November 20, 2023

Portrait: Kristina Björnerstedt

Meet Kristina Björnerstedt, Managing Partner, Chief Pharma, and Creative Director of Skriptor Zigila.

What do you do at Skriptor Zigila?

I work primarily as a Naming consultant and Project Manager, and I am responsible for our Stockholm office. I have been in the business since 2008, which has given me the opportunity to learn the business from inside and out. To lead creative, purposeful teams, and help companies to find new names for their products or their new companies is basically what I do, and I love it.   

What makes your work unique?

It has an excellent mix of opposite poles. To work with small to large businesses in all markets demands a unique set of skills (ref. Liam Neeson’s famous line in the film ‘Taken’;). The ability to adapt and try to understand not only how an ingenious student’s fascinating technical tool works to engage in a medicine mission where a global pharmaceutical company’s team has created a ‘soft’ software to help people with psychological conditions is a humble and unique opportunity as such, but also to be part of the complex development of today’s challenging branding environment makes our work unique.

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

Oh, this is difficult! However, I would like to mention one old favorite: L’Oréal – perfect in context, it feels truly French, gives a luxury flavor. It is easy to pronounce, yet the rather exotic spelling may contribute to the distinct and recognizable brand name.

When it comes to our own treasure box of created names, a few favorites would be BRISKA (a flavorful cider that you can find in any bar or shop in Sweden – an energetic abstract name with associations to ‘brisk’ in English and ‘frisk’ in Swedish meaning fresh, healthy, well). Within the pharma sector, INIFY (prostate screening), on spot in context. Then I have to mention ‘MIX MEGAPOL’, a radio station still going strong after so many years.   

What are your top tips for creating names?

Openness, see the potential rather than ‘dislike’ and use your imagination. More often than you would think, a name that everybody thought was ‘too odd, too long, too hard to pronounce’, etc. is the name that becomes the strongest brand name, see BASTARD BURGERS, and LAPHROAIG.   

Do you have any hidden talent?

It is probably not a hidden talent, but I remember names of old stars from my grandparents’ era like Isadora Duncan and Harold Lloyd. Don’t ask me why. I also beat all my kids at table tennis.  

What do you cook for dinner if you can choose?

‘Spanish birds’ (Spanelske ptacky) – a Czech specialty that has got nothing to do with birds. It’s a kind of beef roulade.

What is your favorite book?

Being an ardent reader makes this question impossible to answer, yet after making an ‘Eenie Meenie Moe’ among five books, I’ll have to say ‘A Gentleman in Moscow’ by Amor Towles.   

Favorite Holiday destination?

Castellabate in Italy.

What is the best advice you have ever received?

‘Do not be afraid of making mistakes - the gain of development and progress is far more valuable’.

What is the best thing about working at Skriptor Zigila?

The open and fun atmosphere where we, as a team, always aim to find the best solutions, both for our clients as well as for our partners and colleagues. We are blessed to be able to work with what we love to do – to create powerful names.

If you would like to get in touch with Kristina, maybe to talk about naming, books, or even how to prepare those Spanish birds, don't hesitate

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