What’s in a name: Brexit?
Does the name matter? Romeo famously asked “What’s in a name? “ He went on to say that a rose would smell as sweet even if not called a rose. He was really talking about surnames – Montague and Capulet – that did matter.
“Brexit!. Sheer genius. It is snappy, and tweetable. It has life, brings together two ideas and makes them part of the same word.
All the media coverage over the vote was angled round the word. Pro Brexit or anti Brexit.
The power of the word Brexit has spawned many other words – Brexiteer, and Frexit, Nexit and maybe Swexit.
It is very hashtagable. But the Leave side had a snappy hashtag too #takebackcontrol
Which has also made a big impact. The idea that control had gone and can be easily reassumed led to the idea that we can “take back our bordesr” (where did they go?) and the statement by Donald Trump that we had “got our country back”.
What name did the Remain camp own?
Nothing. The boring stay at home status quo vote was never going to be as exciting as the go-off-and-seek-your-fortune vote. Like the Devil, the Brexiters had the best tunes and the best command of English.
I think the words themselves may have contributed to the recent vote. As we all know in business the more we see something the more we start to take it for granted. Brexit the word received massive press coverage which may have helped the concept.
Words are powerful. Words help the cause. Words in the shape of a good name help your business – or business idea – to be remembered by others, used by others, and ultimately means that people feel comfortable with the word. If you can “own” the right words online and in the mind of your prospects and customers your path to success is easier.
The key words – names – for our actions were “Remain” and “Leave.”
I use the word “leave” in everyday life. I don’t think about it. “We are leaving now .. I will leave in a minute … Shall we leave the garden gate open … leave the bins out” The word fits everyday usage.
What about Remain? “I will remain here … the garden gate can remain open … the bins can remain out”?
Who talks like this? Nobody. The word is not in our everyday language. It has no vitality. I have never used it in a natural context.
You get the point. The word for “Remain” is “Stay.”
Words and slogans have to sound good aloud and in your head. RemaIN – the slogan was just a nonsense. It had no cadence and did not work at a simple emotional level.
The word for “Leave” is really “Go”. Although “Leave” is a word in everyday use it lacks vitality. “ Go” sounds more permanent, more powerful, more of a decision.
Did anyone think – really think -about the names for these ideas?