– James Mahoney, Razor’s Edge Communications

Brands are all about resonance; specifically, resonance with the individual. As I see it, the brand inclinations of individual people fall into three categories:

Each of us gives primary loyalty to brands that we feel represent “who” we are. These brands have been described as “choices for which there

Barring any unforeseen setbacks, Wall Street is aflutter as Thursday marks the latest in social media IPOs – Twitter…and we all remember how well Facebook’s IPO went.

Pricing for IPOs involves an assessment of the company’s assets (including its intellectual property portfolio), liabilities, and current and potential revenue.  As many of you savvy marketing folks

When I have watched the ad below around some savvy marketing and supply-chain management folks, the reactions have been generally been in the  “wow – that’s really cool” vain.   IBM seems to really be doing something right with its ability to help companies prevent counterfeit product, and clearly it’s important enough to its customers to

If you pay attention to the recent marketing of some big tech companies such as IBM and Microsoft, you will notice that more references are being made to the “cloud.” For example, Microsoft’s television commercials use the phrase “to the cloud.” When references to cloud computing start seeping into marketing material intended for the general public, it

by Anthony Shore, Operative Words

There was a time when a simple, honest name was good enough.



Venerable brands like General Electric, Kentucky Fried Chicken, National Biscuit Company and International Business Machines didn’t hide their business name behind metaphors or fuzzy ideas. Each name was a hammer. It delivered one message with brute, blunt force. And it was good…for a while.‚Ä®‚Ä®

Eventually those companies established a path followed by countless others. They cut short their names to cut free of their restrictions, trading names too burdened with meaning for ones that were utterly meaningless: GE, KFC, Nabisco, IBM.



The trend in naming since has been away from the harsh, direct light of descriptive names and towards the shaded canopy of evocative and arbitrary ones. The change is partly motivated by necessity, as descriptive names are difficult or impossible to protect as trademarks.



But it’s not just the law: It’s a good idea. Descriptive names are similar to other descriptive names so they aren’t differentiated and thus don’t get noticed (not without a ton of money).‚Ä®‚Ä®

Today, the vast majority of brand names are not descriptive at all.

And I think people are getting tired of it.

The pendulum is swinging back, towards names — and marketing in general — that’s honest and bullshit-free. Maybe even humble.

Living in San Francisco, I’ve sought examples of words in commerce that speak the unvarnished truth. I’ve documented some of these sightings with my cell phone camera. Several relate to food because I am a gastropod.‚Ä®‚Ä®‚Ä®‚Ä®‚Ä®‚Ä®‚Ä®

This tidy kiosk is a perfect setting for a brand called Batter. It’s a name that’s immediate, short, and to the point with nothing artificial added. It suggests their baked goods are as pure and simple.


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