Branding Matters

Martyn Tipping - Win The Name Game

March 05, 2021 Branding Badass Season 1 Episode 14
Branding Matters
Martyn Tipping - Win The Name Game
Show Notes Transcript

Today I’m sitting down with Martyn Tipping; one of the world’s foremost naming professionals and brand strategist. He’s also a writer and content creator who has overseen high-profile branding projects for clients in all major industries, all over the world. 

Born and educated in the UK, Martyn moved to New York City where he has worked on some of the biggest corporate name changes including Zeneca, Accenture, Altria and more.

I invited Martyn to be a guest on my show to discuss what’s happening in the naming space these days. I also wanted to get his POV on what names new brands should avoid in the post-covid world. And last, but definitely not least, I’m curious to learn about Martyn’s short-lived stand-up comedy career that ended on the night he opened for Chris Rock. 

Joelly Goodson Lang:

Hi, I'm Joelly, your branding badass, and welcome to my new podcast, branding matters. Today I'm sitting down with Martyn Tipping one of the world's foremost naming professionals and brand strategist. He's also a writer and content creator who has overseen high profile branding projects for clients in all major industries all over the world. Born and educated in the UK, Martin moved to New York City where he worked on some of the biggest corporate name changes, including Zenica, Accenture, Altria, and many many more. I invited Martin to be a guest on my show to discuss what's happening in the naming space these days. I also wanted to get his point of view on what names new brands should avoid in the post COVID world. And last but definitely not least, I was curious to learn about Martin short lived stand up comedy career that ended on the night he opened for Chris Brock. Martyn, welcome to branding matters.

Martyn Tipping:

I'm delighted to be here. Thanks for having me.

Joelly Goodson Lang:

You're one of the world's leading naming experts. I've never met a naming expert before. So how does someone become a naming expert,

Martyn Tipping:

Something I fell into by accident really, I ended up applying for a job in advertising at the time, there was a recession going on. So now advertising agencies were hiring. And I ended up very miserable working for a bank for six months, which I absolutely hated it. They basically told me what I didn't want to do for a living. And one day I saw an ad in the newspaper that said, ever wondered how products get their names? Why don't you apply and it was for a company called Interbrand, which is now one of the biggest global branding agencies. At the time, it was still a small agency primarily focused just on name development, they had a small design department, they had a couple of people in an office in New York, but essentially, there were a small naming agency. And I thought that sounds interesting, because I was always good with words. And as much as I enjoyed writing, and I enjoyed reading and my career's reports from a kid always said, Oh, you'll do something, you'd be really good doing something with words, which in those days meant either a teacher or librarian, again, they didn't give me the option of developing names as a career. So I applied for that job, and ended up getting it, which is a long story in and of itself. And I fell in love with it on day one, the very first project that I was working on, I was given a yellow legal pad of paper and told to come up with names for a multibillion dollar global pharmaceutical bio sciences company, which has turned out to be Zeneca. And so you know, the very first name that I created is actually still in use today. Just kind of exciting. And that's how I sort of fell into it. It was purely accidental. Well, that's so incredible. So here you are this young guy coming from the bank, and they hire you. And they're like, okay, here, we need to come up with this name for this pharmaceutical company, can you kind of walk us through the process of how you came up with the name Seneca. And Was that your first I mean, I'm sure there must have been a few versions before you came to that naming is very much like a numbers game. And as much as you know, this isn't like advertising, where you maybe go to a client with three or four concepts. And the stereotype of serve advertising is that you go in with three concepts, one that you really love, and two that you just show to try to convince the client that the one you really love is the best. That's not how it works with naming with names, we have to show generally, a lot of ideas typically on a naming assignment, and a first presentation will show somewhere in the region of 30 different names. And that's because there's no such thing as the right name, or the perfect name. Ultimately, a name has to meet three criteria has to meet a strategic criteria. So it has to allow you to tell a story. And that story has to be consistent with your brand strategy and messaging, it has to meet linguistic criteria. So it can't mean anything inappropriate in a foreign language. And the biggest challenge is the legal criteria, it has to be available for you to use and protect as a trademark. And that takes a lot of time. And a lot of work to figure out whether a name is can be registered as a trademark, and it can cost 1000s of dollars to do full trademark searches on a name. So we can't do that with every name that we come up with that would just be prohibitively expensive for a client. So generally, what we do is we show a wide range of names. And again, you go down lots of different there are lots of different ways into telling a story. So sanika idea for zanuka came from zeniff or Pete which is a company that's a leader in its field, a company that's at the top its game. And so that was that was the origin. Now, you can't just call it zennith, because there are hundreds of other companies out there called zennith. And you could never would never be able to own and register that as a trademark. And so what we had to do was sort of come up with different suffixes and play around with the word to create something that was ownable, and something that we could use. And that's how we got to Zeneca. And I know for a fact that we came up with hundreds upon hundreds and hundreds of names that then get taken through a preliminary legal screening just to eliminate obvious trademark conflicts, identical conflicts, and that will knock out anywhere from 70 to 90%, of what we come up with, even before the client seen it. And then we went to the client and showed them that at least 30 names. And we probably had two or three rounds of names, because it's difficult for people to fall in love. Nobody falls in love with the name when they first see it, it takes time to warm up to it. So yeah, there are very few cases where you go Yep, this is the name this is absolutely as any one project I've worked on, where I walked out of the briefing session and said to a colleague, this is what we're going to call this product. And that was for a it was for advertising on gas station pumps on the handles of gas station pumps. And I came out of that. And I came out of the briefing meeting and said to my colleague, we should just call that Phil board, because it's, you know, no pump,

