What’s in a Name? Money, Apparently!

money for namesEach of us has an ego, at least to some extent. Yes, we do – and it’s okay, we can admit it :) Pride in our name is perhaps one very small part of this ego, but it’s a very personally identifiable one.

Some things I’ve observed have got me thinking how this just might be low-hanging fruit when it comes to monetization efforts!

Monetizing Trees? Sure, Why Not!

How would you like to have your name or the name of a loved one on a plaque in front of a tree? In other words, it would signify that the tree is dedicated to whatever you deem worthy.

Would that give you a lot of enjoyment? I’m sure the tree won’t care, so it’s not like you’re causing any inconvenience to anyone.

Well, apparently there are a lot of people that get real enjoyment out of that. I’m not knocking it, as there are clearly sentimental reasons why people would dedicate a tree to someone – particularly a loved one that passed. Not everyone has that reason, as some probably have ego involved too. But whatever the motivation, there are clearly people who would spend money on this.

This came to mind as I walked through a municipal park recently, and this exact thing: trees with plaques. Curious, I did some research and found out that this is actually a part of a program that’s offered in that particular community.

For $200, people can have a tree in a local park “dedicated” as they wish – along with a plaque signifying this dedication.

Now, it’s not like parks don’t have trees or need additional trees. So let’s do the math. Purely hypothetically, let’s say a given community’s parks can comfortably hold 1000 trees in total. If you have dedications for all of them, that’s $200,000 right there!

I mean, we’re talking about $200,000 of incremental revenue (minus some associated costs of course) just for appealing to people’s emotions or vanity – depending on the circumstances. Not bad!

Bricks of Money

It got me thinking of other times I’ve seen people make money in such ways. One instance years ago was at a popular bar and grill. They had bricks (yes, actual bricks) that could be dedicated by customers – for a fee, of course. Nice way to pay for new paving!

I don’t recall what was being charged. But let’s say you had to pay $100 for an engraved brick, to be placed at the restaurant. If they had even 50 people buying these bricks, that’s $5,000 that could go toward remodeling costs. Better than nothing!


I’m sure we have all noticed how sports stadiums have sponsors. Of course, there is a business reason behind these naming decisions, as evidenced by the massive sums spent. Awareness and branding are fun concepts for marketers to play with.

Beyond that, however, think on a smaller scale of how many buildings have been named after big donors. There might even be a grand “dedication” ceremony. Tens of thousands of dollars could be collected, perhaps much more (as in hundreds of thousands and beyond), simply by naming a building after someone who really wants his or her name to be visible.

Bottom Line

There are so many ways to monetize, and I’ve written before about how people can practically monetize anything. Perhaps taking full advantage of the need for one’s name to be visibly broadcast to others is a way to make some money. Capitalize on ego and vanity!

My Questions for You

Have you ever  spent money on such naming opportunities, or seen others spend along these lines?

Can you think of any other examples of how businesses and others make money by taking advantage of ego or vanity?

Why do you think it’s such a big deal for people to see their names prominently displayed, to the point that they would spend big sums of money for the opportunity?