Opin­ion

Google Plays For­bid­den Name Games

ArabAd - - CONTENTS - BY: NASSEEM JAVED

So, are we are out of names? This is only a myth, suc­cess­fully es­tab­lished by cre­ative agen­cies and logo shops, leav­ing the clients with of­ten-silly names.

Google, when bor­row­ing a sim­ple dic­tionary word ‘AL­PHA­BET’ to cre­ate a pow­er­ful mega global cor­po­rate name iden­tity could have eas­ily called it­self ‘COOL’, ‘POOL’ or a “FOOL’ as any such name iden­tity would have got­ten the same global buzz and frenzy of ex­cite­ment as they have earned now with ‘AL­PHA­BET’. Glad, they wisely aborted other pos­si­bil­i­ties like ‘HEAVEN’ ‘HELL’ or ‘PUR­GA­TORY’.

There is noth­ing wrong with a name AL­PHA­BET but the name game it­self?

This name is harm­less and in pub­lic do­main, so any­body can use it in any way or shape:

Al­pha­bet Cat­a­logue, Al­pha­bet List­ings, Al­pha­bet Ding Dongs...

So, it’s not owned by them, but they al­ways had an iron clad own­er­ship on the global name iden­tity of ‘GOOGLE’ while AL­PHA­BET is com­monly shared by thou­sands of other busi­nesses in var­i­ous con­texts all over the world. What level of con­fu­sion will cause in an arena where as an ex­am­ple AP­PLE is used very suc­cess­fully?

Some­times or­gan­i­sa­tions de­spite global pow­ers still do not own their own name brand iden­tity. For ex­am­ple, mega iden­ti­ties, like, United, Na­tional, Dy­namic or Quan­tum, there are al­ready hun­dreds of thou­sands of such names in use for each such brands; United Air­lines, United Bank, United Bak­eries. The key ques­tions why United Air­lines is not as dis­tinct and pro­pri­etary name like Al­i­talia. Th­ese are very se­ri­ous and po­lit­i­cally sen­si­tive board­room is­sues and you have to first count the di­rect ben­e­fi­cia­ries of such nam­ing dis­func­tion­al­i­ties.

Good thing ‘GOOGLE’ teams also de­cided not to be called by some crazy nam­ing ex­er­cise, in a Sil­i­con Val­ley style ‘Con­fu­soonos­tor’ or ‘Go­datau­misote’. Oth­er­wise there will be full page ads run­ning around the world on how such su­per cre­ative names con­vey the mean­ing from an­cient scripts as ‘hum­ble pit, soft yet very pow­er­ful’ or ‘crazy dragon fighter tack­ling big data’. It’s a fact; such types of ex­otic names very of­ten ap­pear with big bang but qui­etly fade away when mega bud­gets con­vinc­ing the con­fused cus­tomers of the nam­ing stu­pid­ity runs out.

Here, Google by se­lect­ing a sim­ple word did very well,

AL­PHA­BET is only a TWO STAR rank­ing while GOOGLE is FIVE STARS, how?

2 STAR RANK­ING:

“The name-iden­tity is se­ri­ously dam­aged; all the ef­forts are up­hill bat­tle. Sales are dif­fi­cult, recog­ni­tion is never achieved and lim­i­ta­tions are con­stantly hurt­ing the name iden­tity.”

5 STAR RANK­ING:

“The brand name holds a win­ning com­bi­na­tion, and is fully ca­pa­ble of trav­el­ing around the world with­out has­sle, and con­se­quently owns a bright fu­ture. Such Five Star name iden­ti­ties cost very lit­tle in pro­mo­tion as they at­tract cus­tomers based on their shine and per­son­al­ity, there­fore pro­mot­ing them­selves with un­par­al­leled per­son­al­ity and dy­namic ap­peal. All su­per suc­cess­ful brands around the globe have at­tained Five Star Sta­tus.”

Is your brand name iden­tity wor­thy to be ex­clu­sively owned by you or is it al­ready be­ing shared by hun­dreds of oth­ers?

AL­PHA­BET’S Dot­com Fi­asco

Now, now, the www.al­pha­bet.com cur­rently is be­long­ing to oth­ers and not to Google, but even­tu­ally be pur­chased when the ‘merde’ hits the fan and the non-dis­closed price tag of $10-100 mil­lion dol­lars will be­come a small side ex­pense.

Cur­rently GOOGLE’S en­tire ‘AL­PHA­BET’ em­pire is housed and parked un­der “abc.xyz”; that’s a new Top Level Do­main Name pos­ing a rather more com­plex and much ad­vance nomen­cla­ture game. Un­less GOOGLE buys ‘AL­PHA­BET’ at any cost, the se­lec­tion of the name can eas­ily be con­strued as a nam­ing dis­as­ter.

Es­pe­cially such sim­ple names with match­ing dot­coms are dime a dozen.

Google will sim­ply buy this to save face and their cre­ative will en­joy dou­ble sided vic­tory.

Dur­ing the first 24 hours some thou­sands of ‘abc’ and ‘xyz’ based new do­main names got reg­is­tered by pub­lic at large.

Why Cor­po­rate Images Die a Slow Death?

