2021-03-13 Corporate Names

I am using the names from my Traveller generator for mega corporation names. It generates names like these: Ultimate Nuclear, Atassi Development, Coko Processes, Space Fission, Human Production, Universal Banking, Universal Organisation & Oil, You Legal, Lulu Fission & Manufacturing, and Chankoowashtay Production & Nuclear.

I based these on my idea of “Standard Oil”, replacing the adjective with lots of bullshit words like “Universal” or “Ultimate”, and the object with lots of generic industries, often inspired by the service industry like “Nuclear”, “Development”, “Processes”, “Banking”, and so on. Sometimes I pick two, like “Production & Nuclear”.

Sometimes I also use names, assuming them to be founders, like “Atassi”, “Coko”, “Lulu”, or “Chankoowashtay”.

The blandness of such names is also “inspired” by the Swiss mega banks: Schweizerische Kreditanstalt (Swiss credit institute), Schweizerischer Bankverein (Swiss banking association), Union de Banques Suisses (Union of Swiss banks), Credit Suisse (Swiss credit).

Peter remarked on the blandness, and I thought to myself that it’s working: these corporate names are supposed to be super bland. Recently I was leafing through the magazine Swissquote, issued by a bank of the same name (fantastic name…), subtitled “finance and technology unpacked”. It actually had a few pages of interesting company portraits, all of whom are working in genetic testing, mRNA vaccines, sequencing, and so on. Let’s look at some coroporate names…

Union Bancaire Privée (more banks), BioNTech (bio and tech, this is great), Moderna (as opposed to old fashioned, I’m sure), Swissmedic (oh no…), CureVac (nomen est omen), Johnson & Johnson (two human names, a pattern I should also include), AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline (two interesting names, made more interesting by smashing short words together, like wannabe Germans), Pfizer (ist that just a human name?), Exact Sciences (as opposed to sloppy), GenOWay (Gene away!), Crispr Therapeutics, Bayer, Illumina, Twist Bioscience, Cellectis (OK, this one is weird), Veracy, Natera, Calyxt (sometimes it starts to feel like a bad day in Hogwarts), Editas, Tintellia, Sangamo Therapeutics (clearly “Therapeutics” needs to be added to the list of fields).

All right… I don’t think I’ll go for a pseudo-latin name generator to produce pharmaceutical names, but fields of science, pharmaceutical words, that should work.


fwiw, GlaxoSmithKline at least is the result of a few companies being bought/merging together (It was “Glaxo something” and “Smith Kline Beecham” I think), so maybe there’s another pattern for you.

Derik 2021-03-13 17:29 UTC

Yeah, thinking of The Hewlett-Packard Company, same principle, I’d say. And then there’s adidas... Adolf And Rudolf create “GeDa - Gebrüder Dassler Schuhfabrik” (Dassler brothers shoe factory), later Adolf Dassler creates Adidas, i.e. a few letters from his first name, and a few letters from his last name. I’m not sure how well such smashing together works in practice. Right now I’ve added “last name & last name”.

– Alex 2021-03-13 17:44 UTC

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