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Firms Naming Common Areas After Places

Posted April. 01, 2006 03:00,   


“K,” a new employee at Overture, an online advertising company, received an order from his boss, saying, “We have a meeting on Jeju Island at 9:00 a.m. Please for prepare the meeting now.”

Upon hearing the order, he began to pack a travel bag, saying, “It is great that we have a meeting on Jeju Island. My company is different.” However, his co-workers didn’t move. Later, he found that Jeju Island was the name of a meeting room.

These days, it is becoming trendy to name common areas in companies such as meeting rooms and libraries after places. Even office supplies such as faxes are susceptible to this trend.

Most of the time, company management philosophies and product titles are used for the names. But famous resort and food names are also often used.

The employees of Cheil Communication, an advertising company, always line up in front of their “Mt. Yongmun” meeting room because every team that has had a meeting in this room has showed successful results in their business. They believe that the ginkgo tree, a national treasure, in the room gives them the energy to succeed in their work.

Other examples are the meeting rooms of Oricom, an advertising company, which are christened famous resort such as “Maldives,” “Santorini,” and “Capri.” This represents an idea that was created to help employees enjoy boring meetings as if they were in a resort. This company also named its library “always green wood,” to stress that this is a place for employees’ refreshment.

Overture, which names its meeting rooms “Anmyeon Island,” “Hong Island,” and temples’ names such as Gaesim Temple and Seonam Temple, even names its printer the title of foods such as “rib dish,” “kimchi,” “dumpling,” and “ramyeon.” Memorizing food names requires more work from incoming employees because they don’t have labels like the meeting rooms.

At the Daiso, a grocery seller, people often notice new employees who are busy looking for meeting rooms named “sleeping room,” “living room,” and “rest room.” This entitlement is intended to make workers feel as ease as if they were home, as well as give opportunities to meet the needs of everyday lives.

This trend also contributes to strengthening employees’ understanding of the company’s history and its management philosophy and to helping workers memorize the titles of products that the company makes.

Nike Sport Korea uses its history, slogan, product titles, corporate philosophy, and the name of its advertising model as the title of its awards and the names of its places. For example, every year, two top employees received the JDI award, the initials of its slogan, “Just Do It,” and the meeting room is named “1972” room because the company was established in 1972. Another meeting room is also called the “Innovation” room which comes from its management philosophy.

Nike’s advertising models are also incorporated into the titles of its head offices. For example, the name of building with its CEO’s office is the “Michael Jordan” building and the banquet hall and meeting rooms are located in the “Tiger Woods” center. The schools they graduated from and their favorite breads are used as the title of restaurants and stores located in these buildings.

AstraZeneca, a multi-national pharmaceutical company, puts name tags reading “Iressa,” “Zoladex,” “Nexium,” and “Casodex” on meeting rooms, which help workers memorize difficult medical terms.

Some companies even use its employees’ names. Edelman Korea, a multi-national public relations company, elects its top employee every year and uses his or her name as the title of the meeting room for that year, which is intended to remind employees of the contribution of the top workers.

Min-Young Kwak havefun@donga.com