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Win The Name Game – II

May 5, 2011

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”

When Bill Shakespeare had Juliet utter those words to Romeo, English teachers said it was because the bard was saying that names were BS. But when the line was spoken in 1594 or 5, the audience roared with laughter. The Rose was a Tavern on the Thames and in the 16th century, the Thames stunk. The Rose’s scent was eau d’outhouse.

Names matter. Here are three more ways to tame your name.

1. Shrink: When it comes to names brands come up short – on purpose. FedEx is Federal Express.  BMW is Bavarian Motor Works. FCUK’s name was born when a fax was sent from Britain using the abbreviation for French Connection United Kingdom. Staff LOL when they saw FCUK and a naughty, break away brand was born.

Don’t Shrink: In the Brand U era, you can name your brand after yourself, for example: Louis Vuitton, Martha Stewart and Ogilvy Mather. Founder brands need to be remarkable or have huge budgets or massive creativity or d: all of the above.  Trouble is one wrong move, like Martha getting jailed, and all brand hell breaks loose. Plus prison gray becomes THE decorating trend. Arrest me now.

2. Create: Professional service firms like ad agencies, dentists and lawyers used to name themselves themselves. Now they brand. The creators of Love146.org are Brains On Fire, Pain Free Dentistry resides in Brisbane and Payne and Fears LLP do law in California. (They aren’t branded, that’s their real name. Shame they aren’t dentists.)

Don’t Create: Use a descriptor. Top professional speaker Peter Sheahan calls his consulting practice ChangeLabs. Sole Science is an orthotics company I named because the owner Colin Dombrowski is one of the few Pedorthists on the planet to have a PhD.

3. Invent: If you can’t find a name, make one: e.g. Häagen-Daz, Kodak and Eukanuba

If you are having a hard time finding a name, you are normal. (I can put that on a  note. Could come in handy during spousal or teenage flare ups). As marketing genius Colleen Sharen says “Branding is hard because you can’t see the label when you are inside the bottle.”

To help some more, I’ll give you strategies for shifting your perspective and getting ideas.

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Louise B. Karch