Joelly Goodson Lang:

it's kind of a no brainer when you hear that?

Martyn Tipping:

And it was Yes, it's a it's a no brainer. And it's a What else would it be called? Yeah, but that's only happened once most of all career? Yeah, my whole career, most of the time you come out saying how on earth? How on earth are we going to navigate the minefields? You know, there are projects I've been working on now where there are suddenly 4 million active trademarks and the trademark classes that we have to find a name and and so any one of those could potentially knock out a name we could we create, it could be a conflict. So it's very much like threading your way through a minefield, where you have to avoid these 4 million sort of minds to come up with a name that can be used isn't going to get a client in trouble. Oh, and by the way, it has to allow you to tell a story. And it also has to not mean anything negative in a foreign

Joelly Goodson Lang:

like another country or another language. Right? You know, that's when she I'm curious to know, has Google helped or hindered that process for you, when you're naming companies? If you come up with a name? Could you quickly Google it and see if it's already there? Yep.

Martyn Tipping:

There's a distinction between domain names, social media handles, and trademarks, that sort of and also sort of state registries of names. So very often that one of the first things we ask when a client comes to us with a naming, particularly with a startup or new businesses will ask them, have you trademarked the name? And they'll say, Oh, yeah, we've got the.com, we've got we've registered the.com. And like, no, that's not the same thing. Have you actually made sure that you can use it and protect it. And so to a certain extent, it's made it easier. And as much as you know, I can do a preliminary legal screening online using Google. But I don't just do a Google search, we will do a screening in the same trademark registers and using the same database that trademark lawyers use, because a lot of brands will register a trademark, but they may not get around to actually using it in commerce for a year, 18 months, a couple of years, okay, in particularly in categories where you have like a long lead time, sort of from innovation through to actually getting out in the marketplace. But those brands, if they've registered the trademark and a plan and have an intent to use it, they will have rights in that name. And so you might be able to register the URL because they didn't get around to doing that. Or you might not find anything in Google, you may still run into problems with trademarks that have been registered. The other thing with Google is that Google isn't going to search for necessarily phonetically similar or close names. That could be a problem from a trademark point of view. For example, you know, branding badass if there was a branding bat ass that was I don't know somebody who's great at baseball. Yeah, although Yes, yeah, virus investigator or something that branding badass that wouldn't come up if you search branding badass, necessarily, but it would come up. If you're doing a trademark search, it gets complicated. I would say, you know, clients want to do brainstorming sessions to say, look, it's really easy to come up with names, and we can all sit around right now and come up with hundreds of different names. Go back to the Zeneca example, we could go zennith. And what are other words that mean that zennith Peak summit K to Everest, you know, we go down that, yeah, everyone can come up with these great names. The challenge is coming up with a great name that you can own and that isn't going to get you into trouble if you use it. And that's where a lot of sort of startups or fall they'll come up with a name they can use. It's not a name they can necessarily own or build equity and a good name is a valuable piece of intellectual property very often after a business pivots or a business sort of transforms its logo or changes other aspects. His business, the name is the only thing that stays constant and the name can have value. It's a little bit more complicated than sort of naming a pet or naming a dog or name. That's Yeah, that's part of the problem with this is that everybody does name everything from cars, body parts, pets, whatever, they come up with names for them. So they think you're really good at naming the challenges, you've got to come up with something that nobody else has thought of.

