Archives for posts with tag: Name

Necessity is the mother of invention, or so they say. Many good things can also come out of accident, confusion or a misunderstanding.

When I was working as an account manager in the marketing business, we came up with a public sector strategy to encourage people to claim the benefits they were entitled to with the strapline ‘money for nothing, cheques for free’. It was a line from a Sting and Dire Straits song that I actually thought was cheques for free, but was in fact ‘chicks for free’. My misunderstanding.

I have a potential new brand name for you.

The other day my mother and I were enjoying lunch at the house of one of my brothers. Admiring the crockery, my mother asked ‘this is nice, who’s this by?’, turning the plate over and squinting without her reading glasses at the brand. ‘Ah, EWOH’, she said.

‘I think it’s called HOME’, her daughter-in-law commented, ‘you must be reading it upside down.’

A funny moment for us all. The more I thought about it, though, the more I liked the new brand name ‘EWOH’, pronounced ee-woah.

Probably needs a bit more research…

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Client or customer? Which term do you use? I must confess I’m not keen on the word client, at least in business.

I remember having this conversation about a decade ago with a software VP. ‘Which term do you prefer,’ I asked. ‘Oh, I don’t like the word client. Hookers have clients…’ was her reply.

Well, yes, I suppose they do. Yet, so do social services organisations, charities, artists, business agencies and probably a good few professional services companies too.

In business, everything revolves around the customer. But it’s still a partnership between you and your customers, a fair exchange of outcomes between you and them. Usually, they pay money and you deliver products and / or services, but not always. It’s a business relationship built on a series of mutually beneficial transactions over time.

Calling them clients in business – internally within your business or externally with your various stakeholders – puts them on a pedestal and makes for an uneven relationship that’s open to abuse, or at best unnecessary leverage.

Client equals master-slave, whereas customer equals business relationship.

 

This post gives me the chance to talk about two previous post topics, namely names and Winston Churchill.

I have always found names deeply significant. I also also always loved the play on words, where you can convey two messages in one. They seem to be more memorable that way, and you’ve probably noticed that quite a few of my blog posts are titled with plays on words.

One of my favourite plays on words was an industrial society I helped resurrect when I was involved with the student union at my alma mater, which was both named after and founded by the gentleman in paragraph one. Ironically, the college was founded with the express objective of concentrating in the sciences, and I was studying the minority that was an arts subject, but that’s another story.

The idea behind this industrial society was that we got speakers in from different industries and professions to give students a glimpse of what life might be like outside the walls of academia, unless of course the students were set on maintaining the cocooned lifestyle as advanced students or even lecturers and professors.

Our society was called the Chartwell Society. You see, Chartwell was the name of the Churchill family home, so the link with the college was clear. Also, however, by attending our society events you might be able to chart well your career after college.

A name can carry you a long way. A carefully crafted name can operate on more than one level and work twice as hard for you, and be twice as memorable.