what’s in a brand name?

the origins of uprise

A lot of people have asked me where the name Uprise came from and how I thought of it. Coming up with a name for a new business is never easy, especially when you’re looking for a single word that is memorable, sums up exactly what you stand for and is also actually available for you to use. It’s even harder when you’re operating in a crowded industry renowned for its creativity, where even the most unusual combination of words have, more often than not, been done.

The perfect name

This is a situation I found myself in back in early 2011 when I was searching for the perfect name for my (at the time) one-man marketing consultancy. Having been through an extremely tough experience in my career, I had decided that, if I could help it, I would never work for anyone ever again. My mind was set on following my own path and being in charge of my own destiny. I knew what I was going to do but I needed a name. It proved to be a much harder and time-consuming task than I first imagined.

Many of the largest agencies including several that I have worked for in the past, have names made up of acronyms using the names of the founders; like TBWA, Euro RSCG, BMB, etc. I was determined to find a memorable single word for my own brand that was easy to say and communicated exactly what I stood for.


So I began my search, as I imagine a lot of people do, scanning the dictionary, picking out specific words that I liked, using an online thesaurus and combining words until I had a list of possible names.

I was ready to go, or so I thought.

The Google test

As I began to check each name in Google, it became clear that what I thought were fantastically original names, were actually all in use, mainly by advertising or digital marketing agencies and mostly within the UK. Even when I did come across names that weren’t in use, the domain name had been taken, and they were usually my least favourites anyway.

I resorted to looking through newspapers and magazines, trying to get inspiration from anywhere and everywhere. I even started to go through my CD collection, looking at the names of groups and songs. It was here that I finally found what I was looking for… although it had nothing to do with the Irish rock group, U2.

Inspiration ‘rises up’

At this time I was listening to a lot of music by one of my favourite groups, Muse. There was a song on their album, The Resistance, that my five year old son referred to as ‘the Teddy Bear’ song, because the video featured scary looking soft toys taking over a city.


The track was called ‘Uprising’ and it wasn’t the teddy bears which inspired me, rather the lyrics. They perfectly summed up what I wanted my brand to stand for – being different and rebelling against the norm. Recent experiences had made me determined not to be controlled or answerable to anyone again, I needed to prove that I could succeed on my own.

Uprising cover“They will not force us

 They will stop degrading us

 They will not control us

 We will be victorious”


Also, back in 2011 when I was searching for a name, the news was full of the so-called ‘Arab Spring’, which saw citizens in Arab States such as Egypt, Libya and Syria carrying out uprisings against dictators and their oppressive regimes. Whilst this wasn’t my main inspiration, and I’d never associate the naming of a marketing agency with the plight of millions of people who put themselves in danger to stand up for what they believed in, it definitely added to the feeling that I’d hit on the right name at the right time.

Arab Spring

Image copyright The Telegraph

After all of that searching, the name I had been looking for was right in front of me. But ‘Uprising Marketing’ didn’t sound right, it had too many ‘ings’. In the end, I shortened it to Uprise and was surprised to find that there were no other agencies using the name in the UK or Europe. There was just one other agency in New Zealand and, while global domination may be on the cards in the future, I figured that having a great name to build a brand here in Wales and the rest of the UK would be a good start.

Onwards and upwards

Since starting as a lone marketing consultant, Uprise has grown into a full-on digital and creative marketing agency, working with a wide range of clients across the UK on everything from website design and development projects, SEO and content marketing to the design and creation of brand identities and marketing campaigns.

Although it may have been a slightly unusual way of coming up with a brand name, Uprise still feels right and, as an agency, we like to stay true to it by looking at what everyone else in a particular category or industry is doing and advise that our clients market themselves differently so that they can stand out from the crowd.

In the words of Muse, “We will be victorious”!

Written by Gareth Rees Jones, Managing Director

Categories: Design, Digital Marketing

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