Joelly Goodson Lang:

Well, that you know what, that's so interesting. I mean, I do like the fact that as far as I know, I'm the only branding that is out there. Now you're making me think I should trademark it. You're an expert. So do you like the name?

Martyn Tipping:

Right name because it sets expectations. And it starts to tell the story and gives you an idea of what to expect? And I think that's what a great name will do. It doesn't necessarily tell you exactly what it is that you're doing. But it's but it doesn't tell you your branding consultant. It's a bit cheeky, right? Yeah. But it gives it gives us a sense of personality. And my expectations of a branding badass podcast are different than this is the branding 101. Guide, you know, it's expect different topics, different speakers, different expectation, and that's really what you know, that's what a brand is, is, it's a promise, you know, the brand is shorthand for something. And so if the name can help give you a clue, or at least give you a clue of what to expect. And that's a good thing.

Joelly Goodson Lang:

I agree. And I just have to correct you. And the name of my podcast is called branding matters. Sorry. And it's conversations with the branding matters. No, that's okay. And again, branding matters, playing on that double entendre of all things, branding, but also that branding really does matter. But thank you, I appreciate that. So how important is a name when it comes to a brand? So anyone out there who might be listening who's a new entrepreneur or starting a company? What should they think about?

Martyn Tipping:

Well, I think you know, the name generally is one of the most difficult things to get right. And guess that's a good thing. Otherwise, I wouldn't be able to make a living. But it's not easy to get it right. And part of why it's not easy to get it right is that it's exceptionally difficult to change your name, once you sort of have it in place, you can change your logo, you can change your colors, you can even totally pivot your business and change your business model. But actually changing your name is challenging. And it can be very difficult, you know, once you've started to build equity in a name, and if you have to change it, because all of a sudden, the names no longer accurate. Or if you're being sued by somebody who says you can't use this name. And you get so successful that you start to attract attention. Some reasons, hold on this name is a bit close to ours, it can be exceptionally difficult to change your name. So generally, it's one of the last things about a brand that will change. And again, to go back to the Zeneca example, that's 30 something, yes, that name has been in existence. And now it's AstraZeneca. And it's been through multiple different logos and iterations. But that name is still in existence. And it's because it's very difficult to change a name, what I would say how important is the name, I think the most important thing is, the way I think about naming is that name has to sort of reflect your brand strategy in your brand strategy has to be reflection and support your business strategy. So while it's important, it's not the most important thing, you know, you need to first of all to have, make sure you have a really strong business idea and business strategy in place. And then you need to understand how you're going to go to market with that business and what your positioning is and what the story is you want to tell. And then you can create a name that nine times out of 10 isn't going to tell the whole story, Phil board example is the sort of as the exception that proves the rule, but nine times out of 10. Most names don't tell the full story, but it gives you permission to tell the story so that when you hear it, it makes sense. So the Amazon, for example, the name itself doesn't tell you what they do. But when you hear it sort of like it's the biggest sort of widest longest stretch from this, because we have the biggest widest selection of initially books and now everything vailable it sort of makes sense. But the name itself isn't, you know, you'd never look at a website or store called Amazon and know what they sold just from the name alone.

Joelly Goodson Lang:

So are you saying then that you should come up with the strategy and the brand purpose and then the name afterwards, as opposed to coming up with a name first and then building your strategy and brand around that?

Martyn Tipping:

Yeah, I think it's important because otherwise you have no criteria against which you can evaluate the names. Remember, I said it's strategic, legal and linguistic and there are always exceptions. So in some categories, like the pharmaceutical category again, for example, legend has it that the Viagra name was a name that had been developed for another product and was sitting in the name Bank of Pfizer, and when they needed a name for the ad product, Viagra made sense because it had the right associations and would allow them to tell the whole story. The name Viagra wasn't developed for that product. In most cases, you're looking to build a sort of a strong, sustainable brand. Start with a business idea and an understanding of your market and who your target audience is. And all that stuff before you sort of start thinking about the name, that was a lot of the mistake in the.com, boom, sort of in the 90s. Everybody wants to just really cool hip names. And you know, so many of those companies went bust because they had really cool brands and strong brands and sort of interesting names, but they had lousy business models, and no real strategy behind them.

