Helpful words

Brands that might not make it through the year

A report came out a few days ago that assessed the likelihood that some familiar household brands wouldn’t survive the year. On the watch list was Eddie Bauer, Chrysler, Old Navy, Esquire Magazine, Crocs, Saturn, Budget Rent-a-Car and Borders. It’s tough out there. Lots of people are making difficult decisions. While some are facing new…

The Porsche Panamera gets put to the (naming) test

by Eli Altman Yesterday, recession be damned, Porsche debuted the newest addition to its lineup at Auto Shanghai—the Panamera. It’s a four-door luxury sedan that starts at $89,000 and tops out around $132,000 with all-wheel drive and some turbo. U.S. sales are set to begin in October. While we like talking about cars, we love…

Branding is just like life

I would like to write about branding in a way that has not been attempted so far. After many years of helping companies create and breathe life into their brands, I have a confession to make. I don’t get it either. My brain has a block against abstract concepts, and branding is one of those…

For some brands there is life after death

In a New York Times story called Brand Names Live On After the Stores are Closed, we find out what happens when brands survive the companies that gave birth to them. A case in point, a familiar retailer that started in San Francisco. Nothing quite exemplified the American male’s attraction to bright, shiny objects like…

Leonard Cohen on how to write a song or name a company

Leonard  Cohen is a powerful, dark, romantic figure in my life. Along with Bob Dylan and Tom Waits, he is a guide in the night.  Funny that he spent five years in a monastery. While Cohen was being cook, driver and late-night sake drinking buddy to the roshi, his business manager was apparently being a…

Peter Arnell tries his hand at damage control

Peter Arnell, self-proclaimed “street rat from Brooklyn,” is having a hard time handling the damage control after his redesign of the Tropicana brand backfired bigtime. This in depth report from Newsweek looks at what might keep Arnell from getting past this little disaster.

Clawing your way to the top

What happens when a product name has zero connection to the brand? A camping trip leads to a curious discovery in the sleeping bag department.

Try not caring.

There’s a certain amount of foolishness about the way we go about constructing brands. Actor Jason Segal helps us understand that you never know exactly when or how you will hit the emotional core, but when you do, just have the sense to get out of the way.

What’s wrong with innovation? (How much time do you have?)

What’s wrong with “innovation?” Naming and branding suffer from the same drive to quantify and predict results. The result: over-engineered names.