Famous Names: Does it matter what a product is called?

Placek maintains that the best brand names, like poems, work by compressing into a single euphonious word an array of specific, resonant meanings and associations. But he prefers to emphasize the practical aspects of his work. “I’ve learned that if I use that with prospective clients—‘Hey, what we’re creating here is a small poem’—you can see people sort of get concerned,” he told me. “Like, ‘This isn’t really about art here. This is about getting things done.’ ”

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