Why Choosing the Right Name will Make You more Memorable

Posted by martin.parnell |

I was browsing through the MSN UK website and came across this story about a baby rhino, born in Pembrokeshire, West Wales: The first rhino to be born in Wales is looking for a name – and the public is being asked to help. The young Eastern black rhino was born at Folly Farm Adventure Park and Zoo on January 16 to first-time mum Dakima after a 15-month pregnancy. 

Now staff at the zoo have asked the public for help coming up with a suitable name for the calf. In a Facebook post, they wrote: “He’s the first rhino to be born in Wales and we’re very proud of this. So, we’re after some name suggestions with a Welsh theme.  “This can either be a Welsh word or a Welsh name (we’d love to hear the meaning behind it).” Among the names being suggested were Glynn, Rhion and Llwyd, which means grey in Welsh. 

It reminded me of a blog I posted, in June 2016, entitled From Gerry to Humperdinck, it’s all in the name. The blog was all about choosing the right name for anything from a baby to the title of a book or a business. So, I’m reposting it here, for anyone who didn’t read the original: 

An item, on MSN UK, reported that a woman, in England had been banned from naming her baby daughter Cyanide. One can only imagine the problems it might have caused until the girl reached an age when she could, if she wished, opt to be called something different. On CBC Radio, recently, a lady phoned in and mentioned that she was listening along with her grandson, Beowulf.  Now, personally, I think that’s a fantastic name and, for me, conjures up an image of someone who is strong and adventurous. 

Gerry Dorsey was an English singer who, in the 1960’s couldn’t get a record deal. He changed his name to Engelbert Humperdinck and soon after was signed by Decca records. He had several top-selling hits in both the UK and the US. This got me thinking about names and how we can make judgements based on hearing them. This can apply to people, objects and businesses. 

There is a whole science devoted to choosing the right name and how to market it. Numerous articles have been written about the way the right name can quickly be adopted into our culture. It’s interesting how certain brand names become so familiar that we instinctively know what someone is talking about, when we say them e.g. Kleenex, Hoover, Jacuzzi, Thermos, Trampoline.

When the first Starbucks opened in Seattle's Pike Place Market, in 1971, it didn't sell coffee drinks, just beans. The founders considered naming it after Captain Ahab’s boat, from the novel Moby Dick, but, according to a Starbucks spokesperson, changed their mind when a friend tried out the tagline "Have a cup of Pequod." and, instead, named itafter Captain Ahab's first mate, Starbuck. 

The most difficult choices I’ve had to make, when naming anything, have been deciding on the titles of my three books and how to brand my business. I decided it would be best to create a tag line that relates to what I’m best known for, which includes completing numerous endurance events, running 250 marathons, in one year and is aligned to my promise statement i.e. “Set Goals, Overcome Obstacles and Achieve Outstanding Results.” After much deliberation I came up with the tag line ‘”Finish the Race Attitude” and the book titles MARATHON QUEST, RUNNING TO THE EDGE and THE SECRET MARATHON. 

What names strike you as “perfect” for a particular product or service? Do you use a tagline that reflects something about you or what you can deliver? Remember, it’s all in the name.

If you have a name that you think might be appropriate for that baby rhino, send your suggestion to info@folly-farm.co.uk or contact them via Facebook.

About the Author

Martin Parnell is the Best-Selling author of MARATHON QUEST and RUNNING TO THE EDGE and his final book in the Marathon Trilogy, THE SECRET MARATHON-Empowering women and girls in Afghanistan through sport, was released on October 30th 2018. He speaks on having a “Finish the Race Attitude – Set Goals, Overcome Obstacles and Achieve Outstanding Results” and has written for, or been covered by CNNBBCCBCThe Huffington Post, The Globe and Mail, The National Post, Runners World, Men’s Journal, Canadian Business, and Maclean’s.

In a five year period, from 2010 to 2014, Martin completed 10 extreme endurance “Quests” including running 250 marathons in one year and raising $1.3m for the humanitarian organization Right To Play. In 2016 he ran the Marathon of Afghanistan in support of Afghan women and girls running for equality and his film “The Secret Marathon” was released in late 2019. Find out more about Martin at www.martinparnell.com  and see what he can do for you in the long run.

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