Almost everything on earth has a name in various languages as a point of entry. All names start in someone’s brain, the brain of someone like parents, discoverers, pioneers, inventors, and innovators. Naming is like writing a poem under constraint. You have to evoke shades of meaning in small words, paint a picture with few letters. For commercial products, naming is to link them to ideas that consumers already understand and to make the association vibrate.
Each great name like FedEx, BlackBerry, Porsche or Starbucks has its own story to tell about the new synthetic corporate language. These names are vessels capable of carrying big messages.
By the time I became a software developer and had to create names for drilling software, I was well aware that we live in a world filled with brand names. They are a part of the soundtracks of our lives. Instead of saying a cup of coffee, we say “Go Starbucks.” Mere mention of Chevron reminds us of a giant oil operator, rig floors, gas station, etc. As adman Claude Hopkins writes, the best names “are almost complete advertisements in themselves.”
When we finished our torque and drag program for oil well drilling, I was immediately aware of how hard it was to distinguish a new name from existing ones. At that time, drilling software market was filled with models like DDrag from Maurer Engineering and others. Our torque and drag model is not only for drilling operation, but also covers casing running, casing flotation, packer setting and cementing operations. To capture the broad spectrum of this new torque and drag model, we wanted a name to be more than a label, to have a compelling quality in itself and to flash a dramatically desirable picture in people’s mind. In short, we wanted a name to unlock the power of this new model.
After much brainstorming, we finally settled on TADPRO. A new name was born. I was taken by the symmetry of the name that TAD and PRO have 3 letters each. I felt that a word ending in “O” was approachable and playful. PRO projects a sense of sophistication.
On sound symbolism, when you pronounce the word TAD, it starts out crisp. Both T and D are exploded. Overall, TADPRO delivers a quick, responsive personality. Compared with DDrag, TADPRO is much faster.
Many brand names owned by corporations have gone beyond their original marketing purposes and have become bits and bytes of our modern daily language. We take an Advil and apply ChapStick.
Similarly, someday, drilling engineers, when doing torque and drag analysis for a particular operation, will simply TADPRO operation, just as we FedEx packages.