Names With Stories
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Names With Stories

Names with stories: The story behind

Daniela Maestres, the director of Run & Hop, a branding agency that builds powerful, bold, genuine brand identities, talks about her agency, the history behind its name and the latest trends in branding.

What is the story behind Run & Hop?

Run & Hop began in a very natural, unplanned way. My business partner Valeria and I had been colleagues at a digital advertising firm in Buenos Aires, Argentina. We worked as a graphic designer and copywriter respectively. The two of us were just working acquaintances at the time, but one day, over lunch, we discovered that we were both feeling a little disenchanted with the corporate advertising/marketing world and that we shared a dream to quit our jobs and travel. A month after that, we somehow found ourselves booking one-way tickets to Australia together, without having too much of a plan or even a real friendship.

We traveled for six months around Australia and Asia and became excellent friends on the way. We accidentally ended up in one of the first digital nomad hubs of the world: Bali, Indonesia. Ubud is a little town there, which is full of entrepreneurs from all over the world. When this happened, the digital nomad movement was just starting, and Bali was the place to be. Someone there asked us to create a brand for their new business, which was an opportunity to fund some more adventures. Through that first job, we discovered that we were a great team and could produce really unique work together. We had different backgrounds and complemented each other’s skills incredibly! That was the beginning of Run & Hop. We worked very casually for a while, just as a means to test our work relationship. As our lives changed and our business grew, we decided to turn our collaboration into a proper business.

When did you start thinking about your brand name and how did you settle on Run & Hop?

Our joint project was initially called Kiosk because we traveled and work wherever we went — we were like an itinerant creative kiosk. But as soon as we decided to formalize our partnership, we knew we had to rebrand ourselves. At that point, what we were doing stopped being a fun little project to fund our travels. We found a unique combination of skills that became almost like a trademark service.

Advertising and marketing agencies tend to have playful, witty names, as it is part of their nature to work with creativity. Run & Hop seemed fitting because it was like a little tribute to the traveling lifestyle that started it all and the freedom of working without the restraints of corporate bureaucracy. But we kept finding more meanings in it; now we feel it has to do with empowering businesses and helping them leap forward. To be able to take a leap, you have to run and hop first!

What was the reason to get the domain name for the brand?

Although there are other valid strategies, aiming to have a domain that matches your company name, without having to do any changes, is one of the most ideal options. It makes it much easier for people to remember and find your website. Same goes for suffixes, although there are many new options nowadays, “.com” continues to be one of the preferred choices for most regular corporations. People are used to it and it’s associated with credibility. Luckily, because of our very distinctive agency name, it was easy to get the domain. Businesses with more common or popular names aren’t always that fortunate.

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What’s in a name? We at MarkUpgrade believe that everything starts with a name. Names are introductions, names embody feelings and purpose, names give ideas and create vision. With Names With Stories we collect the unique stories behind brand names.

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