When Naming a Product, Always Involve an Advertising Copywriter
I'm reminded of old-time bandleader and party animal Phil Harris who extolled the benefits of serious drinking over being a teetotaler:
Imagine waking up in the morning and knowing that's how you're going to feel all day long.
As a fundraising copywriter—and former 3-martinis-at-lunch imbiber without fail—I could generate serious emotion using Laura Hillenbrand's desperate struggle to live with chronic fatigue.
The Brits copywriter has a tougher time. "Myalgic Encephalomyelitis" ain't very sexy sounding.
Enter Doctors With a Scheme to Eliminate the Cure
What triggered this column David Tuller's New York Times story of 10 February 2015: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Gets a New Name.
The Institute of Medicine on Tuesday proposed a new name and new diagnostic criteria for the condition that many still call chronic fatigue syndrome.
An institute panel recommended that the illness be renamed "systemic exertion intolerance disease," a term that reflects what patients, clinicians and researchers all agree is a core symptom: a sustained depletion of energy after minimal activity, called postexertional malaise.
The new name "really describes much more directly the key feature of the illness, which is the inability to tolerate both physical and cognitive exertion," said Dr. Peter Rowe, a member of the panel and a pediatrician at Johns Hopkins who treats children with the condition.
Takeaways to Consider
- Systemic Exertion Intolerance Disease??????
- Can you imagine writing copy for the Systemic Exertion Intolerance Disease Fund?
- With a name like that, this dreadful affliction will be around as long as mankind inhabits Planet Earth—and the next ones.
- When naming a product or service always involve an advertising copywriter who will be charged with making the case for it.
- Pay well for your copywriter's advice.
- Always exclude the following from product naming decisions: doctors, scientists, bean counters and lawyers.