Names and Strategies (09-09-20)

Researchers have linked having an uncommon name to implementing uncommon strategies.  Zhang, Kang, and Zhu found that “If you’re looking for an unconventional approach to doing business, select a CEO with an uncommon name. . . . ‘Using 19 years of data on 1,172 public firms, we show that firms’ distinctive strategies are systematically linked to their CEOs’ uncommon names,’” wrote [the] co-authors. . . . . ‘This is consistent with findings from psychological research that successful professionals who have uncommon names tend to view themselves as more special, unique, interesting and creative,’ they wrote. Developing and implementing unique business strategies is ‘critical for firms to obtain competitive advantage and achieve superior performance,’ according to the authors.”

Avery Franklin. 2020. “Study:  CEOs with Uncommon Names Tend to Implement Unconventional Strategies.” Press release, Rice University,