Why Advizent, Aspiriant and Fortigent are so Deficient as names

In spite of its deliberate “me too” play on Lucent, or maybe because of it, the arrival of Agilent Technologies opened up a rich new naming seam for imitators to mine.

And they have been busy. Here’s a few examples of the genre provided by Igor, the naming and branding company:

Acquient, Aquent, Aspirient, Aviant, Axent, Axient, Bizient, Candescent, Cendant, Cerent, Chordiant, Clarent, Comergent, Conexant, Consilient, Cotelligent, Equant, Ixtant, Livent, Luminant, Mergent, Mirant, Navigant, Naviant, Noviant, Novient, Omnient, Ravisent, Sapient, Scient, Sequant, Spirent, Taligent, Teligent, Thrivent, Versant, Versent, Viant, Vitalent and Vivient.

Now, courtesy of the investment advisory industry, three new names join the list: Advizent, Aspiriant and Fortigent.


In an admirably measured response given the dreadfulness of the names, David Placek of Lexicon Branding is quoted in trade magazine RIABiz as saying the trend towards such coined names is all wrong.

“Those [names] that are so coined are less efficient,” he says, particularly given that financial firms want the name to engender trust.”

Igor is much less reticent about the trend it blames for establishing “a major school of bad naming: the ‘unique empty vessel’.

“These names are not part of an elegant solution”, it blogs. “They are the seeds of a branding nightmare.”

“This type of name is arrived at because of the lust for a domain name, consensus building and as a shortcut to trademark approval. At some point in the process marketing left the room, and nobody seemed to notice. And while they may technically be unique, it’s at the level of a snowflake in a snow bank.”

Quite so.

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