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The Weird Science of Naming New Products

A revealing, feature-length account of an Operative Words naming project.

How tech firms like Google and Apple come up with names

“I would look for the name's ability to tell a story,” Shore said. “Does it tie into the client’s strategy and vision and messaging? Does the name have the potential to inspire?”

“When you're dealing with matters that can impact life and death, I think diminishing the marketing puffery and erring on the side of accuracy is a better way to go.”

Name game: Potash merger offers much-needed rebranding opportunity

“People who do business in industrial commodities are still people, and will react to creative names. Now, it doesn't make sense to have a name that will undermine the value or the stability of the company, but that doesn't mean you have to throw in the towel and choose something purely descriptive.”

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The Name Game: Anthony Shore of Operative Words

“People have said all the good names are taken, and that’s absolutely not true. There are great names out there waiting to see the light of day. It’s only the obvious names that are taken.” 

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17 Pivot Points for Social Media Marketing Success

Adweek covered my talk at the Pivot Conference: ”The SNIFF test for bullshit-free branding from Operative Words‘ Anthony Shore goes beyond the idiosyncrasies of the Millennials to address the changing sensibilities of the American consumer.”


The whiskey toasting the demise of Lehman Brothers bank

“The name becomes the crystallisation of everything that there is about the company, their reputation, their products, their services, for good or for ill.” 

uber is a verb

“Any name could become a verb, so long as that brand or product is linked to a very specific, repeated action.”

Oh That Sounds Interesting! The Techniques of Brand Naming

“Every name has a job to do. Is it to engage people? To inspire? To describe? Knowing that leads to developing and choosing the right name for the job.”

shades of meaning: What's in a name?

“A picture is worth a thousand words, but a single word is easily worth a thousand pictures.”


Wordcraft: The Art of Turning Little Words into Big Business

Wordcraft tells the story of how five major brands got their names: BlackBerry, Accenture, Viagra, the Porsche Cayenne, and IBM’s e-business.
At Landor, I led the naming of Accenture.