folder Filed in Interviews, Podcast
Mastering the Art of Naming and Branding: Insights from Mark Gunnion
By SmartBranding Team access_time 4 min read


Our guest for this episode is Mark Gunnion, widely recognized as “the Naming Guy.” Mark is a seasoned naming consultant working with clients and agencies to create unique and memorable name ideas.

He has previously joined us for our written interview series, where he explored the trends and best practices of brand naming. In today’s conversation, we aim to build upon that foundation and deepen our understanding of naming and branding with Mark as our guide.

Meet our guest

Name: Mark Gunnion

What they do: Mark is a Name Consultant and Freelance Namer with 27 years of experience in all aspects of brand naming and commercial language development.

Interesting fact: Mark has been writing feature screenplays since 2015 and recently completed his ninth work in the field. His scripts have been named Finalist, Top 25, “Official Selection”, Semi-Finalist, and Quarter-Finalist in a variety of international Screenwriting Competitions.

Where to reach them:


Mark Gunnion, naming consultant, the Naming Guy

The name doesn’t have to do everything, but it has to do few jobs really well.

Mark Gunnion

People often underestimate the scarcity and competition surrounding names in the digital age. Time pressure is a regular thing, and there’s a significant rush involved. Practically every English word, and even many Latin words, are owned by somebody, creating a complex landscape of name availability. Some individuals hold a stash of names they hope to sell, while others have acquired names but aren’t actively using them. And so, there’s now a huge gray area of what’s available and what’s not, and people need some expert consultation of what is really available and what is on the table for them to pick up.

Mark Gunnion

Short overview

We begin our conversation by discussing Mark’s early background as a lyricist and how this experience translates into the art of naming. He talks about the significance of compression and conveying meaning within a limited space.

Back in 1996, Mark ventured into the naming industry in San Francisco, inspired by a radio interview with a successful namer. He decided to establish his own naming business, and his journey has been noteworthy.

Mark shares valuable insights regarding people’s common challenges when seeking unique names for their projects or businesses. He stresses that an effective name should facilitate clear communication, differentiation, and emotional connection with the audience.

Mark highlights the importance of considering cultural and linguistic factors and the technical and emotional aspects that play a crucial role in selecting a brand name intended for global markets. Language implications and aesthetic appeal should be noticed.

Our discussion also revolves around domain names and their significance in branding. We discuss how domain names contribute to a comprehensive branding strategy and enhance consumer understanding.

Towards the end of our podcast, Mark took us back to the early days of the naming industry in Silicon Valley, specifically in 1996. He reflects on the industry’s growth and transformation, showcasing how far it has come in meeting the evolving needs of businesses today.

Key moments

  • Naming and branding with expert Mark Gunnion. (5:06)
  • The importance of naming and branding in the tech industry. (10:10)
  • Naming products and companies. (15:39)
  • Naming products for global markets, considering cultural and linguistic factors. (23:31)
  • Domain names and their importance in branding. (28:34)
  • Domain names and branding strategies. (33:33)
  • Branding and naming with a remote work twist. (38:45)

We host engaging conversations about naming, branding, and entrepreneurship, exploring everything from initial triumphs to the hurdles along the way. If you’ve got insights on innovative branding strategies, lessons learned from entrepreneurial ventures, or thoughts on the significance of a solid domain name strategy, and you’re keen to chat about them, we’d love to hear from you!

Other resources

Premium domain names are a valuable asset for businesses looking to build a strong, professional brand. If you’re interested in purchasing a premium domain name for your business, don’t hesitate to contact us for more information and assistance.

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