January 30, 2024

Portrait: Joachim Ter Haar

Meet Joachim ter Haar, Managing Partner, and Chief Strategist of Skriptor Zigila.

What do you do at Skriptor Zigila?

I am Managing Partner and Chief Strategist. Besides new business, which is everyone’s responsibility, my role is twofold: advice on branding strategy and brand portfolio architecture. And of course, to facilitate and manage the naming processes, most of them International.

What makes your work unique?

The many different business cases and teams we encounter in virtually every industry. Divers, enthusiastic about their proposition and forward-looking, eager to create a unique identity. This inspires me every day.

In the strategy work, it is the fundamental nature of the work. Restructuring brand portfolios to drive business has a significant long-term impact on the organization and its marketing approach. We see that the power of brand (-s) as a value creator is acknowledged more and more on C-suite level and is applied to steer the development of the companies, both external and internal.

Do you have a favorite name, in general and one that you have created?

There is beauty everywhere. Bold disruptive names can be great if they fit the concept: Haägen-Dasz. But also, simple elegant ones like iDeal and Klarna for a payment concepts.
The actual success of the name depends primarily on that of the concept. It is very cool to see a pure balanced name like Oppo for a mobile telephone brand conquer the world and appear as the main sponsor of Wimbledon.

What are your top tips for creating names?

First make sure you understand all conditions:  strategic, communicative, linguistic, digital but also legal. Especially this last one makes naming more complex every day. All obvious cool names have been thought of before and trademarked. You are creating something new. This means you need to have an open attitude and explore truly original options, even if they do not immediately tell the whole story. This will safe a lot of time and frustration. In the end you need to develop a word or words that you can claim as your own, which you then can turn into a great brand.

Do you have any hidden talent?

I am a very transparent and enthusiastic person. My talents (and flaws) are therefore out in the open.

What do you cook for dinner if you can choose?

Greek Salad and grilled lamb chops. I have lived in Athens for two years working as the International Brand Director of Metaxa, The Greek Spirit. The country, the people and the food are still in my heart. I could eat this every day.

What is your favorite book?

Catch-22, by Joseph Heller. Funny, rebellious, and very original. I read it in high school, and it always stuck with me. It sparked my love for reading which I still do as much as possible.

Favorite Holiday destination?

That would be South-East Asia. The combination of nature, culture, great food, and adventure. I feel very much at home and would love to explore every corner.

What is the best advice you have ever received?

“Keep moving ahead. Not just physically or professionally, but also personally, mentally, spiritually.” It was my father’s advice to my student friends and me at our graduation diner.  And he was right. Challenging yourself and growing as a person is what life is all about. No matter your age or situation.

What is the best thing about working at Skriptor Zigila?

Happy clients. That is what drives me. The challenges are complex and the decision making emotional. When we guide them to solutions with maximal buy-in, the fun during this process, and gratitude after, are marvellous to experience. The first thing we share among ourselves.

If you would like to get in touch with Joachim, maybe to talk about naming, Greek food, or the best places in South-East Asia, don't hesitate joachim@skriptorzigila.com.

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