Joelly Goodson Lang:

So when you're coming up with a name, now you have your strategy, do you think about it in all aspects? As far as how is it gonna look? And then how it sounds as well? Because it could be a name and hard to pronounce? Maybe for some people?

Martyn Tipping:

Yeah, absolutely. You know, you want to make sure that the name is easy to pronounce. But again, what often happens is to get around this legal challenge, which I said is the biggest hurdle, you sometimes have to misspell names or make up words. And generally that makes people go Oh, I can't pronounce that I got one of the most frustrating things in naming presentations is when you present a new name, that's a made up Word and people go, I can't pronounce that. And then they'll go to say the name perfectly correctly five times in a row. I can't say that that looks and it's Yes, it's because it's a weird new name. You haven't seen it before. And ultimately, whether it's Porsche or Porsche, you're getting 90%. But no one's going to be confused and say, Oh, I went to the Porsche showroom. What is that naming is just one element of your verbal identity, things like headlines, language, your brand voice taglines, all of these things sort of matter just as much as the image that you use. And there was a whole design thinking has been a really popular concept and idea for for many years, sort of thinking about the importance of design from all aspects of consumer experience, from product design, through packaging, to on shelf to that first moment of truth, when you take the product out of the packaging, very little thought has actually given in many cases, to the words that actually go on that path, or is there an opportunity to put words on the inside of the box when you open it, and you start to see that now a lot more brands are starting to sort of understand that voice can be a sort of a differentiator, just as much as design. So yeah, I do a lot of work with brands, helping them find their voice and speak in a way that helps them stand out and sort of get their messaging heard and understood.

Joelly Goodson Lang:

Okay, so you're an entrepreneur, you're CEO out there, and you're listening to this great podcast, and you're about to launch a new brand. What name should you avoid

Martyn Tipping:

I hate to be a broken record, and, and we'll explain to younger listeners exactly what a record is. In digital feedback, but avoid, you should absolutely avoid, obviously, anything that's inappropriate in a foreign language and avoid anything that is going to get you into trouble, potentially legally. So the first piece of advice, get a trademark lawyer to look at your name and just give it a once over it's an expense you probably think you can do without because maybe you've registered the URL, or maybe you've done a Google search, like we were talking about and you haven't, you know, you've seen nothing out there. But what you don't want to do is build up a loyal following get customers, get a bunch of people, subscribe to your news site, get all the social media handles and get all your followers and then find that you have to change the name because all of a sudden, you've got big enough that people are saying Hold on a minute, this looks like it's an infringement on my trademark, I'm going to send them a cease and desist letter. So the legal thing is probably the most biggest piece of advice I would give you to avoid getting into trouble. I think the other thing is try to avoid names that are going to look very tired and dated in a number of years. So right now, you know the if why, and sort of made popular by Spotify, you can see a lot of companies going down that route. And you can generally it's sort of those names will look dated in about five years, just like now, if you see a company name that has e in the front of it, whether it has.com actually in the company name, you can sort of you know, you know, it's dated, you know, the other trend or fad that you see with naming right now is the sort of words that would end in ER, and you just drop a vow that and those are ways mostly to sort of try get around URLs or try get around potentially trademark but mostly URLs. But I wouldn't jump on any sort of naming bandwagon because you'll look very dated in a few years time.

Joelly Goodson Lang:

That's great advice. You mentioned URLs. You know, one thing that I always tell my clients, sometimes we're putting together some ideas and they asked me, you know, we want to have our name, and then we want to have our website and then they're like we want www.data.com and I'm like you don't need www we all know it's a website and it looks much better. And I've had some pushback, we're like, No, we want web, you know, so it's funny you talk about data.

Martyn Tipping:

Yeah, no, absolutely. So you don't need that HTTP. Yeah.

Joelly Goodson Lang:

I know it's so funny. Okay, so speaking of names and what not to do, and what about names that have nothing to do with the product, nothing to do with the service. Few that come to mind. Blackberry, Apple, Google, which is a made up name, what do you think about those kind of names?

