Tag Archives: Boy Named Sue

Is your name important? Ask Johnny Cash.

3 Jan

Heck, yes! I can’t believe how many times I’ve been asked this question by clients or prospects who don’t believe their names really matter, as if “good enough” is good enough. It’s as if they never heard Johnny Cash sing “A Boy Named Sue.” “IBM is a nothing name and look how big they are. And what’s so special about McDonald’s, anyway?” True that. but those were brands that grew up in much simpler times.  Would Apple be Apple if it were called Good Business Computers? Evaluating the value of a company’s brand is a tricky business. But the last estimate I saw for the value of the Apple brand on the Interbrand “Best Global Brands 2010”  list was a little north of $21B. How much of that $21B you think is attributable to the name? If it’s even one percent, that’s worth a few thoughts, no?

In the words of a colleague of mine, a not-so-good name doesn’t help you any, but a good one “puts the wind at your back.” In a world teeming with new companies, new products, new restaurants, new ideas, new every-fricking-thing, why WOULDN’T you want the face you present to the world to be as memorable, meaningful, interesting, and maybe even as provocative as it could be?

But don’t take my word for it. Check out this great post by Jason Cohen about how he stumbled onto the name of Smart Bear Software and what that did for the business. And if that doesn’t  convince you, read what David Placek of the naming company Lexicon recently wrote about the importance of corporate on his blog.

The important question about names isn’t “Does a good one matter?,” but “What IS a good name?,” or “How do I create a good name?,” or “How much is a good name worth?”