5Ron Pizzuti, real estate developer in Orlando and Columbus, called one day to ask Young Isaac to name the first-of-its-soaring-kind-in-Columbus downtown residential tower.

Today, Miranova is an architectural landmark, but Ron’s tale is instructive if you are thinking about naming, or re-naming, a product, a company, or your own luxury residential tower. Here’s how it happened from Young Isaac’s perspective. (Ron tells this story. If he didn’t, we wouldn’t.)

Time was short.
Ron was on a deadline. There was a technical reason that he had to pause in the sticks-and-stones development work and come up with a specific name. He had a good one in mind: Sutton Place. The name rang with class and, happily, borrowed his wife Ann’s maiden name. But Sutton Place was already taken. A Google search today reveals many Sutton Places. For his original project, Ron would never settle for a used name.

"Bring me a name," said Ron.

Young Isaac had worked with Ron before, so we knew the drill. Ron has as much taste as any client. He really knows what he wants. Problem is, he just won’t say what it is. The process required earnest, principled, prolific brainstorming, based on research and strategy.

On the appointed day, we walked over to Ron’s office and flipped him through 150 potential names.

Nothing. Crickets. Ron said, "Guess again."

Five days later, we were back with 150 fresh names.

Nothing. More crickets. Ron said, "Guess again."

"No, Ron," we said. "We can’t guess again. Throw us a bone. Tell us which name you like best and why."

Ron liked Segovia. It sounded European and sophisticated. But, like Sutton Place, it was taken. Segovia is the famed classical guitarist and his hometown in Spain. So Segovia was out. But we had critical feedback that could guide us in the reading of Ron’s mind and heart.

Two days later, during a group meditation on how this tower represented a new look at living downtown, Young Isaac copywriter Steve Susi (now with Brand Spanking New York) suggested "Miranova." "Mira" (look) + "nova" (new) = "Miranova."

Off we went to Ron with only three names this time. (Nobody remembers the other two.)

How Ron Tested His Name
Ron really liked Miranova, but needed to run the following three-part test:

1. He asked Ann. She liked it. "That’s important," thought Ron. "The name has to play well at home."

2. He asked friend and Columbus Symphony Orchestra maestro, Alessandro Siciliani. Alessandro is a dramatic conductor; when he gets artistic, his red handkerchief pops out of his breast pocket. Ron said, "Miranova." Alessandro’s red handkerchief popped out. "That’s important," thought Ron. "The name has to be creative."

3. He asked the butcher at Carfagna’s Italian Market. Ron asked over the counter, "What’s ‘Miranova‘ mean?" The answer: "Look new? Sounds good, Ron!" "That’s important," thought Ron. "If this was the name of a bad bar in Milan or a bad magazine, this fellow would know it."

Does this test sound odd to you? Consider: of the five biggest decisions I’ve made during my life (who to marry, where to live, what to do for a living, when to have kids, what to name them), four of them were made under the influence of beer. Why should we expect any client to have a more scientific decision process?

Today, Miranova rises proudly downtown, a testament to the foresight and investment of Ron Pizzuti and his neighbors in Miranova.