Train of Thought – It’s all in how you think about it

I named my first ad agency ‘Train of Thought’ because the phrase succinctly described what we do — we stimulate thought patterns by creating compelling visual and verbal dialogs. I also liked the name because it was a familiar phrase that nearly everyone uses.

People often ask me why there is no train in our logo. We’re not a train company, (though I do occasionally receive calls from people asking how much a ticket to Portland costs), so I don’t want people to think of trains when they hear the name Train of Thought. I want them to think of thought processes and connections that stimulate action.

I have long been fascinated by the array of interpretations available to people when combining language and visuals. How we interpret visuals is largely based on instance familiarity, but how we interpret language is based more on knowledge and emphasis. Good, well thought out, clear messages guide how people interpret what they read.

Everyone forms their own opinions about the messages to which we are exposed on a daily basis. Take, for instance, a post on Biznik last week by Bill Harding, who was looking for a co-founder. Biznik co-founder, Dan McComb, wrote in to say that perhaps what Bill really wanted were people to fill specific roles. At first, I thought maybe he needed a business partner. After reading a blog post by David Seah today titled, Scheming vs Collaborating, I think maybe Bill really needs a schemer, which would make an instantly negative connotation for most people, but is intended as a positive. Check it out here: David Seah: Scheming vs Collaborating.

Kelly Hobkirk - teaching marketers how to harness strategy, goals, reality, and purpose to connect and do better work.


Kelly Hobkirk has been helping companies succeed in creative ways for nearly 25 years. His work has been featured in Time Magazine, and books by Rockport and Rotovision. Get exclusive articles when you sign up for his monthly newsletter.

Thank you! This is going to feel good.

2 comments Write a comment

  1. Aint’ that the truth! I need a schemer, and I need a way to advertise that I need a schemer without entitling my job postings “Wanted: Ultimate Schemer.”

    Of course, finding the right words to describe what it is I want AND ensuring that those words will resonate with my target audience makes the challenge doubly tough.

    You’re lucky to have found a combination of words to aptly and succinctly describe the service you provide. That can be a very challenging proposition.

  2. Maybe I got lucky, Bill. Try looking up ‘schemer’ in a thesaurus. I found the following: architect, bridge monkey, builder, contriver, designer, deviser, director, inventor, manager, manipulator, motorman, originator, planner, schemer, surveyor, techie, technie.

    I like motorman the best. Maybe motorwoman.

    Finding the right words rarely takes as long as finding the right person.

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