Important! Brand Names.

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What’s in a name?  Everything.  Would Tiger Woods have attracted the same attention (hmm, hmm) had his name been Frederick?  Would McDonald’s have enticed as many coffee drinkers had they named it McCoffee?  Would the iPhone had the same penetration with the name Nexus?  Hee hee. 

Your brand name is your package…without the package.  A good brand name is critical.  I love my brand “What’s the Idea”? It’s active. It challenges thought. Has a bit of a NY edge. As a brand planner, it defines what I do: Find the business building brand idea. 

Zude vs. Mashpan

If brands are empty vessels into which marketers pour meaning, then colorful descriptive vessels have a head start.  I worked for a very cool web property called Zude.  The CTO used to say “dude” a lot and no one owned the Zs so that’s what we went with. Doh. Zude was the world’s first drag-and-drop, free form social computing property.  I used to say “If you can drag and drop and type, you can have a website.” There were very few objects on the web you couldn’t drag onto your Zude page.  I lobbied for the name Mashpan.  “Mash” being shorthand for mash-up and “Pan” meaning everyone, everywhere, everything. (Mashpan also sounds like a home brewer’s tool…and I like beer.)  Zude vs. Mashpan may have been a billion dollar decision.

Hey start-ups, sweat the name. And for those of you thinking about changing your name? Should you have a nice pour in your vessel already, think twice. Peace!