Naming For Power: Creating Successful Names for the Business World
NON FICTION BOOK REVIEW
Title: Naming For Power: Creating Successful Names for the
Business World; by Naseem Javed; Linkbridge Publishing;
hardcover, 256 pages, $25.00
Reviewer: A. T. Connellan, "This distillation of Mr. Javed's
experience is well worth the price, in fact, take it along to the
cottage for a contemplative re-read."
What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other
name would smell as sweet
William Shakespeare certainly wasn't thinking of today's
business environment when he penned those words. To this
era's corporate players, a company name has to do much more
than smell good and look pretty. It's the all important
label that could make or break the enterprise.
Naseem Javed is the President of ABC Namebank International,
creative nomenclators to a list of Fortune 500 companies and those
yet to be. He is also the author of this highly informative paean to the
power of the perfect title, and the consequences of the wrong choice.
According to Javed, a firm's moniker must be trade-markable,
meaningful, memorable, and translatable into "approximately 2,700
languages with up to 8,000 dialects around the globe," and do it
without creating problems. Slip-ups can create hilarious
misunderstandings, or disastrous results.
For example, yeah is no to the Japanese, and Ohio isn't a US state,
it means good morning. Ask any German speaker what the well
known product Vicks translates to, and you'll get the picture. Equally
damaging are the ill-considered focus groups, and "contests where
everybody loses."The author's anecdotal assessment of these will
leave you smile-shaking your head.
His examination of company names; present, past, and possible, is
served up with a twist of humor. How about the European vodka,
Black Death, imported into the U.S. until 1989? I particularly liked his
musing on potential automobile names..,"the Ford Shark might prove
irresistible to lawyers." The Chinese might consider it lucky, but would
you buy the all-new Chevrolet Dog?
The author sets out the tides in trends of naming companies and
products after individuals, or based on the frequency and impact of
certain letters and numbers. We are lead into a careful examination
of effective word stimulators and a pragmatic method for measuring
What it all comes down to is a well considered, 4 stage formula for the
sure-footed selection of a name that will enhance the other essential
elements of any successful business. Naming for Power is well
supported by an index, and more importantly, an annotated
bibliography for those of us who wish to delve deeper into this
This distillation of Mr. Javed's experience is well worth the price,
in fact, take it along to the cottage for a contemplative re-read.
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