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What’s in a name? How Rogers and Shaw brought Shomi to life Add to ...

It took 2,173 possible names, and nine months of labour, to deliver Shomi.

In developing the Netflix-like video service to serve viewers moving away from traditional TV, Rogers Communications Inc. and Shaw Communications Inc. had to create a brand from scratch.

Agencies that specialize in brand naming often do months of consumer research, and pick through thousands of names, before choosing one.

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Rogers and Shaw narrowed down the list through consumer feedback, as well as checking for any trademark violations, before landing on two finalists. Rogers would not disclose the other finalist.

Two other names that were under consideration, however, were Camio and Curio.

The logo’s purple colour palette represents “energy,” said Rogers chief brand officer, Dale Hooper.

“We were lucky it happened to bring together our two brands’ colours [Rogers’ red and Shaw’s blue].”

The companies worked with Toronto-based Level5 Strategy Group on the brand, and Method Design in New York on the visual design.

The logo includes a yellow cursor at the end of the name, which is intended to invite a conversation, Mr. Hooper said, the way one would approach a concierge for recommendations.

As for the name itself – while to some it may evoke a goofy elderly uncle more than a cutting-edge digital video service – it is meant to connote amusement. Hence the unusual spelling.

“The personality of the brand is all about being witty and genuine, and fun, and just different,” Mr. Hooper explained. “It is very human.”

The companies will market the new service heavily once it launches in November. That includes ads online, on TV, radio, in print and outdoors.

“We are two of the biggest media companies,” Mr. Hooper said, “and you’ll see this across all of our platforms.”

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