Referencing a row by name in a formula

In the formula editor, when I’m working with a lookup column value, sometimes I can type the name of a row and the editor will show it in the object reference list and allow me to select it.

This is super handy because if I have a lookup for example with “stages” of a process, I can write the formulas to reference the stage row directly, instead of by a text compare, and if I later change the text of the row, it will update all formulas that reference it.

The problem is sometimes the editor can find the row by reference, and other times not. I’m not sure how to get it to find them. Does anyone know a trick?

This image shows the problem in detail:

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