Welcome, New York Times Readers!
I was lucky enough to be included in an article in The New York Times Magazine about professional namers. As a kid, I read William Safire’s “On Language” column every Sunday in The Times magazine section. For me, this is as humbling as it is huge.
For those of you new to Operative Words (which is the name of my naming agency and my blog), here is where I give away expertise. I do this because I want everyone to be a great namer or great judge of names. And I do that because I'd rather be surrounded by wonderful words and not ugly ones. I think most people feel that way.
These are some posts to get you started:
Instinct as enemy: How to sell-in the new and unfamiliar
An equal and opposite reaction: How to manage emotions and subjectivity in a naming program
Creative names the easy way
Where are the most creative names?
Red Flags and Red Herrings: How to check brand names in foreign languages
Decisions, decisions: How to research brand names
Here, you’ll find case histories (I call them “name stories”), and creative naming tools. I embed how-to tips in my name stories, so expect some overlap.
My Twitter feed is updated far more regularly than this blog, so be sure to follow @operativewords.
Please join my email list for updates. I’ve sent out, like, three updates in five years, so it might be a while before you hear from me. Be patient.
This is my contact for a project or pull quote.
I owe all of my clients so much gratitude. In particular, I want to thank the founders of Jaunt VR, Jens Christensen, Arthur van Hoff and Tom Annau for letting me talk with The Times about naming their company. I also want to profusely thank branding agency Character, particularly Ollie Ralph and Ben Pham, who invited me to collaborate on the Jaunt project. If you’re creating a breakthrough product, Character will serve you well for brand strategy and identity.
Thank you to fellow namer, Margaret Wolfson, founder of River+Wolf for recommending me to the author of The Times article. And I’d like to thank him, biographer Neal Gabler, for listening to me ramble on for four hours about my obsession with naming.
I’d also like to thank the Academy.