Shakespeare wrote, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” I’ve used it a lot over the years to talk about brands and brand differentiation. So here it is again. This time with a qualification.
Sure, a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, unless smelling it kills you! Or causes the development of diffuse blood clots.
It’s a thought that’s nagged at me over the past two weeks, and some of those thoughts appear in Jack Neff’s AdAge article, “What now for Johnson & Johnson, as brand-boosting vaccine turns to crisis.”
All vaccines have side-effects; injection site pain, fatigue, headaches, and joint pain. The Covid-19 vaccines? A lot fewer than the list of “side effects may include. . .” warning words in your average pharma drug TV commercial.
And Shakespeare? Well, he always knew the right thing to say. But in this particular instance, I’m going with Miguel de Cervantes. He wrote, “Words have meaning, but names have power.”
We’ll see what that means for Johnson & Johnson.
Be well and safe.
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