The Value Of A Name

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It takes years to build the value of a name and only minutes to destroy it. Your name defines who you are, as a name relates to your reputation. A name is all about identity and is a connecting point. If you don’t know the name of a stranger, you have no connection with that person.

Proverbs says ‘A good name is to be chosen, rather than riches. It is better than silver or gold.’

Names carry deep personal, cultural, familial, and historical connections. They also give us a sense of who we are, the communities in which we belong, and our place in the world. People listen to your surname and often associate it with a country, in particular older people. A long time ago names were associated with a person’s work, or the son of, like, Thompson, son of Tom. Johnson, son of John. These uses of names has long faded in the Whispers through Time.

The Value Of A Name Is Built On Reputation

However, a name still has great importance. A name is all about attributes and proven performance. This is based on the experience you have with the owner of that name. Our aim is that the name ‘Whispering Encouragement’ will be a voice of quality and entertainment, encouraging and informing women.

You hear a voice and recognize it. Your mind searches your memory and past associations you have had with that person, be they friend or foe. That reputation is set in stone in your mind, and it takes a lot to dislodge that association.

Authors and artists evolve a name. You hear the name and instantly associate certain things with that name. You know what their ‘voice’ sounds like and instantly accept or reject that person. When I go to a library or a second-hand bookshop, I scan the books looking for certain names. I’m not an adventurous reader when it come to relaxation, but have a ‘stable’ of favourite authors that I enjoy.

Name Associations

What comes to mind when you see the name Coca Cola? Barbecues, picnics, cool and refreshing, parties, etc. What about the iconic Australian Hills Hoist clotheslines, or Aspirin? You hear someone called Sunday, you instantly think of days of the week. All this is name association, though today children are given the strangest names. I think parents follow their own fancy, rather than the responsibility of giving a name a child can easily live with. “Come here Sunday. Don’t do that Sunday. What day of the week is it Sunday?” Confused?

You go to a class reunion and see a familiar face or name. What do you associate with that name? Good student, troublemaker, bully, shy, womanizer, etc.? That association was built through your time with that person.

A name creates an emotion, whether the name be related to a product, an area, or a person. The name of a suburb affects the price of property. It also affects the price of a car. Would you expect to find a cheap Ferari or Linguine? A cheap one would probably point to it being stolen. Instantly, there is a certain association with the name.

Mention the name of some cars and you instantly think ‘expensive’. When you see a small family saloon with a Mercedes Benz on the boot, something is amiss. The company spent years chasing the elite market, so they have difficulty breaking into the family market.

Negative Signals

A good name is meant to ensure a certain quality, for example, Coca Cola, or Nike shoes. It is disappointing when something does not hold to the name’s reputation. You expect a teacher, preacher, CEO etc., to behave in a certain manner. Politicians have their own peculiar reputation, according to how you view them.

Names send out signals. What do you think about when you see a big Mac sign? The letter ‘M’ sends out a message, screaming loudly above all the other dozens of messages being sent. That is why promoters make the ‘M’ the biggest and brightest. Neon signs were a wonder when they first appeared among the city lights.

Then there are negative signals. Humans have long memories. Give a product a bad name and it sticks.

Ask an older person what they remember about Tylenol? They remember the time the product had to be withdrawn from the shelves, because someone had injected something into a packet of Tylenol. Car companies know that recalls impacts negatively on sales. Too many recalls and the company can quickly face bankruptcy.

Bad news sells quicker than any other and bad events stick in the mind. Car companies aim for customer safety, so recalls become a way of life. An accident from a faulty part is unthinkable for high-rated companies. Their ‘name’ is a high priority. Our body might be fearfully and wonderfully made, but the mind and its memory are a long-lasting minefield.

Consistency plus time is the only thing that builds a name or a brand, both for humans and for a product. A name becomes a brand when a particular trait or quality is associated with that name. There is no shortcut to building a good reputation. Whereas a bad reputation can be built in the blink of an eye.


Nicknames have proved to be a psychological barrier as they are usually the result of people’s negative attitude towards you. It is how other people view you and how you will eventually view yourself.

Despite being a universal feature of school life and politics, educationists have linked nicknaming to lack of self-esteem and poor performance. A person can spend a lifetime trying to break away from a nickname they were given at school. Often, people only remember the nickname.

Most nicknames express contempt or dislike, while others say something about a person’s physical description. You never hear a nickname linked to tittles like ‘Beautiful’ or ‘Clever’, but you quickly hear things that refer to stupidity or ineptness.

One of the anomalies to this was Justice Ruth Ginsburg, who was nicknamed the ‘Notorious R.B.G.’ It was coined in admiration on the diminutive woman’s prowess on the American Supreme Court. She stood for Womanomics par excellence.

The Value Of A Name In Hebrew

In Hebrew, the value of a name had special meaning and was changed when the person’s status, o heart changed. Jacob means usurper, but there came a day when he became Israel, ‘wrestles with God’. Abram, meaning ‘exalted father’ became Abraham ‘father of many.’

God put His name in the Tabernacle, then in the Temple. The meaning is, that where your name is, you are. When you see the big ‘M’ of McDonalds, that is where the food is being sold. God chose to put His name in Jerusalem, and Israel was to be His witness to the world.

Put My Name There

Moses’ Tabernacle and Solomon’s Temple were designed as the place where God placed His Name. Read through the books of Samuel, Kings and Chronicles and see how many times placing the ‘name of God’ is mentioned. The place of God’s name was vitally important, as it was where the people connected with Yahweh. When they turned away from the place of the name of God, they ended up in serious trouble and the nation was taken into captivity.

Christians have inherited a name that is more valuable than any surname. It is the name all believers in Christ have: ‘Christian’. It’s not just something you fill in on official forms. Sadly, many wrong things have been done in the name of Christianity.

Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. You are the place where those in your sphere of influence connect with God. Just having the name Christian makes you a person of influence. You are God’s witness on earth, just by what you stand for. You have a valuable name that is beyond price. God has placed His name on you and you are His ‘voice‘ to a world in chaos.

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    Wendy is an Inspirational Freelance Writer specializing in offering encouragement to women in all walks of life.

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