I found it quite interesting to read two different news articles, one about a political candidate and another on a business man, yet both spoke about feelings and brands. The idea behind any marketing is branding the name. Forbes magazine has many articles about branding a company's name and the recognition that the name says all. Shakespeare asks, “What's in a name? that which we call a rose, By any other name would smell as sweet.” (Romeo and Juliet. Act II. Scene II.)
In looking at a certain political candidate it is all about his name. Short, crisp, no nonsense and filled with the idea of glamour and wealth. But is it true? In the case of branding,the substance doesn't matter. It is how a person feels when they think or look or purchase the brand.
I read in The New York Times how singer turned business magnate Jimmy Buffet has an ever expanding company ($17 Billion in sales last year) all due to items and places that evoke a feeling when you think of that name. As Warren Buffet has assessed, Jimmy Buffet understands his brand. According to Mindy Grossman, the chief executive of the Home Shopping Network, "The stroke of genius was making Margaritaville a feeling, not a place."
My husband has worked with patents, copyrights and trademarks for many years. It used to be that the patent was king. That was what drove the USPTO office. The trademark department was almost a cousin- kin but not a direct relation. Our country is still fueled by our innovation and patents are certainly sought after but he has noted the the demand for trademarks has increased incredibly. In some ways it is all about the name.
Certainly names are important, especially as they convey to the world who you are, your character, and your nature. But to be so caught up with a feeling that a name produces is alarming. It reduces all of us to mere soundbites and to stereotypes but no substance. I know that there are times when I cannot trust my feelings- when I am tired, or hungry or angry.
Do I want the mention of my name to conjure up a feeling in someone? Certainly I wouldn't want someone to hear my name and immediately feel disgust. But I would hope that when my name is mentioned it would immediately bring to mind my character, my nature and perhaps some of my accomplishments.
As Shakespeare cautions even if we call something by another name eventually our true self comes forth. I wonder what our world would look like if we thought about our names and about our "brand"? Would we have more to offer than just the feeling it produces. Would others think of our names in light of our character? What kind of person does our name evoke? Are we trustworthy, good, patient, kind, loving, disciplined, generous, etc?
What about you? Ever thought about your "brand"?