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Naming Names

June 11, 2009

*for those of you that read my other blog, this post is not identical to the other one… just a few similarities.. **

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet … – Romeo & Juliet, William Shakespeare

According to Shakespeare, what matters is what something IS, not what it’s called.  I understand the sentiment behind this famous quote, but I’m not sure I agree.  After all, does Norma Jean Baker sound anywhere near as sexy as Marilyn Monroe?  Or would you buy a product called “The Baby Shaker”? (no, it didn’t shake the baby, it was a device for pregnant women to put on their belly to apparently stimulate the fetus.. it bobbled around and played music and stuff.. but I digress.)

name –noun 1. a word or a combination of words by which a person, place, or thing, a body or class, or any object of thought is designated, called, or known.

Therefore, when you name something, whether it’s a baby, a puppy, a goldfish or a business, you look for things that have meaning for you and convey some of that meaning.. most of the time.  When I set up my twitter account, my username was @evilgenius6 because I have grown very used to using “evil genius” and 6 is my favourite number.  A friend and colleague suggested to me that I change it to my real name… after all, don’t I want people to know that @beth_warren is a marketing professional?  I weighed the options and did as he suggested.. .. so.. when I decided to start this blog, I named it as such.

e⋅vil –adjective 1. morally wrong or bad; immoral; wicked 
gen⋅ius -noun  1. an exceptional natural capacity of intellect, especially as shown in creative and original work in science, art, music, etc.
2. a person having such capacity.

And hence, I’m the Evil Genius.. which I choose to interpret as “wicked smart”.  Because what I wish to convey is that I’m smart and good at what I do, but I also think a little left of centre.. the “wicked” part.. and therefore come up with some pretty cool ideas and concepts.  That, and I have an odd sense of humour (if you hadn’t got that already..)

Some have the knack for naming things and others don’t.. I ran across a company on the internet called “POOLIFE”.  Uh huh.  They sell chemicals and supplies for swimming pools. But look at it… with the unfortunate omission of the second “L”.. it suddenly becomes something else entirely. (Oh, you know I want to put in a lot of jokes that 9 year old boys would find funny right here, but I’m trying to be professional.)

When it comes down to naming your product, service or company.. brainstorm. Write down every descriptive phrase or word that tells what your product or company is all about.  Everything that describes your brand.  Then try different combinations.  Write it out.. run it past colleagues.  Continue until you find that magical combination.  And don’t be afraid to have a ‘working title’ until you find the perfect label.. After all, the Beatles “Yesterday” wouldn’t be nearly as romantic if it were called it’s original title “Scrambled Eggs”.  And the novel “Something that Happened” just doesn’t sound nearly as exciting as “Of Mice and Men”.


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