Martyn Tipping:

I mean, I think those can make really strong names because they're memorable and they stick in there they can, they can be very simple. Those are what we call abstract names, for the most part they require a little bit more can require a little bit more of an explanation. Initially, another reason blackberry and apple and those kinds of names work is they have great products associated with them. And you sort of you remember them that way, because you're seeing these names all the time,

Joelly Goodson Lang:

but they don't start off that way. You know, when a company says, When Steve Jobs like, okay, we're gonna call it apple. And at that time, nobody knows them. So you know, you're a new entrepreneur out there right now, and you're a startup and you're coming up with a name like straw. I'm just looking at my straw. And it's a built in one. But what do you What's your recommendation? Or what do you think about that?

Martyn Tipping:

No. So my recommendation, again, if you can have a name that gives you permission to tell the story and tell a story, then you're better off doing that than having a name that there's no connection whatsoever with the product or with the offering. So blackberry story behind that name is that the physical design of the product, it was kind of shaped a little bit like a blackberry in the keys looks a little bit like seeds. I wasn't involved in naming of Blackberry. But that's a story that they tell behind the BlackBerry name. And so again, it doesn't matter. No one's saying that we have the properties of a blackberry or is like a Blackberry, maybe you see that when you look at the form of the product, maybe you don't, but at least there is a story behind it. Ultimately, with a name. When you launch your product or your company, you want to maybe explain the name once and be done with it and sort of be able to answer the question, how do you come up with a name? And as long as you have sort of a reasonable answer to do that, you're fine. You move on because you don't want to be talking about a name. If you're Apple, it's a pointless conversation to get into Well, how exactly did you come up with the name apple? And was it because it's about simplicity and elegance? Or do you want to be sort of before Compaq and HP and the alphabet? Or you know, what's the it doesn't really matter? Once the brand is in the marketplace? And you're successful? equally, you don't want to just be at have to say, Oh, well, it was just first thing that came to our head, or we just sort of you know, we just kind of liked it thought it was kind of cool. Because again, that doesn't sound like the kind of company that potentially you would want to give your business to, or invest in or be part of if they're making decisions just purely on gut. And I'm not saying that doesn't happen. But generally, most names out there, even if you think it's abstract, there is a rationale. And a story behind it at the end of the day won't ever be told other than in that first sort of few weeks after somebody after they changed the name of the name just to answer that question. What Why do you call it blackberry? or Why do you call it Google? or Why do you call it Amazon? It's

Joelly Goodson Lang:

It's funny, you talked about the letter A I think I read somewhere I can't remember one of the things with Apple is back in the day when we used to have phone books, again, for that younger generation, they have no idea what that is. For us, we still look up businesses on inform books. And if you're a company start with letter A, then when you'd open up the phone book, that would be one of the first names you'd see. Yeah. So again, I think it's staying with the times and making sure that you're connecting with your audience, there are a lot of things that sort of generally, my older clients will be like, Well, you know, aren't you worried about spelling this, and people misspelling the name. And it's like, well, the way it works now is that you only have to type the name into your browser once you either bookmark it, or the browser learns at an autocomplete. And so it's not an issue. belcheck can be a curse for creative brand naming because until your name is recognized enough, where you actually bother to update the dictionary on your computer spell check will will correct names. What about companies that merge? So there's two companies and they both have really great strong names. And they have really strong brands, and now one is bought the other or they've merged together? What do you do in that scenario? Because I know a lot of companies they hyphenate I mean, you had just mentioned about AstraZeneca. What about merging and coming up with a whole new name? What's your take on that? And what's your recommendation?

Martyn Tipping:

