Traffic and names with stopping power

I recently finished reading Traffic: Why we drive the way we do (and what it says about us). The author, Tom Vanderbilt, makes revelations that are surprising and counterintuitive.

For example, roads in crowded areas that are built as safely as possible are actually more prone to accidents. Populating a roadway with signs warning of children, speed bumps, guardrails, curbs, and so on, free drivers up from paying careful attention. The result is that drivers let their guard down and are more likely to have accidents. The signs themselves, also ironically, distract from actual hazards on the road. If you're looking at a sign that says "hazards ahead" you might not notice the hazards ahead.

On the other hand, if the road seems dangerous and there are obvious hazards, drivers are likely to be ever-alert and drive more cautiously. Children actually playing on the side of the road will do more to reduce the likelihood of accidents than a sign warning us to watch for children playing.

The principle is that if the road doesn't command our attention, we don't pay attention.

It's the same with brand names.

Names similar to others don't command attention; they blend in with their environment.
Descriptive names don't command attention; they fail to engage our minds and imagination.
Names that are initials don't command attention; they have no meaning.

Consumers' autopilot glides right past unremarkable names, going scarcely noticed.

On the other hand, names that commands attention because they are unexpected and violate conventions simply cannot be ignored.

Brand names should have stopping power.

2 comments:

  1. This article has been translated into Spanish by Tridimage. You'll find it here.

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  2. You are right Anth, domain names should be creatively crafted so that it will be captivating.

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