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Wordcraft: The Art of Turning Little Words into Big Business Paperback – March 22, 2005
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“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
“Wordcraft 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 Business
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Top Customer Reviews
Frankel's book is an analysis of five brand names: BlackBerry, Accenture, Viagra, the Porsche Cayenne, and IBM's e-business, concentrating on the work of the small firms that name the products of big firms for a fee. The world's first naming firm has its own apt name, Lexicon, and it was responsible for naming the BlackBerry, the handheld e-mail device of Research in Motion. "BlackBerry" is a word with an element of fun to it; it is not, by its own nature, tied to e-mail or messages. This represents in some ways a liability; another considered word, "AirWire", might hint of wireless communication, but BlackBerry did not make people think of what the product did.Read more ›
After a book is written it has to be packaged before it is sold. It can be a wonderful book, but if the cover isn't flashy and the title just right, then sales will suffer. In a way, this book is about the importance of choosing the right title for a book. A book is a product isn't it? But it also talks about titling (naming) businesses, too.
There's really no systematic method to the madness of naming, and we learn this by reading this book. But naming is VERY important just the same. Besides a book full of content on the naming industry, what we get out of this book is five stories describing how big-time successful brand names got started, three of which were BlackBerry, Accenture, and Viagra.
I regularly meet with entrepreneurs in my capacity as a volunteer SCORE counselor. And people starting a business usually don't discuss with me their new business' name. And I rarely raise the issue. It usually is not viewed as an important topic to consider. But after reading this book I think the author makes it clear that naming a business or product is a very important thing to consider when starting a business or developing a product. As a result, I highly recommend that any entrepreneur give this book a read so they can hopefully not hurt their business by choosing a "less than" name.
I would have liked the book better if the Table of Contents had had chapter titles that were more descriptive of the book's content. There are 11 chapters in this book, but known are worth naming here. 5 stars!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Pretty cool - well written, I really enjoyed the stories. As per usual with these types of books, I feel like I was told a story, not taught how to come up with great names of... Read morePublished 12 days ago by Annie
Without any doubt the best book in my graphic design and brand identity library. It has reinforced my belief in the unquestionable value of a smart brand name. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Ana Moreira Cunhal
A good read and very helpful for my project on creating a brand. Gave me a heap of ideas I had not consideredPublished on February 2, 2014 by Kim Davis
Alex Frankel is a most inquisitive writer with an engaging and whimsical approach to his craft. He doesn't take himself too seriously, nor does he seem intimidated by ruffling the... Read morePublished on December 4, 2009 by Larry Underwood
In "Wordcraft," Alex Frankel ushers readers into the highly secretive and competitive naming industry where companies such as Porsche, IBM and Pfizer risk millions of dollars to... Read morePublished on January 16, 2007 by Neil Sagebiel
If you have work to do in naming -this is such a well written book you are certain to find value from the thirteen bucks. Read morePublished on March 29, 2006 by David O. Shantz
Very entertaining and insightful reading. Mr. Frankel is a master storyteller who both entertains his readers and delivers great insight into the world of naming. Read morePublished on September 7, 2005 by C. Rodde