In Clarity and Mystery, Nancy Friedman at Fritinancy touches on a subject close to home. In her post, she cites Stephen Sondheim’s observations about narrative art, which she translates to apply also to naming (as in business naming). Both agree that solely descriptive names are rather weak. Fanciful names are often silly. And suggestive names, landing in the mid-ground, do the best to allude to quality. But since they are merely suggestive, it is left up to the customer to stretch their imagination upon the name’s meaning.
I have regularly debating the virtues of changing my business name (or not) to “Marcia Macomber, Marketing and Design.” Does that sound creative? I don’t think so. But it is clearer than “Cornucopia Creations.” It is a tug-of-war as to how much the prospective client should have to work the little gray cells to understand what I do. (Thus, I do have the tagline on my website and newsletter: “Bountiful Ideas in Modern Marketing and Design” to clarify exactly what kind of ‘creations’ I refer to.
What do you think? Too confusing, too clever for the words? Or okay?