Brand Naming

Brand Naming: The Complete Guide to Creating a Name for Your Company, Product, or Service

by Rob Meyerson

Which sounds more appetizing: Antarctic toothfish or Chilean seabass? Although they are the same thing, the latter sells much better. Likewise, a brand name can make a positive first impression or set the wrong tone. “‘Tronc to change name back to Tribune Publishing after years of ridicule,’ read one headline in June 2018… A mere 15 months after its announcement, Consignia was returned to sender, replaced by Royal Mail Group.”

Brand naming expert Rob Meyerson shares a process that balances creativity with discipline to avoid such disasters and arrive at “just one deliverable: a strategically optimal, legally available, linguistically viable, client-approved brand name.”

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Man with a Blue Scarf: On Sitting for a Portrait by Lucian Freud

Man with a Blue Scarf: On Sitting for a Portrait by Lucian Freud

by Martin Gayford  

Art critic and author Martin Gayford sat for two portraits by Lucian Freud: a painting which took 40 sittings spanning eight months (November 2003 to July 2004) and an etching over a similar period of time (August 2004 to April 2005). Through the author’s observations and conversations with the artist over many hours working and dining together, this fascinating book describes the studio set up, the artist’s process and quirks, as well as Freud’s views on art and various other artists.

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The Progress Principle: Using Small Wins to Ignite Joy, Engagement, and Creativity at Work

The Progress Principle: Using Small Wins to Ignite Joy, Engagement, and Creativity at Work

by Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer                  

“Inner work life influences people’s performance on four dimensions: creativity, productivity, work commitment, and collegiality… Inner work life matters for companies because, no matter how brilliant a company’s strategy might be, the strategy’s execution depends on great performance by people inside the organization.”

“To a great extent, inner work life rises and falls with progress and setbacks in the work. This is the progress principle and, although it may be most obvious on the best and worst days at work, it operates every day.”

The Progress Principle is the result of primary research by two psychologists who studied 238 knowledge workers from 26 teams in 7 companies representing 3 industries over the course of a team project—generally about 4 months. Participants submitted daily diary forms to the researchers confidentially. The authors cite some positive and negative scenarios, using pseudonyms to disguise the individuals and their employers.

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Excellence Now: Extreme Humanism

Excellence Now: Extreme Humanism

by Tom Peters  

Nearly 40 years after the publication of the über-bestseller In Search of Excellence, Tom Peters has written his 19th book. His insights on organizational effectiveness (and dysfunction) are as relevant as ever. ‎

“In In Search of Excellence, we defined Excellence in terms of long-term performance. But that begs a/the question. How do you achieve that long-term super-effectiveness? … Excellence is not an ‘aspiration.’ Excellence is not a ‘hill to climb.’ Excellence is the next five minutes.”

Given that Peters has two engineering degrees, an MBA, and a PhD in business, you might be surprised by his findings. “Enterprise excellence is about just two things: People. Service. Excellence = Service. Service to one’s teammates, service to one’s customers and vendors, service to our communities.”

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Tom Peters Reads A LOT – Part 2

Tom Peters Reads A LOT – Part 2

In 2018 I reviewed The Excellence Dividend by Tom Peters. One thing I was struck with while reading that book was the astonishing number of books and articles cited throughout the text. I compiled a list of the 137 books and did a companion post called Tom Peters Reads A LOT.

Fast-forward to 2021, I just finished reading Tom’s latest book, Excellence Now: Extreme Humanismhere is my review. I’ve counted 121 books quoted or recommended in the text, listed below in order of first mention. I’ve only read 10 of these. Titles in bold link to my review. Others link to Amazon.com.

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Newberry Color Theory

Newberry-Color-Theory-200

Newberry Color Theory

by Michael Newberry

Whether you are an artist or art appreciator who is curious about the process, this short book provides an interesting explanation of color dynamics using 16 pastel drawings of ocean waves as examples of the system in action. Newberry notes that his color theory was developed after writing about Van Gogh, Cezanne, and Monet for his book Evolution Through Art. “One of the things these artists did was to emphasize the color of vibrations of the air between them and the scene—like looking through a semi-transparent screen window.”

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Intellectual Property and the Law of Ideas

Intellectual Property and the Law of Ideas

by Kurt M. Saunders, J.D., LL.M. 

“Valuable ideas take many directions—ideas for new or improved products, marketing strategies, advertising slogans, manufacturing processes, television show formats and move plots, to name a few.”

“The law of ideas is the area of law involving employees, customers, inventors, and authors, who submit ideas capable of being reduced to practical application to business. It is a somewhat amorphous amalgam of contract law, property law, and tort law precedents that has been stitched together by courts over the years.”

Now there’s a book which pulls it all together.

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Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World

Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World

by David Epstein

“The response, in every field, to a ballooning library of human knowledge and an interconnected world has been to exalt increasingly narrow focus… Both training and professional incentives are aligning to accelerate specialization, creating intellectual archipelagos.”

In Range, David Epstein examines the advantages of having a range of experiences, a broader perspective, an interdisciplinary approach, and the value of flexible thinking and reasoning in a world full complexity and uncertainty where precise, deterministic solutions are unknowable.

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