It's a strategic decision before it's a naming decision. So you want to understand what the equities are in each of those names. And if sometimes one of the names doesn't have great equity or has negative associations, and so you want that name to go away another consideration very often why companies end up creating an entirely new name, the question really sort of gets to one of the interesting things about naming which is it's a lightning rod for a host of other issues. So one of the reasons why companies will change their name after they've merged is because it prevents that I'm from Company A, or I'm from Company B, which if after merger, you know, people will continue to use their old company's name for as long as possible or they will identify as Oh, I come from this side of the business or I come from that side of the business. Whereas if you force everybody to adopt a new name, all of a sudden everyone has to rally together around a new flag a new name, a new identity, everyone finds it equally disruptive or gets equally excited about it. And so you can use naming not just as a way of sort of talking about a company or as the shorthand, but you can use naming as a way to solve cultural issues or address the biggest strategic problems. So that's very often why you will find both companies will change their name after a merger. Now, sometimes that doesn't make sense, if a name has tremendous equity, and really strong equity, and you would be crazy to throw that equity away. But you see that a lot, particularly in the private equity space where there are a lot of companies will go on an acquisition spree and they'll start to merge multiple small players together at some stage, it doesn't make sense to keep all of those company names, you know, it works well, if you put one or two companies names together, but as soon as you've made your fifth acquisition, you know, you end up sounding like a law firm, I

Joelly Goodson Lang:

was just gonna say I think about law firms where they have four or five names. Sometimes

Martyn Tipping:

there's a trend though, for for law firms. If you actually look, a lot of law firms are moving away from having multiple names and moving to a single name, because that's very often how they're known that people just refer to their first name. There's also a distinction between the brand name which is how they go to market, and then the company legal names. So they may not be changing the legal name of the company, but they change the brand name. It's definitely a transition even with something like Federal Express, that was the legal name and they ended up you know, shortening the brand to FedEx, because that's what everybody was calling them. And it just makes sense.

Joelly Goodson Lang:

Okay, so Martin, we've talked about Seneca that was your first name and it was quite a success. So other than Zeneca, what's one of the best names you've ever come up with, that you're most proud of?

Martyn Tipping:

There are a lot of names that I'm proud of, and ranging from things like crest white strips coming up with white strips name, which again, is sort of like the example I came up with white strips name which again, you know, you know that their tooth whitening strips, it's like, what else would you call them, but before the white strips name, they didn't have a proprietary ownable brand name. So there's some names like that, that get something that's so simple and tells the whole story like that's a really cool name. The beauty of this job is that I get to financial services, candy bars, lots and lots of different types of products and services. And to get that same sort of buzz that same satisfaction that I did from the Zana Canadian, it sounds

Joelly Goodson Lang:

fun. Do you love what you do? Ultimately, most of the time, ye

Unknown:

We may not get at a time.

Martyn Tipping:

Yes, I do love what I do. And the challenge, I think, and it's the challenge with all businesses as satisfies it's not just the purity of coming up with cool and creative names. It's the challenge of helping clients understand that you've come up with the best name for them and helping them manage that. So there's a lot of education that goes into this trying to get an entire board room of executives to agree on a line on a name. It's as much about dealing with people, and helping companies solve problems outside, that's probably the most rewarding piece of it, working with the clients and help them actually solve their biggest business issues. And using naming and language and words as a way of doing that is what makes it fun.

Joelly Goodson Lang:

That's great. Do you ever have clients when they come to you and they have a name? And they're like, I have a great name, I want to tell you like they want you to use their name. And you have to suddenly say, oh, maybe not. Yeah, you'll never find a name whether everybody loves the name equally. And one of the naming projects I worked on, I might give the name of the client but the the time when the name was presented half the room of senior executives loved the name. And half the room really hated it. And at the end of the day, the CEO said, You know what, this is the name we're going to go forward with because everybody has an opinion about it, and it's creates emotion, and that's good. Okay, so I'm gonna switch gears here for a second. You have a little known talent that I don't know how many people know about this, but you actually opened up for Chris Rock. And you said that was the end as your comedic career and they sounds like there's a story there. Can you share that? Yeah, my

Martyn Tipping:

comedic career was even shorter than my banking career. First of all, when you did this, I was in my early 20s is when I just moved to New York. One of the great advantages of moving to New York City again, I was relatively new in the branding world when I came to New York and I didn't really think of it in these terms. But now I look back on it as this was a sort of a major personal rebrand for myself. And I didn't know anybody in the city. And so there were no real risks for me to sort of go and try my hand at stand up. So I did a class and I did a couple of sort of, you know, it's like the Tuesday night at 830 spots on the Upper East Side. Can you remember what the one of the comedy clubs have? So you've got it. You know, you're doing a Tuesday night at 830. It's hardly peak time. And I did, I think after the showcase at the end of the course, I did two other Sort of performances and then they said, Look, can you do it was a later thing. And I said, Sure, Dad, I worked five minutes. And it was the most stressful thing I've ever done in my entire life. I just felt nauseous the whole day. And as much as I love public speaking and presenting and sort of thinking on my fate, there's something very challenging about sort of opening yourself up as a stand up and your, you know, feeling of vulnerability. Like, I think this is funny. And I remember going onstage just doing five minutes of material, probably generous. Five minutes of standing on stage, what's in general is part five minutes or the material, sweating, stuttering and mumbling. And I came offstage. And I was just completely blinkered and blinded, all I could see was i'd swept in my eyes, I was so stressed and like, relieved that it was over and enjoying the applause and come offstage. That's good. I had the audience with enough people that were given that I was guaranteed.

