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Naming agencies get huge amounts of money for coming up with names that, in many cases, just plain suck A lot of their process ends up sounding like luck in this book, which often gets bogged down in uninteresting detail, and focuses on 5 names , half of which aren t interesting Cayenne who cares Accenture again, who cares Viagra and BlackBerry, sure, those are appealing and interesting, but this book makes it sound like the naming business is hard to get into, populated with con artists and people who got lucky breaks, and largely a hit or miss proposition where each firm has its own techniques and insiders who get lucky enough often enough to keep their businesses going If you ve ever considered going into this field, this book will probably discourage you If you ve ever wondered how names get picked, a lot of it is luck, huge lists of crap, the use of focus groups, and selling techniques worthy of those into neurolinguistic programming Not so much a book about linguistics, vocabulary, wordsmiths, or creativity as much as a book about a few lucky souls who have made obscene amounts of money in a business that s a lot about the sell than a science. Frankel has written the On Language column for the New York Times Magazine and reported on business culture for Wired, Fast Company, and Outside Magazines His interests in synthetic languages led him to launch his own product naming firm from the jacket Five Little Words Blackberry, Accenture, Viagra, Cayenne, and e business Two of the words are appropriated Blackberry and Cayenne , two are completely made up Viagra and Accenture and one e business is a composite word made of a word and a letter that already existedThe five words are the main characters in this book on product naming and marketing Frankel gives the history of dozens of product names Pentium, Tylenol, Starbucks, Saturn, Fedex, Advil, Chapstick, Kool Aid, etc product naming is a strange, interesting, multi million dollar a year business WordCraft started off well with indepth and well crafted case studies of BlackBerry, Accenture, and Viagra, and derailed in the second half The author had a promising book on the craft of words and language in branding, but tried too hard to give it an air of gravitas and zeitgeist when discussing IBMs e business Decent book overall, thought it suffers from lack of focus. My review from Brand Building Magazine In a transitional chapter of Wordcraft, Alex Frankel describes the genesis of the word maverick and its meanings 1 an unbranded range animal especially a motherless calf 2 an independent individual who does not go along with a group or party Samuel Maverick was an American pioneer who did not brand his cattle In time, Maverick s neighbors and other cattlemen began to call any unbranded animal roaming the prairie a maverick, and from there the second, metaphoric, meaning above evolved.The name Maverick became so commonly known and understood that it took on meaning as a common noun and adjective In the process of being transformed from a proper noun into a common noun, the word was imbued with a story This is the key point for Frankel and the key point of each of his examples in the book great names have great stories.After a brief tenure as a naming consultant, Frankel set out to explore and understand the people and processes behind brand naming Setting his sights on five brands Accenture, BlackBerry, IBM e business, Porsche Cayenne, Viagra Frankel takes the reader along for the ride as he pursues each name s story.These names provide diverse examples of naming situations, drawing brands from a variety of industries Wordcraft considers one of largest rebranding projects ever, a surprising endeavor from a classic brand, branding a business concept, and the creation of two new brands Each naming situation also involves a different cast of characters, from the brand owners to the consultants One of the most valuable aspects of Wordcraft is that it shows the reader a number of approaches to the naming process Naming consultancies are profiled in tandem with the brands they are working with This rare look inside the methodology of different naming houses and business consultancies is insightful in trying to understand the relationship between the brand and the consultancy Another strength of Wordcraft is the approachability of the naming stories Each narrative feels genuine and is entertaining The book is rich with quotes from brand owners and the people who had hands on roles in naming these brands Frankel paints a complete picture of the naming process that is easy to understand and digest.While BlackBerry represents the closest thing to the naming of a start up brand, the one glaring omission from the book s subject matter is the story of a small or mid sized start up brand It was clearly necessary for Frankel to use identifiable international brands to help market the book and make it accessible to the greatest number of readers, but by only highlighting corporate brands, Frankel has neglected to show the process in scale Each of the brand stories told in Wordcraft involves large companies with huge