Men, and you’ll get the general idea.
While naming your business after you can be a great self-esteem boost, the name isn’t memorable and doesn’t give potential customers any idea of your brand or what you do. Also, unusual surnames are often misspelled or mispronounced, while more common surnames are confused with other businesses.
But as with anything, there are unique situations where your name might be a favorable option. If you are truly the “face” of your brand and want to create a strong bond between you and your agency, using your name can be a good option. Consider a situation where you have an existing profile in your industry and where you have certain methodologies and philosophies that you personally promote and evangelize. Using your name in your agency creates a natural extension of your thinking in a service business and allows that thinking to grow.
A prime example is advertising legend David Droga (pictured above), who founded his agency Droga5 after working in advertising for many years and building a reputation as an advertising creative who told great stories in his work.
Agency Names – How It All Began
When it comes to choosing the best agency names, it can be tempting to just copy the big fish. We don’t recommend this strategy, in part because the biggest players tend to have idiosyncratic names that don’t make much sense unless you delve into the company’s history.
Ad agency groups
WPP, an English company, originally stood for Wire and Plastic Products (seriously) and kept that name as it grew and acquired other companies. Omnicom (omni=all; com=company) was created as a holding company for several different companies, all with traditional partner names. In a slightly more original version, the name of Publicis Worldwide is formed from the combination of the French word for “publicity” and the number 6 – the favorite number of the founder. Why not, right?
These types of marketing agency names aren’t very helpful to new agencies because they don’t grab attention and don’t immediately suggest the business’s niche. In addition, these are large umbrella companies that have acquired many smaller groups with more specific business objectives. So while they may be useful role models when you’re one day at the helm of a large digital agency conglomerate, they won’t be of any use to you when you’re starting out.
A new approach
The best marketing and design agency names today are eye-catching and immediately suggest the company’s niche.
The top-ranked digital companies are specialized. They have risen through the ranks because they can offer their clients a tailor-made solution for their growth objectives.
Finding a unique name is a crucial part of this strategy. There are literally hundreds of thousands of digital agencies for your clients to choose from and you only have a moment to make a great first impression. Your name is the first thing potential customers will see (or hear), so make sure it’s good.