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Monday, May 11, 2009

Name That Paper!

David Wright, linguistics expert, states, "If I accepted that words by themselves had meanings, I would be acting elementalistically; I would be identifying; and I would be evaluating 'allistically'". "Allistically" refers to other-oriented or focused on others for understanding. (David E. Wright, Institute of General Semantics, 2008) This talk is pretty confusing, so let me cut to the chase here. Wright contends that words do not mean... Humans give meanings, but we are usually unaware that we do. He continues, "'Meaning' actually involves speakers/writers, their intentions; words they use to represent their intentions; my interpretation of those words; and my responses (conscious and non-conscious, verbal and non-verbal) based on my interpretation." Even the "meanings" of words we read in a dictionary were assigned by lexicographers who depend on the meanings given to these words by other humans. Thus, in reality, the most elemental word means many things to different people due to their intentions, interpretations, and responses. So, now that the "word" problem has been stated, let me begin an idea for a simply completed but difficultly mastered (contradictory in itself) assignment. The world of business has made a science out of naming brands of products. A single word product should require the least amount of thought and analysis to sell. But, in order for a single word product to sell, it's name and its relationship to the buyer's perception means everything. Since products are protected and names are copywritten with trademarks, duplication in labeling is strictly forbidden: "one name, one product" is the interpretation of legality in such matters. Your assignment, if you choose to accept it, is to give a unique name to a new brand of toilet paper to create an instant success. Here is part of your assignment- one word names only will qualify for production. If you wish, you may give a brief explanation of why you chose the name for the product and a brief explanation of any changes you have made in the composition of the product to better its sales and performance. (As may be contained in a commercial advertising of your new brand.) Here are some considerations of your business venture from, 1996-2009, WriteExpress Corporation:
Ten crucial questions when naming your business, product, or Web site:

1. Who are my consumers?

(Most define narrowly who to sell to and then they make the name appeal to the group. You can't see to everyone.)

2. What am I naming?

(You will generally want its name to communicate at a glance what it concerns.)

3. What type of a name do I want? (Coined words like Kodak, borrowed words like Nike from Greek mythology, surnames like Smucker's, Alpha-Numeric names that combine numbers and letters, deviant spellings that play with sounds like Xtreme-- rhyme and alliteration might help but must be combined with innovative spellings--, acronyms and abbreviations like KFC, place names like Savanna, alliterative or rhyming names like BoJo's, prestige names from foreign languages or celebrities like Sundance.) 4. How long should the name be? (If you are naming a product that will be on a retail shelf, the name should be short enough to fit on the retail box and be legible from several feet away. Selecting a name that tells the customer what the product is in only a few syllables is daunting but absolutely essential.) 5. Do the sounds in the name have the right appeal? (Your name should be easy to read, spell, and pronounce, and should reflect the quality the thing named. It is best to avoid names with uncertain pronunciations.) 6. What associations should the name evoke? (Would "Bud Light" be as appealing if it were "Tiffany Light?" "Bud" evokes masculine associations while "Tiffany" evokes feminine ones.) 7. What are the foreign language implications of the name? (Without checking foreign language associations of the word, someone at GM chose "Nova," for a Chevrolet model, probably hoping to evoke a star-like association. Only later did they realize that In Spanish, "no- va" means "it doesn't go.") 8. How should I test the name? (Involve only persons from the group who will be the consumers. Ask them what they think of when they hear the word you have chosen.) 9. How will the name appear in directories? (If you anticipate that much of your business will come from listings in the Yellow Pages, the Internet, or other directories, it will be to your advantage to have a business name that will be listed close to the start of the alphabet, because these lists appear in alphabetical order.) 10. Can I trademark the name? (You will probably experience some frustration when you find that your favorite name is not legally available.) Post your product's names and/or brief explanations on the site or e-mail to Good luck! P.S. -- Become a follower of my blog today if you enjoy reading the entries. If you need the address, e-mail me.
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