A rose by any other name

How many articles, books, and blog posts have this as a title?  I'm not even going to google it--go ahead if you want to.

But the question is, would it smell as sweet?  More and more studies show how subject our perceptions are to context, expectation, and the inherent hacked-together nature of our sensory circuits.  We think we perceive things, but that is largely an illusion.  Sometimes this happens even when we are prepared for it:  even if you know the lines in the optical illusion are actually straight, you see them as curved.

But when Juliet goes into her semiotic discussion of Romeo's name (Romeo and Juliet, Act II Scene II) she's misleading us--part of the excitement of Romeo is that he is forbidden, a bad boy Montague.  If he changed his name, he'd be less interesting.

A company name is that way too.  It seems like no big deal--let's call ourselves something, people know how good we are at what we do, after all, it won't make much difference.  Only it can, it really can.  People, even in their professional capacities, make capricious and arbitrary decisions all the time.  They don't t hink they do, of course.  If holding something warm makes you think of a new person you meet as having a warmer personality, without your having any idea that you're being influenced, you have to know that a company's name can influence you at an unconscious level.

Now, this doesn't necessarily mean that you need to drop half a million dollars on that plausible branding company's year-long rebranding scheme, but it does mean you shouldn't take it for granted.  And you should give it the time and resources it deserves.

This is occupying a certain amount of my time at work, with a fair amount of stress.