Joelly Goodson Lang:

Thanks, Mom.

Martyn Tipping:

Exactly. Was i'm not i'm not too proud to admit it. I came on stage. And I was just another guy, you know, standing in the wings and other community guys. Nice job, man. And I said, thanks, didn't see who it was. And I went to the bar at the back of the room. And then the compound for the night came up and said, oh, we're really lucky. We've got a special guest here. Tonight, he's trying out some new material for his HBO show, ladies and gentlemen, Chris Rock. And I just remember seeing how comfortable and confident and at ease he looked up there. And I realized I had such a long way to go. And then it was that the amount of time and effort I would have to put in to get to that level was just far beyond me when I was trying to make a living in New York and didn't have family or you know, any sort of resources to fall back on. I thought, you know what, if I stop here, I can literally say my last gig was the warm up thing.

Joelly Goodson Lang:

asrock that would be a better story. Well, that is a great story. And that was it. That was the end of your career. That was the end of my career. I think it was a really fun experience. It was something I would never have done in the UK in London, because I would have been worried about who knows me who would have been in the audience. You know, in New York, I knew nobody when I first came over. So the only people in the audience were people who I wanted to be there and I know would respond well to me and so that that was really my opportunity to sort of to rebrand myself. Yeah. And I think you get many opportunities in your life to rebrand you know, after college. And so that to me was a huge opportunity. Yeah, now I do presentations in a comedy is a great way of building a rapport with clients and helping them defusing tension in client meetings and sort of making yourself memorable and pitches and things like that. So I definitely I learned a lot from it, and I still get to use it. I agree with you. So I'm curious before we leave, who's your favorite comedian? Do you like Ricky Gervais? Do you like Ricky Gervais?

Martyn Tipping:

As I saw him at Madison Square Garden, I tend to follow a lot more British comedians than I do American comedians. That's one of the challenges my business partner is Scottish and says constantly telling me to sort of like dial back on the sarcasm all because it's like people won't get it people don't understand that the last night out I had before lockdown was to see a British comedian called romesh Ranganathan, who is incredibly funny and is able to sell out stadiums and arenas in the UK. And he was playing a tiny little Theater in New York City, because he's relatively unknown over here. And we were about 10 rows. And that was, that was fun.

Joelly Goodson Lang:

Martin, thank you so much. It was such a pleasure talking with you today. I've never met a naming expert before. So it was really interesting. Everything you had to say. And I'm sure there's people out there listening who are thinking of starting up new companies that will this will be very helpful for them. So if anybody wants to learn more about you and what you do, what's the best way for them to connect with you?

Martyn Tipping:

They can check out my company's website, which is tipping Gardner, tip p i n g, and then Gardner JRD. ner, one word.com. Or just email me at Martin at tipping gardener. And because I'm British, I have an eccentric spelling of Martin. So it's ma RT y en gardener.com.

Joelly Goodson Lang:

And are you on social media at all? I'm absolutely on LinkedIn, Martin terbang, ma, RT, y and tipping. Okay. And Amy h tip is Twitter. Awesome. Well, thank you again. It was really a pleasure talking to you. And hopefully we'll chat again soon. Thank you. That's fun. And there you have it. Thank you so much for tuning in. I hope you enjoyed the conversation and maybe even learned a few things about naming that will help you with your branding. And most of all, as always, I hope you had some fun. This podcast is a work in progress. So please make sure sure to rate and review what you think and please subscribe to branding matters on whatever platform you listen to. And if you want to learn more about the branding badass, that's me. You can find me on social media under you guessed it, branding badass. Thank you again and until next time, here's to all you badasses out there.