What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. But seriously folks, names are important.

We visualize things and sometimes even conjure up the memory of tastes and smells based on what something is called. Names can help shape someone’s personality or brand, or can be used in…how shall I put this…completely “unique” ways that have many of us guessing at the mental stability of said namers. What am I talking about? For one, this article I came across on Mashable that discusses how people are naming their kids “Facebook,” “Batman” and, oh-my-goodness-they-did-not, yup-they-did, “Like.”

Can you imagine Juliet calling out from her balcony, “Facebook, oh Facebook, wherefore art thou, Facebook? Deny the privacy allegations, and refuse the Twitter takeover. Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love and I will no longer will use Gmail as my source of communication.”

I get that being creative is cool and wanting to name your children something unique is very appealing. However, you may find that creativity—or what you think is creative—could backfire. My family’s choice of pet names, for example, has been fodder for many jokes told by my friends. Having said that, I still stand behind calling my cute, sweet puppy, Grendel. I just don’t stand behind calling your second dog the same name as your first dog. And calling your kid “Like” is a bit extreme.

I’ve been through a couple of corporate branding projects where we had to choose names for sub-brands and new products. There was a lot of thought that went into it. Serious research, evaluations, feedback, trademark background searches, design input—in other words, it was a thoughtful process.

So is it good or bad that coming up with your child’s brand name does not require a vote by a committee, or trademark research, or even an okay from Granny? What do you think? What’s your favorite, most unique name you’ve ever heard for a child or a company? What kind of messes have companies experienced because names didn’t translate they way they thought they would? Here are some classic examples. And if you “Like” this post, then please hit the “Like” button and share it with your friends.

Brand names gone wrong
I love my new job! I work at the Boring company!
Ox tongue ice cream; branding gone wrong
Yummy! Ox tongue flavor ice cream!
Soon Fatt restaurant; branding gone wrong
I want my Chinese take out without the guilt trip please.