When it comes to names, there are many paths to take
Naming your company is no easy task—you need something that grabs your audience’s attention, something that rolls off the tongue.
Do you keep it short and sweet? Do you just pick something that sounds cool? All of these things are important considerations, but we believe that a great name should speak to the core values of your business.
That’s why we chose Hazen.
The namesake of our small business
Alhazen is the latinised name given to Abū Ali al-Ḥasan Ibn al-Haytham, a 10 and 11th century polymath who dedicated his life to researching optics, astronomy, mathematics, psychology, and philosophy. He is often cited as ‘the father of modern optics’, and his foremost contribution to science was establishing how sight worked. The belief at the time was that people saw by emanating light from their eyes; Alhazen argued that we saw when our eyes received light that was reflected by objects.
What Alhazen means to us
We love Alhazen for so many different reasons. Firstly, he wasn’t afraid to go against the grain by suggesting something that had never been suggested before. Thinking beyond the status quo takes creativity, but it also means collecting a great deal of evidence to back his then-wacky ideas. In fact, he was a pioneer of the scientific method, laying out a new system of rigorous testing to verify a hypothesis.
Of course, we’re no research lab. But we do take inspiration from Alhazen and strive to reproduce his analytical approach. When we come up with ways to achieve our goals, we don’t close our eyes, pick one at random, and pray that it works. We research what has worked in the past, and what hasn’t. We get to know the audience to preempt their reaction.
Alhazen’s camera (obscura)
Another innovation of Alhazen’s was the pinhole camera, a forerunner to the modern cameras of today. But Alhazen wasn’t able to put his camera in his pocket; his device was a dark chamber with a tiny, circular hole that would project an upside-down image of whatever was on the other side. This was known as the camera obscura effect, the term coined by Alhazen himself.
We feel a great deal of gratitude toward every innovator along the way who turned the pinhole camera into the digital device that we use daily to build our business. The camera has long been the essential factor which lets us create, even before the existence of Hazen. Our founders met in a filmmaking class, before beginning a partnership which would go from class assignments, to short films, to establishing their own creative agency. That’s why we named our agency Hazen, to remember the innovator who started it all.
Naming a small business
As you can see, a lot of thought goes into a name. But it’s worth it, because once you decide, it’s really hard to go back! Your name will define your entire business, be a part of every touchpoint, and when done well, will be on the lips of your audience.
Here are some tips to come up with a good name:
Know your brand story: are you able to summarise how you came to be and why you exist in one sentence?
Know your brand personality: If your business was a person, who would they be? Would they be rebellious? Playful? Serious? Authoritative? Young?
Know your core values: What do you, and your business, stand for?
Once all of these aspects of your business are in mind, you’re well on your way to creating a great name. Bring this information to the key stakeholders, and all that’s left is the brainstorming!
About the business behind the name
So who is Hazen (the agency, not the person)? We are a single team, dedicated to telling your untold story. We do so by providing brand consultancy, design & content production, and full-service campaigns for businesses big and small. If you need to name something and you’re completely stuck, we can help you. If you need more insight into building your brand and discovering your story, personality, and values, we can help you with that too.