If you think of any place in the world where people can connect by saying, “Oh yes, I’ve been there or I’ve always wanted to go,” that place most likely has a name.
Disneyland, The Koh Phi Phi Islands in Thailand, The Great Wall of China…
And some of the most iconic places in the world are buildings…but you know what they all have in common? A name!
The Taj Mahal, the Palace of Versailles, the Vatican, the Burj Khalifa, the Space Needle, the Chrysler Building, World Trade Center, Coit Tower, the list goes on and on…
Why are these names memorable? Because naming a building puts it on the map. In a sense, it becomes unbound by precise location or numbers. It becomes an entity that can be located by anyone, anywhere in the world. I mean, you don’t have to be from Paris to know where the Eiffel Tower is…you just know.
How different would the Salesforce Building be if it was just The 415 Mission St. Building? Would it be memorable?
In a concrete jungle like San Francisco, it’s easy to forget addresses no matter how stunning or remarkable the actual building is.
Naming rights vary because it usually lies in the lease agreement. Tenants will dish out more money if they want rights to a building name that will be associated with their business. But, it’s a delicate subject because some tenants don’t want to be settled in a building named after a competitor. So, the tenant naming the building must be taking a majority of the building space, much like the Salesforce Building.
The art of naming a building stems from a desire to provide an identity and prestige that will not just attract tenants but create a history–something that withstands time. Think of all the buildings in SF that have been named after an individual (i.e The Phelan, Flood, or Hobart Building)