The Name Effect

by Kyra Dawson

A rose by any other name is a thorn bush

“What’s in a name?”

Of course, this cliché is highly over used, but entirely true. What is in a name? Or, what is the name effect? A name is what identifies a person, place or thing. A name also discerns an event, an idea, or a brand. It is well known that to bestow an ill fitting name on any entity is to rob it of any resonance, greatness, power and identity. Hence, the name effect is that touch of something that gives a name its presence.

We have all met people who don’t seem like a Frederick or an Agnes. Rather they’d seemed to be more suited to the names Jack and Diane. How awful for the first impression someone has of you to be tarnished by thoughts that your parents gave you the wrong name, instead of how fierce and fabulous a person you are.

A first impression is everything. It sets the precedent on how people will regard you for the rest of your existence and beyond. Imagine Marc Antony as Oscar. Oscar and Cleopatra is just not romantic. What about Tristan and Isolde as Tristan and Jane? That would definitely have some competition with that other famous so and so and Jane duo, and would have been an unfortunate and definite miss.

Can you imagine McDonald’s as Burgers ‘R Us? “Welcome to Burgers ‘R Us. How may I help you?” A name like that falls flat. I’m wondering if I can find a different place to eat, which obliterates everything else about the restaurant. I’m distracted and not even interested in what else the menu has to offer. When bestowing a name, it is serious business. Your audience should not be distracted, for that is a sure sign of problems and a very real impediment to success. Johnny Cash penned a fabulous song on this subject: “A Boy Named Sue.”

Choose your name most particularly wisely, or have someone who knows what they’re about do it for you, and avoid the very real pitfalls of naming. Choosing the right name is a true triumph. Deciding on the wrong name can be a huge fiasco, and the repercussions will follow for a lifetime and sometimes beyond. Surely that is not the name effect you’re seeking. Surely you don’t want to handicap your marketing efforts from the start!

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