Helping Someone Name a New Company

for Marianne Moore

We sought a short word or noun phrase which was
unique, easy to pronounce, spelled like it sounds.

It had to convey something of the business without boxing it in,
and of course not already taken: domains, twitter, facebook,
nor have unfortunate interior spellings like newspaperverts or the like.

Lacking millions of dollars worth of television
coining a word and teaching everyone to say it wasn’t an option,
which let out the synthetic sounds of pharmaceuticals:
Gornext, Lytexia, and Nambivala, to give away
a few derivative examples.

The final result has the meaningless appeal
of fruit on a white ceramic plate
and the phrase sounds finished like fine wood
when you say it on the telephone,
answering a switchboard, perhaps,
or a help desk in a skyscraper,
and you may imagine someone asserting it
and that it’s good for a founder to be a poet.

14 thoughts on “Helping Someone Name a New Company

Add yours

  1. ha…coming up with marketing can be fun…but also a beast…being a poet i am sure helps…but catching that simple phrase that says what it should and will have stickiness..and a piece of fruit has surely worked…look at apple…smiles.

    1. Thanks! Adding a “dedication” once I get through typing this, because I just thought of a funny story involving Marianne Moore and her “help” naming… just click on the link once I add it. 🙂

  2. Ah, Gary, I enjoyed the story you shared here. Helps me think about how it is that various domains were named. So hard to come up with just the RIGHT name. And thinking of Brian’s comment, who would ever think that “Apple” would work!!

    1. Actually, the Apple naming story is interesting. People thought they were insane at first for naming a tech company after a piece of fruit. And then they knew going in there was that record label called Apple, but they knew they’d never be in the music business – that decision ended up costing them a pretty penny, but by the time they got to that point they could afford to pay it.

  3. I laughed at the interior spelling joke, now such a bother with the smash-up words of domain names to take into consideration. Great link to car names, all ridiculous. It brought to mind everyone at my posh college making fun of my 1978 Ford Fairmont nicknaming it the Silver Bullet (of Coors fame, equally ridiculous as I never drank a single beer while at said posh college). I thoroughly enjoyed this, especially the progression of obstacles to naming!

  4. haha…i instantly thought of apple as well when you mentioned the fruit…we once had to find a name for a band…also not easy…but there are really cool options and being a poet surely helps

  5. I often have problems even thinking up a title for a piece I just wrote. Like the tone of this poem, neutral, dry humored that makes one smile. Simple is one thing, unique and different is the bit that needed to make it stand out. On a side note, because of Apple, it seems like no one else can use a fruit for an effective company or website name I think.

    Thanks for sharing your poem.

  6. the process of naming things in the business world is so odd, isn’t it. You got it down right, giving all the essentials into the arcanity of branding.

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