branding and marketing budgets.Frankel has also been criticized for not being critical enough of his subjects However, in a collection of best cases, such as this, less criticism is to be expected In all, Wordcraft is an enlightening look at naming process as exemplified by some of the most successful branding efforts in recent years. If you think the idea of people naming businesses and products is the coolest thing ever, you will be on the same wavelength as the author and might be able to enjoy this book For me personally, it s not that exciting I was interested in the subject for practical reasons But I simply couldn t read this book normally I like the style of writing that accompanies in depth journalism, but in this case it didn t succeed in making a fairly bland subject exciting or intriguing at all, and instead it meant that it seemed to endlessly circle around the topic rather than actually focusing on it. Although I read this and the other branding books on here as research for a new article I was writing, I found this book to be very interesting It is the nonfiction account of how a journalist became a corporate namer, and then talks about tricks of the naming trade and some case studies.I referenced it in interviewing some namers for my article and they were impressed I had read it but noted that it turned the author into a total persona non grata in the naming industry center of the SF Bay area.If you like words and are fascinated by the stories of how decisions get made good and bad you ll be entertained. .FREE PDF ♔ Wordcraft: The Art of Turning Little Words into Big Business ♪ Five Little Words BlackBerry, Accenture, Viagra, Cayenne, E Business Two Of The Words Are Appropriated BlackBerry And Cayenne Two Are Completely Made Up Viagra And Accenture And One E Business Is A Composite Word Made Of A Word And A Letter That Already Exist These Five Words Are The Characters In This Book Words Shape And Move The Modern Marketplace They Are At Once Ubiquitous And Invisible But Where Do Words Such As Saturn, PowerBook, And Tylenol Originate How Did We Come To Xerox Our Paperwork And Have A Cup Of Starbucks Which Names Work, And Why For Journalist Alex Frankel, What Began As An Exercise In Curiosity Tracing The Evolution Of A Handful Of The Most Successful Brand Names From The Marketplace To Their Places Of Origin Resulted In A Year Long Journey In Which He Gained Access To A Previously Undiscovered World Of Forward Thinking Creatives Professional Namers, The Unique Group Of Marketers Responsible For Inventing Words That Ultimately Become A Part Of Our Everyday VocabulariesWordcraft Is Frankel S In Depth Look At How Companies Name Themselves And Their Products And, In The Process Of Defining Their Business Through Words And Language, Develop Narratives That Define The Way They Present Themselves To The Outside World His Lively, Fly On The Wall Narrative Takes Us Into The Conference Rooms Of Lexicon, The World S Largest Professional Naming Firm, Where We See How The Highly Successful Email Pager Known As The BlackBerry Got Its Name We Travel To Germany To Learn How Porsche Approached The Naming Of Its Controversial SUV, A Car That Challenged The Company S Famously Sporty Image The Creative Team Behind Viagra Explains How They Took A Completely Fabricated Word And Turned It Into A Powerful Idea We Witness How IBM Assumed Ownership Of The Word And Story Of E Business And In So Doing Turned Around Its Corporate Mindset And Returned To A Dominant Industry PositionThe Book Is Filled With Stories About How Things Get Their Names, But It S Not Just Tales Of Business Meetings And Product Launches We Meet The Characters Who Populate The Naming World, Information Age Neologists Like Freelance Namer Andrea Michaels, Who Plays Professional Scrabble And Competes On TV Game Shows When Not Brainstorming For Corporate Clients And We Learn About The Civic Unrest That Erupted In Denver When The Naming Rights For Mile High Stadium Were Sold Frankel Laces His Narrative With Cultural And Historical References And Quotations From Thinkers As Diverse As Marianne Moore And Lawrence Lessig, All Of Which Add A Layer Of Richness And Depth To This Book S Multithreaded And Engaging StoriesFor Anyone Intrigued By The Power Of Words And Ideas In Today S Marketplace, Wordcraft Is A Captivating Tour Of A Fascinating World From The Hardcover Edition Definitely one of those books that makes you think about the world around you in a different way I loved this, and of course couldn t help but think how cool it would be to work amongst the people profiled here Really, really interesting book I rushed out to buy his other one, Punching In, which I didn t like nearly as much. An excellent into the process and power of naming products Anyone interested in the marketing should read this Would the Blackberry have been as popular if it had came out with a name such as the cumquat or the dingle berry Quite a good book that tells stories on how some of the big companies like Porsche, RIM, and even my previous company before, Accenture When Shakespeare said that What s in a name , I am really sure he doesn t know how powerful brand s name will be