Archive | How to name things

Naming companies, products and services is hard. Really hard! These articles will help you with first-hand experience and valuable lessons from the real world.

Hey, let’s write a book

I talked to a few publishers this year about doing a book of I even wrote a few pitches. The problem is that the book I wanted to write was different from the book editors wanted to publish. I couldn’t put my finger on the problem except that they kept on referencing titles like […]

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Is it a bird, is it a plane, is it a “Flight service professional”?

In the latest affront to plain speaking, DayJet, has renamed its pilots “Flight service professionals,” according to Aviation Week and Space Technology (“Gearing up for launch, AWST July 2, 2007). Where will it end? Instead of brain surgeons we’ll have Cranial Re-engineering Specialists and instead of astronauts perhaps we’ll get Earth Services Representative. As a […]

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Stupid product names III

I saw an interesting article posted about the “G’zOne,” a new phone possibly from Casio on the great Strategic Name Development Blog. The author, William Lozito, says that the name “left most consumers scratching their heads.” Not really surprising. Some good examples of technology names: Mac, iPod, Windows, Razr. It may be difficult to come […]

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Naming ships

In science fiction, there seems to be two schools of thought when it comes to naming things, like spaceships, created by ‘aliens’. The first is to use almost-unpronounceable strings of vowels and, mainly, consonants. The other, better way is the way of Iain M. Banks who gives his names witty, mock-ironic names. For example: Nervous […]

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Stupid product names II

Years ago, a games company called Broderbund released a game called Myst. It was very pretty and sold very well so they decided to release the game in Germany. But they didn’t change the name. In German, ‘Myst’ sounds a lot like ‘crap’. Oops. Then there’s the Microsoft’s delightfully-named ‘One Care’ which to British ears […]

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Job titles, descriptive or flattering?

Okay, so I’m a real offender. My job title is completely made up: “Writer in chief”. I toyed with “Chief Writing Officer” too but it sounded less commanding. I once met a chap whose official job title was “Proud dad.” When I visited the now-defunct General Magic in the mid-nineties they all had job titles […]

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Why are plane names so boring?

I just wrote a news item on my other site,, about a new jet’s first flight. It’s called the D-JET. It made me think about different planes I flown: PA-28, DV-20, SR-20, SR-22, PC-12. Pretty boring names, don’t you think? Hardly capturing the thrill of flight. Manufacturers sometimes give names to the numbers, so […]

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