Weather Channel To Name Winter Storms

Well, why not? Why should hurricanes have all the fun? For reference, details are provided in the link below, but really how many details do you need? Ideas like this don’t require a lot of explanation!

The Weather Channel says naming the storms will result in clearer communication about the systems. Seriously? Telling me that “Brutus” (one of the actual names they plan to use) is dumping 3 feet of snow on Buffalo is clearer than just saying Buffalo is getting 3 feet of snow? What’s Brutus got to do with it? Some of the other names they plan to use are Athena, Caesar, Rocky and Zeus.

Obviously someone at The Weather Channel thinks they can drive interest/viewership by naming winter storms. Yes, it is no longer sufficient to have poor Jim Cantore standing in the sleet while a bus rolls by and swamps him with slush. We now need to know that “Brutus” did that to poor Jim. I am sure that will make him feel better.

I understand the fact that identifying things is basic human nature. Everything needs an identifying name. But giving a “human” name to a blizzard is going too far. Where do you draw the line on this one?

Will we start naming high pressure systems? They hang around generally produce lovely weather for a number of days. Personally, I think Athena (goddess of wisdom, courage, and inspiration) makes a better name for a high pressure system than for a winter storm!


Drug Names Gone Wild

I just saw that a new incontinence drug has been approved. The FDA approved Myrbetriq for Overactive Bladder.

As a consumer, I must say…”HUH?” What is a Myrbetriq? How do I pronounce it? What is it for?

Have pharmaceutical companies gone insane? I’ve named Rx drugs before and I can tell you that the landscape is not a simple one due to numerous FDA regulations about implying benefits in the name and numerous potential trademark issues.

But I have never resorted to choosing random letters out of a hat…which is the only explanation I can come up with for why Astellas Pharma US, Inc. chose this name.

Seriously!?!  Hey Astellas Pharma…please keep me in mind for your next Rx drug. I am certain I can do better (can’t do much worse!).


What The Heck Is Going On?

I’m beginning to think the world is losing it. This month we have witnessed incredible stupidity in name development. As a professional name developer, I am appalled.

Let’s play a game. This is the name of a new company: Mondelez International. What does Mondelez International make? Give up? Continue reading


What’s in a name? That which we call an iPad by any other name would sell as well.

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet." William Shakespeare

With apologies to William Shakespeare, the title of this post reflects the fact that you could call “The New iPad” pretty much anything and it would be a gangbuster seller.

But why not have a proper naming architecture? Because this is Apple, and doing the predictable is not what they do. At least that is what Phil Schiller, Apple’s Senior VP of Marketing, said Continue reading


The Dangers of Name Fusion

I illustrated several “Naming Faux Pas” in a blog post a while ago ( but I just found an example of a common naming practice taken to the extreme.

The naming practice is that of “word fusion” where you develop a name by bonding two or more words together and you overlap similar portions. For example, you create a new name BRUSHOG by overlapping the letter “h” in combining the words BRUSH and HOG. It is a commonly used naming practice, but sometimes it goes very wrong. Here is a perfect example of when it should not be done: Continue reading


Mascots Are Brands Too

In a recent newspaper article ( the local sports editor presented some unusual team mascots that exist in our area and across the country. For example, in the Greater Pittsburgh area we have Big Macs (Canon-McMillan), Talbots (Hampton), Planets (Mars Area), Maples (Mapletown), Mighty Mikes (Carmichaels) and Hillers (Trinity). The Big Macs of Canon-McMillan were not named after the iconic McDonald’s sandwich, despite the fact that the McDonald’s Big Mac was invented in Western Pennsylvania (

But some schools have crazier names, including the Yuma High School (Arizona) "Criminals," the Laurel Hill High (Florida) "Hoboes," and the Frankfort High (Indiana) "Hot Dogs."

So what’s up with the crazy mascot names? Continue reading


A Blast From The Past

At the North American International Auto Show, Dodge unveiled the 2013 Dodge Dart. This is not the first time Dodge has returned to a historic nameplate rather than introduce a new name. A few years ago Dodge reintroduced the muscle car, Challenger.

The new Dodge Dart sounds like a great car. It reflects its Fiat connection by using the mechanical platform of a vehicle by Alfa Romeo, a Fiat-owned brand in Europe. This is the first Chrysler vehicle to be built using Fiat architecture under an arrangement that had been expected to yield such benefits when Fiat accepted what was left of Chrysler from the U.S. government in 2009. This Dart is loaded with technology and attention to detail that is not normally found in a compact car.

So why didn’t Dodge use that same level of detail in selecting a name? Continue reading


Cell Phone Name Generator

As a build on my earlier post on Samsung’s smartphone naming structure, I discovered a website that the manufacturers of Android Smartphones can use to develop names.  The amusing part is that it really does generate names that are similar to “real” names given to smartphones. Here it is: Continue reading


Samsung Naming Confusion

Last year Samsung announced that it was establishing a new naming structure for its Galaxy smartphone product line.  This was so that people could better understand the phone they were buying by reading the letter in the name. The new naming architecture grouped its devices into five classes, each identified by a single alphabetical letter. Sounds simple, right? Well, as they say, the devil is in the details. Continue reading


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