What name you give your business, your product or your service may make a bigger difference than you imagine. Some names have no inherent imagery. McDonalds or Starbucks could be the name for just about anything; they had to build a brand around the name to give it meaning.
Some names suggest what to expect, such as Bed, Bath and Beyond, or The Wickery.
Some names are so dreadful, there is a mad rush to change them as soon as possible. A classic recent example is the Patagonian toothfish, which looks as ugly as it sounds. But change the trade name to “Chilean sea bass” and you hook a lot more customers.
And “shampoo” is certainly better sounding than calling it what it actually is: hair soap.
And would you rush to a movie starring Allen Stewart Konigsberg, Thomas Mapother IV or Caryn Elaine Johnson as quickly as you would run to see Woody Allen, Tom Cruise or Whoopi Goldberg?
My latest favorite, which actually was the impetus for this blog, was a sign that I must have seen on various brass plaques in my neighborhood hundreds of times. For some reason, this time it caught my eye as I wondered what the heck it really was saying. It was sign for an office that offered “Plastic Surgery.” Think about it. Literally, does this mean they are offering to take nicks out of lucite? Or they will beautify old plastic tables? Hard to imagine that plastic surgery really means they will operate on your flesh and blood body.
So next time you have to name something…a new item you are featuring, a store, a blog…think about what you are really saying. And what your customers are really hearing.