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David Placek, founder and president of Lexicon Branding, is responsible for driving Lexicon’s strategic and creative vision. Under his leadership, Lexicon Branding has continued to focus on the development of brand names and brand architectures that make significant contributions to the sales and marketing goals of its clients. For over 30 years, David has been the author of an unconventional approach to creativity, using small teams, linguists, and computer modeling to create new ideas. His approach has led to the development of such category-changing names as Sonos, Pentium, Swiffer, and BlackBerry. Because of these global brands, Lexicon has been described as one of the most influential brand-development firms in the world. According to David, traditional views on naming are wrong. The purpose of a name is not to “capture the product’s positioning” or “tell a story in one word.” The purpose of a name is twofold: first, give the new idea power, and second, begin the process of helping people think differently about products in a category.  Press play on this fun and fascinating T4C episode and learn how David built Lexicon Branding even though he never studied branding or marketing!


  • What is the process of creating a strong brand name such as Swiffer, Sonos or BlackBerry
  • Why a brand name should leave consumers guessing rather than being too specific
  • Why good brand names are crucial in today’s distracted-consumer society
  • What is the difference between being ‘distinctive’ and ‘differentiating’ and which one is better suited for the branding industry
  • How David went from working on a political campaign to advertising and branding
  • How financial challenges shaped David into a better leader
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