“Insert the proprietary Landor Naming Process Tool into the anal canal and twist until it grabs the membrane. Continue twisting another half turn, then steadily pull the proprietary Landor Naming Process Tool out of the canal. Extract 10 inches of membrane, tie the membrane off and cut.”
Says Blandor the Imponderable: “Oh deer! Perhaps I should butt out….No! My auricular has been opened, laid bare for all to observe! This time, no amount of blandiloquence will assuage this insolent corporate sabotage! And furthermore, we use a much larger mammal in our current work”
As we were celebrating the fact that the Igor Naming Guide has been on the reading lists of Wharton & USC Annenberg for years AND was just downloaded for the 300 thousandth time; we got a complaint. At 115 pages, the ultimate free, how-to resource for naming companies and products, had gotten too long.
Always eager to produce less, we responded. The naming guide is now available in two different lengths: soul-crushing (89 pages) and moderately-irritating (16 pages).
Sometimes imitation is flattery, sometimes it demonstrates a complete lack of originality and / or corporate ethics.
Naming and branding parody site Landor has posted an article in which they claim authorship of called “How not to name“, accompanied by a photo of Anthony Shore, head of global naming at Landor. It is posted on a section of their website that they ironically named “Thinking”.
Here is an except (from point 2, paragraph 3):
This “positivity principle” explains why a scandalous name (Virgin), a slur (Banana Republic), and a small, hairy larva (Caterpillar) are perceived positively.
Unless everyone understands the positioning and the correlation between it and an evocative name, this is the type of feedback that evocative names will generate:
Says “we’re new at this”
Public wants airlines to be experienced, safe and professional
Investors won’t take us seriously
Religious people will be offended
Tiny, creepy-crawly bug
Not macho enough – easy to squash
Why not “bull” or “workhorse”?
Destroys trees, crops, responsible for famine
Derogatory cultural slur
You’ll be picketed by people from small, hot countries
The Landor article “How Not to Name” is written in a format that states popular misconceptions and the debunks them. Here they attack the mistaken idea that focus groups are helpful in choosing company or product names (from point 6, paragraph 1):
As a rule, it’s smart to entrust strategic business decisions to someone who trades an hour of their time for $25 and a few handfuls of M&Ms.