Lucky Jim

Inqdrop founder Jim Boulton has been in the branding business for 25 years. He has worked with brands of all shapes and sizes, from libraries to lingerie, cinemas to sushi. A snapshot of his clients include Agent Provocateur, B&O, E*trade, Empire Cinemas, Fujifilm, HBO, J&J, Lexus, MTV, the Open University, and Roche Diagnostics.

Inqdrop co-founder Jim Boulton

Describe yourself in three words
Past my best.

What’s your favourite word or phrase?
For obvious reasons, I'm currently enjoying drop. Who doesn’t enjoy an onomatopoeic gerund?

You’ve been researching name origin stories for your NameDek™ naming system. Which was the best?
There are a load but off the top of my head I’m going to say Mozilla, a monster of a name that plays on Godzilla but also means Mosaic Killer, a reference to the original point-and-click browser they sought to usurp.

And the funniest?
Perhaps not the funniest but one that makes me smile is from the late 1970s, when Lionel Black procured a large shipment of waterproof jackets from China. On arrival, he was surprised to find they had a picture of a boat and the word Regatta emblazoned on them. A brand was born. Lionel was obviously a pragmatic man.

What’s the most common pitfall in branding?
Short-termism. Carphone Warehouse didn’t display a huge amount of foresight.

Which naming or branding trends you would put in Room 101?
Rebranding for the sake of it. Combining consign and insignia, Consignia was a perfectly good name, just not for the Royal Mail.

Which writers or thinkers do you admire?
Alan Kay is my hero. He imagined the smartphone back in the 60's and pretty much invented modern computing.

Where can we find you after hours?
Researching the origins of the Internet. I'm working on a graphic history of the information age.

Tell us something fascinating about words.
The origins of lots of words are found in food. Companion is from the Latin com panis, meaning with bread. Lord and Lady are from the Old English for keeper of bread and kneader of bread. Salary is from sal, Latin for salt, the currency Roman soldiers were often paid in. Mate is a derivative of meat. The list goes on.

Best advice you ever got?
Make it shorter and put more Jim in it.

Get in touch with Jim, he likes a chat.

Jim was interviewed on June 6th 2021 by Inqdrop extended family member, Amar Patel.
Unit 2, The Gantry, Here East
1 Waterden Rd, London E15 2HB