Monthly Archives: February 2013

Everybody’s a Naming Savant – even Dilbert

Here’s a classic from Scott Adams, the creator of the Dilbert cartoon strip, with his take on the challenge of clearing a new product name:

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How Did “Apple Computer” Get Its Name?

One of the many sidebars to media coverage of the death of Steve Jobs in October 2011 was an old question: Where did the name Apple Computer come from? Lots of speculation has floated by: Jobs & Wozniak wanted their

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Don’t Be Afraid to Push the Envelope

Would “outlandish” work in your category? Consider the rough-and-tumble moving industry, where independent carriers are proud of their reputation as tough guys who tackle any challenge. Some of their names push the envelope: Hernia Movers in Wisconsin. (Tagline: “The potentate

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Naming a Number: That’s a “Hella” Big One!

You’ve got Mega (mega-millions) and Giga (gigabyte). Are you ready for Hella? A campaign to adopt “hella” to name the number 1 followed by 27 zeroes has gained online support among scientists, students and assorted number-crunchers. More than 23,000 users

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Some Things Just Aren’t for Sale

A nonprofit hospital in Indiana took heat after it paid big bucks for the naming rights at a local minor-league baseball stadium. An elementary school in New Jersey sold its gymnasium’s naming rights to a local supermarket. College bowl games,

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Ever Wonder Why Junk E-Mail Is Called “Spam?”

Unsolicited e-mail is known as “spam.” Why is that? The answer comes from the unlikely pairing of Hormel Foods and Monty Python. In 1937, Hormel Foods created a canned precooked meat product called SPAM luncheon meat, and since 1937 has

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Naming Portable Toilets: Tanks a Lot

We bring you important lavatorial branding news. The top 20 most appropriately named portable toilet companies in the U.S. have now been identified, courtesy of the Blue Book of Building and Construction. They include: Tanks A Lot (Texas) Doodie Calls

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John Arbuckle Brews a Strong Name

Good branding wasn’t invented yesterday. Neither were neologisms, despite the fascination of some marketers, journalists and bloggers with every new coinage that comes down the pike. A case in point is the story of Mr. John Arbuckle, who saw a

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When Wine Comes to Wal-Mart

Wal-Mart made a shrewd naming decision recently. The world’s largest retailer decided to add some new products to the shelves: Chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon and merlot. The question was, what to call its own line of wine? Wal-Mart has stocked house

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Great Moments in the History of Name Testing

Tucked away inside a Wall Street Journal article about creating titles for movies was a wonderful tidbit about research and name testing. Pollster George Gallup pioneered “title testing” in the 1940s by at the Audience Research Institute, which he created

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