Microsoft needed a name for a new search engine product catered to savvy tech users – one that was smarter when it came to searches, finding more relevant links and information.
We knew the name had to be short, easy to say, and of course memorable. Most of all, it had to be easily associated with search efficiency.
After a phase one naming process, we came up with over 1,000 names that were based on market and competitive analysis. We then moved the top names through a trademark vetting process. After feedback, we went through a second naming process and Bing quickly rose to the top as a candidate.
The word “bing” caught our attention not only because it was short and memorable, but because of its meanings and associations. As an intransitive verb it was at one time used in place of the word “go.” It is also an interjection – the universal imitation of a sound that usually suggest an idea (like a light bulb) or when something is ready, or done. Finally, there’s the more common association with the bing cherry - large and sweet.
The word’s sonic characteristics further support a smarter search function. The sound “Bing” universally signals something done or completed, something sent or received electronically, and the spark of a new idea. It is easy to say in almost any language – the sound even registers in languages where the “g” is dropped in pronunciation. And in contrast to Google, which references a very large number, “Bing” references the immediacy of the results that are relevant to you.
In the end, Bing was Microsoft’s right fit. So far, the world agrees – “Bing” is the sound of found.