Frankel has managed to crack open the world of professional namers, a highly guarded group of specialists who focus exclusively on coining brand names. A winning name is crucial to the success of any product, and large companies may spend half a million dollars or more for a cadre of wordsmiths to craft just the right one. A successful name--think of Viagra or FedEx--will leap beyond mere brand recognition to enter the public lexicon. Professional namers don't just sell a name, they craft a complete story to go with it, one that companies will expand on when marketing to the public. Frankel explores the details of the creation of five brand names: BlackBerry, Accenture, Viagra, the Porsche Cayenne, and IBM's e-business, revealing industry-level insight into the characteristics of a good name, and the difficulties involved in finding one that is catchy yet functional. Frankel, a business writer for magazines such as Forbes
and the New York Times Magazine
, briefly worked as a namer himself. A mind-opening examination of image, perception, marketing, and manipulation. David SiegfriedCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
“Enlightening, engaging, and entertaining.” —Newsweek
“A thoughtful and engaging exploration of how companies and products get their names nowadays, as well as the function of brands in a global culture . . . Hilarious and revealing.” —Wall Street Journal
“Words always matter, but they really matter to a corporation trying to make its brand the one we remember out of the thousands we see daily. That’s why the stories behind the creation of names like Viagra or Accenture are so surprisingly rich. With the outsider perspective of a journalist, plus insider perspective gained by crossing over into the ‘synthetic language’ business himself, Alex Frankel knows the name game like nobody else.” —Rob Walker, “Consumed” columnist, The New York Times Magazine
“Informative, overdue . . . fascinating.” —San Francisco Chronicle
is a rare peek inside organizations making enormous decisions about their identities and futures—struggling to develop a brand name that captures what they want to be when they grow up. Journalist Frankel talks his way into situations most of us never see. The book is both vivid and lively.” —Chip Heath, professor of organizational behavior, Stanford Graduate School of BusinessFrom the Trade Paperback edition.