What’s in a name?

A good name is more precious than gold. It’s an old Irish saying, but some things never change.

Take last week, for example. I was listening to an old Ricky Gervais podcast where Stephen Merchant was excitedly talking about a band he’d seen advertised on a blackboard, outside a bar.

With everyone in the studio waiting with bated breath to hear what this brilliantly named band were called (and with my slight fascination with band names) I found myself gripped.

Until finally, he said “The band was called... Loose Change”.

After a long pause, I imagine everyone in the studio looked at each other in disbelief. Then smiles, sniggering and chortling turned to raucous, unabashed laughter.

How could a name be so dull? Could there be a less evocative, emotive or electrifying name for a band?

Cue suggestions of “Rough Outline” and “Pocket Fluff”. These names will never adorn a poster for Glastonbury. If a band can’t muster up some inspiration or spark in their name, it doesn’t give you much confidence in their ability to write good music, does it?

But that’s the value of a name. And in business it’s no different.

If you call your travel company “Annual Leave Solutions” or your latest proposal a “Leverage synergy initiative” people won’t be excited. And why should they be? You’re underselling your business. And if you don’t think you’re good, they’re not going to.

But get the name right and you’ll capture someone’s imagination (and maybe, their business).

So next time, think about your audience and give them a mountain of moula, not just loose change.

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