What’s In A Name?
Perhaps the most important part of branding is your name. For individuals, unique and memorable names are easy to remember. The same holds true for companies and nonprofit organizations. At Madison+Main, we build brands, but occasionally we get into the “name game.” I thought about it a lot this week as we began work on a new name for two great RVA nonprofits that are joining forces. The best brand names are not only memorable, but they reach people figuratively not literally. When I chose Madison+Main as the name of our company, it was not because we were located at the intersection of two streets, it was because we wanted to bring Madison Avenue ideas to Main Street companies. Get it?
People were baffled by the runaway success of the Snuggie. One in four U.S. households has one, and the company made $500 million selling them. The name was fun, and rooted in the word “snuggle.” The lesser known competitor — called a Slanket — sounded terrible. What’s in a name? Much, much more than you think.
Monday, January 30 – Name Recognition
On Monday, my good friend Will Shewmake and I launched a GoFundMefor the College Assurance Partnership. If you want to help Richmond Public School kids have a brighter future, please consider donating to the cause. (I’ve started calling Will “Counselor”…. it sounds better than lawyer.)
On Monday night, Marketing & Partnerships Coordinator Sophie Fisher and Account Executive Meredith Mason kicked off their 8-week Dale Carnegiecourse with a name game, so they could remember their other 23 classmates’ names.
Tuesday, January 31 – Shh, It’s a Secret
On Tuesday, I ducked out of the office for a couple hours to write web copy for our new website (crossing my fingers it will launch next week). I love being in the office, but sometimes you just have to get away for a little while to a quiet place, put your head down, and focus on the work. All that extra brain exercise gave me a big appetite, and I tried out Secret Sandwich Society, on a recommendation from Sophie — our in-house sandwich aficionado. I was very impressed with the place, and I believe it’s a brand name I won’t forget.
Wednesday, February 1 – It’s Pronounced J-a-y…
On Wednesday, Meredith and Communications Manager Kent Brockwellhad lunch with Wine for Cures Founder Gil Miles to celebrate their recent success at the Virginia Home Show, and to learn more about the organization’s unique offerings and mission.
My beloved VCU Rams stomped the Richmond Spiders Wednesday night at the Siegel Center. The Virginia Council of CEOs hosted a pregame social, and we got a behind-the-scenes look at my favorite team. This video will give you chills, unless you are my friend Sarah Huang from Alliance Group — a UR alum who owes me $5. #MoMoney
Thursday, February 2 – Top of Mind
My good friend Harry Garmon made a great presentation at the Commonwealth Club on Thursday morning. Harry and his business partner Roger Pell started Top of Mind Communications a few years ago, with a focus on marketing content. They do the work that many small business owners don’t want to do, like writing and producing e-newsletters and writing website content. Harry is looking to meet owners of B2B companies and independent web developers. You should connect to him on LinkedIn.
In other news, Punxsutawney Phil, the World’s most infamous forecaster, predicted six more weeks of winter on Thursday. Riots spread from rural Pennsylvania to most of the Mid-Atlantic, and I have taken a bold political stance. I reject Phil and everything he stands for. #NotMyGroundhog
Friday, February 3 – A Super Weekend
This morning, I re-connected with an old friend. Connie Salinas, a longtime friend and subscriber to the M+M Weekly Report, is now Director of Sales & Marketing at Coordinated Management Services, a Roanoke-based company that manages retirement communities. Connie has invited me to present at the company’s annual marketing conference in April. #ConnieRocks
The “Big Game” is Sunday. The NFL owns the copyright on the word “Super Bowl” and I’m afraid of getting a cease-and-desist letter, so I’ll just let you know that on Monday, I will make my seventh annual appearance at the studios of CBS6 to visit with the CBS6 This Morning crew. I will be discussing the best and worst TV ads that ran during the “Big Game” with my friends Rob Cardwell and Reba Hollingsworth. (I also hope I get to see my favorite meteorologist Nikki-Dee Ray and favorite traffic reporter Kristen Luhers.) Tune in early to see your favorite Ad Man.
“Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”
– Dale Carnegie