Helpful words

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.