By Any Other Name…
Naming. It gets a lot of attention and it has for thousands of years. The Bard tells us, “…that which we call a rose / By any other name would smell as sweet.”
Indeed, it would. But if the name is flat, inscrutable, or undecipherable, then will we ever get to the lovely bouquet? Only if something else attracts us.
We recently had a CEO tell us that “there are just no more good names out there…” which makes me wonder; did anyone ever tell Michelangelo that there were just no more good sculptures out there? Not that I would ever directly compare our work to that of the master, but it does cause one to wonder, “is that what people really think?” Or, is it just that naming seems too hard and it just seems easier to not have to go there?
The general rule is the fewer words you use to describe something, the harder it is to do. The famous story about Samuel Clemens telling his publisher that a 30 page story takes 2 days, but a 2 page story take 30 days, makes it clear that the real genius is not in complexity, but in simplicity. And that, I think, is where naming becomes such a challenge and makes executives and entrepreneurs hypertensive–more than just an elevator pitch, it is your TEN SECOND pitch.
And if, in that 10 seconds, you don’t intrigue, fascinate, and, yes, even titillate, then is anyone going to get to your bouquet?
In this time-compressed, fast paced, world we all inhabit, that is, indeed, the question. For, to answer The Bard’s question, “what’s in a name?” The answer is “everything.” And that’s the answer to why naming is such an incredible challenge for so many people/executives/creatives/entrepreneurs; because it is (or should be) a wonderful representation of exactly what makes you so great…in 10 seconds and a handful of characters and phonemes.
But never fear. The greatest names are yet to come.