…or, how Be Radish came to be.
Naming something, whether a product, a business, or a blog is only easy when you’re not trying. The conversation usually goes like this, “Duck Fat! What a great name for a band!” But when it comes to the serious business of scouting and selecting a perfect name, it’s not elementary. A bad name can sink your product long before it even sets sail. We’re all very clever when it doesn’t count.
And so it was with Be Radish.
It was the 11th hour in the 9th inning, all hands were on deck and our marketing team was locking horns behind closed doors. We were in a deep dive and were intersecting one another’s swim lanes in search of the perfect name.
The bottom line was, it was time to bring it to the table. We’d gotten the buy-in from our silent partner aka business manager and he’d asked us to circle back with him by EOD. He was overseeing the bigger picture.
“I need a game plan and a viable name if you want me to secure some face time with the C-suite investors,” Mr. Fish said. “There’s no way I can convince them to drink the kool-aid without a few options and I’ve got too much skin in this game to turn back now.”
“Please,” he continued, “tap into your core competencies and leverage your synergies. I’m asking you to break down your silos, pick up your bootstraps and give me something that’s game changing.”
It was obvious things were coming to a boiling point. I’d been told that ‘anything more than a sentence or two from Fish meant trouble.’ He was a man of few words until shit was hitting the proverbial fan.
Serenity now I prayed.
It was time for us to get our ducks in row. He’d been empowering us to figure this out as a unit but time and time again members of our tiger team were seen jockeying for position. Everyone wanted to be the hero – the one that pushed the envelope and nailed it. When all was said and done, if we didn’t produce, people would be getting axed.
“Yes, Fish,” I vowed. “ We don’t want to miss our window of opportunity and we know it’s time to ramp up.”
“Ramp up?!?!” he bellowed. “You think I’m asking you to ramp up? I’m asking you to drill down, hunker down and think outside the box! Move the damn needle! We are literally right on the bleeding edge. I can sense it. But if we can’t find the right name we might as well be boiling the ocean.”
Fish rarely got so fired up. We were all in the hot seat and it was time for us to pivot and color outside the lines.
“I’m going to lunch and will be out of pocket,” Fish continued, “But I’ll touch base in an hour to see if you’ve got something to run up the flagpole. And remember, we’re not just putting lipstick on a pig here. We need something disruptive. In the meantime, I want one throat to choke. So, who’s it going to be?”
“I’m glad you asked, Fish,” Barry offered, “I’ve always thought we’ve had too many chiefs and not enough Indians. I shall pilot the ship.“
“Barry will be on point today. Anyone opposed?” Fish asked.
Barry was the newest member of our marketing team and up to this point had shown very little value-add. But he was willing to take the fall and the reins. Our skepticism was disguised as silence.
“Fine then, Fish said.” “Now, mobilize your innovative strategies and whatever you do don’t tell me we don’t have enough boots on the ground.” He turned and left.
Barry stood up and headed for the easel pad. “Okay, you guys ready to square the circle?” he asked. “I’ve got a baseline concept if you’re willing to blue sky it and get an idea shower going. ” We had a lot on the line and much to lose but these sessions were running their course. Fish could just as easily return from lunch with an exit strategy.
“I was listening to my collection of Classic Rock LPs last week,” Barry started, “and wondered if we hadn’t been looking a gift horse in the mouth. Why don’t I open the kimono on a few ideas and with luck, we can get our creative juices flowing.”
There were no options. We had to go along for the ride as we were at mission-critical and had to get on board.
He took the cover off the red pen and turned to the blank sheet of paper and started to scribble:
H O U S E O F T H E R I S I N G R A D I S H
We all stared in disbelief but knew we were on a burning platform.
Emily jumped in first, “Stairway to Radish.”
“Take me to the Radish!” yelled Lothar.
“Back in Radish!” said Sean, “Imagine the financial support from ACDC?”
“All Along the Radish Tower!” Lothar followed.
“No, no, I’ve got it,” Emily interrupted, “Bohemian Rhapso-dish…”
“Don’t Stop Believin – in my Radish”
The hits just kept on coming.
“Sweet Home Ala-Radish!”
“Born to Radish”
“Like a Rolling Radish”
“Feel Like Making Radish!”
“No, I’ve got it, I’ve got this,” Barry said, “Don’t Fear the Radish!”
And on it went, for an hour. We covered the top 100 classic rock songs and sprinkled our version of patriotism with “Star Spangled Radish” along the way. When Fish returned, he fixed his eyes flatly upon the red ink, barely breathing or blinking. Lacking any emotion, he turned to his S.W.A.T team and calmly stated, “At this juncture, all of your positions have been transferred to India.”
He turned to leave, strolling almost robotically out the door. Putting the cart before the horse with nothing fully-baked I blurted, “Fish wait! Wait! Why can’t we just be radish?”
Fish looked at me and said, “We won’t be offering raises this year but we can give you a title promotion.”
And that was how I became the editor of Be Radish and how Be Radish came to be.
Editor’s note: Barry is now employed by Earthlink as a Senior Tech Advisor at a call center located in India. Emily manages a COMCAST customer service S.W.A.T. team also located in India. Lothar is the Chief Physicist in charge of uncovering the relationship between String Theory and Customer Service Anger Management Theory (CSAMT) for a number of high profile USA-based companies with call centers located in both India and the Philippines. He resides in India. The remnants of the marketing team work for Emily, also in India.