What’s in a Name?


When Richard asked me to be a “guest blogger” on his new
Global Toy News site, I happily accepted the invitation.  Our business is built on the notion of
helping other businesses experience profitable growth, and I love sharing
success stories and nuggets of insight amongst our clients.  It only seemed natural, then, to share some
of this “street wisdom” with a broader audience.

Jet Set copy At Revenew Sales, we act as consultants and sales agents to
some of the best small companies in the toy & Game industry.  When you do what we do in the trenches every
day, timely business issues are plentiful and content is readily available and
relevant. So coming up with the requisite 500 words is not the problem.  Rather, the one thing that has gnawed at me
since Richard’s invite is “What the heck should I name the blog???”

There’s an irony here, in that this is just the type of
thing against which we would adamantly counsel our clients.  I’ve been with startups and Fortune 500
companies alike, and have seen countless hours wasted agonizing over the naming
of a new game, toy, grocery item – hell, even a roll of paper towels.  Nowhere does this effort seem more wasted
than in our industry, where the success of a toy or game relies more on an
intricate yet random stew of marketing, price point, timing, trend, a little
voodoo, a lot of luck, and the occasional spot on Oprah.  After all, where else can a word game in a
banana-shaped pouch (Bananagrams) generate millions of dollars of revenue over
almost ten years?  In which other
industry could an annoying, sleepless electronic hamster (Zhu-Zhu Pets)
enthrall millions of kids while tormenting their parents with incessant clicks
and squeaks???  Does the name really play
a major part in the success of either of these products?

The message here is that, while the name of your
product/company/blog may be one component of its potential, there are others
that are far more important.  Rather than
fret about creating the next great brand name, we should be devoting more
thought to things like “What do our Customers want?”, “Is this a compelling
product?”, or (perhaps the most critical): “How do we actually make money doing

So at the last minute, I decided to take my own advice, stop
fretting, and settle on a less-than-earth-shattering name for the blog:
“Shaken, Not Stirred”.  It’s a nod to my
belief that disruptive technologies and innovation each play a huge role in our
industry.  And that companies need to
look – aggressively – for ways to reinvent themselves and continue to push the
boundaries.  And that entrepreneurs
sometimes need a good shakeup to go beyond an often singular view of their

That, and the fact that I do like a good martini…

time around, we’ll look at the pivotal question: “Who cares?”

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