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Mapping Names to Benefits

Jennifer Rice has a recent entry in her What's Your Brand Mantra? blog about naming. She suggests a process of mapping names to product or company benefits.

Naming is funny because everyone thinks they're an expert on it, but few people actually have any real expertise.

As far as I can tell, almost all of the real authorities agree - Al Ries, Laura Ries, Seth Godin, Barbara Kahn, Elizabeth Miller, to name a few - that you should generally avoid descriptive names. Names that bear no relation to the company, product, or attributes are often best. You want the name to be a blank slate so that branding creates the meaning over time.

For this reason, the approach of mapping names to benefits doesn't make much sense to me. The whole point of marketing is to create such a mapping, preferably where none already exists.

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