The creation of Zao525

By Melissa Miller, Zao525 partner

The conversation between Samantha and I started like this:

Me: I think I want to start a consulting business. I came up with the perfect name, but it was already taken. I’m going to peddle a variety of creative fodder: promotional copy, articles, etc. but also vocals (for people looking for vocalists for weddings and other events) and voiceover (like people ACTUALLY look for that, but it would round it out nicely).

Now I have to come up with a new name. And business plan. I figure, just make a website, is super cheap, and see what kinds of inquiries I get. Couldn’t hurt, right?

Samantha: I will market you! I love it! I want to join you!

Doesn’t it just sound so easy?

A couple of brainstorming sessions in, we were still pretty excited. We were having a really fun time trying to pick out a name and tagline. (On the short list: Soft Skills, etc.: We do the things you hate.) Samantha anxiously instant messaged me the next Friday: our new company should be called Zao525.

I imagine when you first saw our name, you thought…what? Did they make up a word? Can they DO that? (For the record- yes, you can, which is one of the BEST parts of building your brand- everything is totally up to you.)

But Zao isn’t a made up word. It’s a Greek word meaning to live, breathe, be among the living; to enjoy real life; and my personal favorite: to be fresh, bold, efficient. And 525? No, not my birthday, high school locker combination or my most oft-played lotto numbers; 525 represents scripture that gives us guidance how we want to run our business.

At this point, I’m thinking to myself…easy? Yeah, this IS pretty easy!

And then the ball dropped.

Words like: “Taxes.” “Legal.” “Insurance.” “Money.” All nasty, fun-hating words. We decided it was time to have a serious meeting, and seriously ask the question- do we really want to start this business? It took three hours, but we evolved our thinking stage into the planning stage (which is something we’d love to do for you!).

We started sprinkling in fun stuff (like picking a website template, starting Facebook and Twitter accounts) with not so fun stuff (getting quotes on starting an LLC and talking to insurance agencies). We set a timeline, which is one of the most essential ingredients in a good plan. And we got to work.

Once we got into the doing phase, we hit the ground running. If you’ve seen our portfolio, you’ve seen some of the work we’ve done for others- but one of the best examples of our work is this website and the company it represents. We went through hundreds of logo possibilities, changing the fonts, tag, colors and positioning into every combination you can imagine. We spent hours learning the back-end of our new website (including numerous calls to the help desk, thankyouverymuch). After stumbling across some advice that told us to give our problems nicknames, we actually named our website (Bob, for those who are wondering).

All that we’ve gone through to get to this point of you reading our website and considering hitting the “start” button to get a quote culminates in our brand. Who we are. What we represent. Our personality. It’s so much more than our logo. It’s Samantha. It’s Melissa. It’s Bob. It is Zao525.

We are Zao525, and we are infusing spirit into your brand.

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Playing the name game

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