Bracket: The Story Behind the Name

A name should be worth a thousand words.

That is, a brand name should be able to simplify a complex set of ideas into a single word.

That was the creative challenge Operative Words faced creating a new name for a division of United BioSource, a Medco-owned company that, among other things, helps pharmaceutical companies run efficient and effective clinical trials.

Three key features of my client's organization were factored into name development: people, process and precision.

People, that is the people who work at the company, are responsible for helping solve their pharmaceutical clients clinical trial challenges; their people write the brilliant software that helps clinical trials run remarkably efficiently and effectively; and people are the ultimate beneficiaries of the company's know-how as new and better medicines are launched into the market.

Process is tantamount to the whole category of clinical trials. A clinical trial is a process, so even though process generally would not be differentiating, the articulation of my client's special brand of process could be.

Precision characterizes well-run clinical trials; it reflects research data that is complete and pinpoint accurate; and it corresponds with the carefully defined parameters of valid and projectable product studies.

Creative name development followed these paths. The ultimate name was discovered while thinking about the people who worked at UBC and how they treated their clients. I dived into the notion of support. One of my resources is a great desktop application called Word Menu. It's also available in book form, but the software let's you do things that you can't do with a book.

Word Menu lists words and their definitions in categories. So if you look under 'fish', you'll find a list of different types of fish. If you look up 'action words', you'll find dozens of those. It's quite handy.

Typing in 'support' -- a key attribute of my client -- into Word Menu's search box returned 490 results, each of which was an entry or definition that included the word 'support'. In that list, I found 'bracket'.

Brackets do indeed provide support. But the word 'bracket' says more than that. A good name like Bracket is polysemous, it has many meanings.  Brackets provide support, and, as symbols, they are endemic in clinical trial reports. Brackets are used to indicate subsets; they delineate and thus suggest precision. The word 'bracket' sounds smart and strong.  And, as a real word, it's easy to relate to and understand, unlike some of my client's competitors who have Latinate coined names that are alien and institutional.

Miraculously, Bracket was also available as a trademark.

The denotations and connotations of Bracket are perfect for a company that wants to reinforce precision and support. It demonstrates that a name with many meanings will ultimately fit one company perfectly when presented in a real-world business context.

Bracket illustrates that just one name can be worth a thousand words.