Naming is part of marketing

A name is a hook for us to hang a story on.

We need to begin with empathy and a useful story… useful to the people who want to believe it, spread it, and use it to accomplish their goals.

But then, the story needs firm footing and a way to stick with us. Patagonia is a great name because while most people have no idea where the place known as Patagonia is, they’re able to associate it with the story that the company has been telling for a long time. Nike is a great name, even though it’s not obvious how to pronounce it. Genghis Khan had a memorable, unique name–you don’t have to be beloved for the name to be useful.

The industry that’s the current world champ at bad naming is AI.

ChatGPT is a terrible name. And the trademark office in the US just denied them ownership in GPT, so even if they were a pioneer, that’s gone now. It’s hard to tell the story when you don’t know what to call it. isn’t particularly distinctive (something about the phonemes make me keep forgetting it, and without a bookmark, I’d never find it again), and Gemini walks away from the huge value that Google has invested into the name of their search engine.

Louise wrote the book on it.

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