A short his­tory of nam­ing of the re­cent past

PWC Con­sult­ing did a self-de­struc­tive brand­ing num­ber to be­come “MON­DAY”. A dumb­est name of the pe­riod. Dur­ing this 60 mil­lion dol­lars makeover and while still in a shock gets picked up by IBM for a merely 3.5 bil­lion. The name MON­DAY is dropped im­me­di­ately. Only a year ago, PWC did re­ject a 12 Bil­lion dol­lars of­fer by Hewlett Packard.

Deloitte, spends 40 mil­lions to be­come Brax­ton, a name they picked up from the past so that the fu­ture can be their judge. KPMG also kicks in 40 mil­lion to be re­named to Bear­ing­point. Their chal­lenge is now to unite 16,000 bright con­sul­tants un­der this dif­fi­cult term on the global scene be­fore they reach their break­ing point. When two com­pli­cated ideas like 'bear­ing' and 'point' are com­bined they will only be­come ini­tialised as BP, be­cause it’s only the fickle and lazy pub­lic at large which de­cides what to think of a name and what to call it and no amount of money will ever change their mind… In the mean­while, the real BP, which is Bri­tish Petroleum, is try­ing very hard to shed the ‘Bri­tish only’ im­age by rein­vent­ing as BP as in "Be­yond Petroleum" one of their short-lived cam­paigns. We are not amused. Bear­ing­point’s sym­bol is not BP rather it’s BE. Pity. Lastly, An­der­son, be­fore their demise also spent 160 mil­lion on Ac­cen­ture, a name sug­gested by their em­ployee. So be nice to your em­ploy­ees who know one day they may end up nam­ing your cor­po­rate destiny.

This fancy colour­ful makeover of the world’s top four con­sult­ing com­pa­nies, plus a 300 mil­lion bud­get for four new names, has cer­tainly guar­an­teed them a chap­ter in the brand­ing his­tory. While the ad agen­cies col­lect their de­sign awards the armies of con­sul­tants get ready to fight for their cor­po­rate iden­tity.

The new laws of cor­po­rate im­age clearly points to the fail­ure of the tra­di­tional cor­po­rate iden­tity prac­tice, whereby, logo, de­sign and spe­cific colour schemes were every­thing and the name, only one of the com­po­nents... to­day, un­der the new laws, names are every­thing while the other para­pher­na­lia is cer­tainly lost in the crowd. A name is what a cor­po­ra­tion needs, to talk about, re­mem­ber, type, chat, re­fer, call, praise or curse. While the lo­gos, de­signs and colours you for­get and do not call for, in th­ese cy­ber driven economies they have lost their value...to­day ev­ery­one is forced to Type…bet­ter re­mem­ber the name and bet­ter re­mem­ber the spell­ing…bet­ter like it or click on to the next one. Wel­come to the global e-com­merce.

One hour on the net and you go through enough lo­gos, art­works and de­sign which is equal to the en­tire work by all the logo shops in the whole world cre­ated dur­ing the last cen­tury… as busi­ness gets more com­plex, search abil­ity of a name be­comes ever so crit­i­cal on the global e-com­merce… un­der the new laws of cor­po­rate im­age, it's all in the name stupid. Here are seven steps to mea­sure the life of a Cor­po­rate Im­age in this new global age - One: Name is lost in the crowd for be­ing sim­i­lar or iden­ti­cal to thou­sands of oth­ers. Names bor­rowed from a dic­tionary, part of an ev­ery­day lingo, never achieve dis­tinc­tion and de­spite ex­tra­or­di­nary ex­penses it will sim­ply die out of ex­haus­tion. - Two: Name is too old fash­ioned to

con­vey to­day’s dy­nam­ics. - Three: When the spell­ing of a name re­quires a higher IQ. Weird spellings are used to avoid trade­mark prob­lems or to fit the cre­ativ­ity of a spin­ning logo. This only en­sures ob­scu­rity. Spell four dif­fer­ent ways, and it will only bring 25% of the hits or prof­its. - Four: More money is spent in ex­plain­ing the ori­gin of the name. Why ad­ver­tise to ed­u­cate the uni­verse of th­ese name dis­func­tion­al­i­ties. Cus­tomers only care about their per­cep­tions they don’t care about your cute story. - Five: Cor­po­ra­tion does not own a trade­mark or an iden­ti­cal do­main name. Why bother? - Six: Name is em­bar­rass­ing in cer­tain

coun­tries. - Seven: Name is too long, too dif­fi­cult, too con­fus­ing, too com­pli­cated or sim­ply, too bor­ing. Us­ing lower cases, dashes or slashes and other ding­bat char­ac­ters in a name, will only en­sure its self­de­struc­tion.

So, are we are out of names? This is only a myth, suc­cess­fully es­tab­lished by cre­ative agen­cies and logo shops, leav­ing the clients with of­ten-silly names. Nam­ing is a se­ri­ous black and white ex­er­cise and should not be con­fused with colour de­sign, lo­gos cam­paigns, be­cause to­day th­ese com­po­nents have a very lim­ited value. Nam­ing is nam­ing, de­mand­ing global ex­pe­ri­ence in cor­po­rate nomen­cla­ture.

Test your own Five Star Rank­ing of your own brands

THE FIVE STAR STAN­DARD OF NAM­ING

A star is awarded for each YES an­swer: * FIRST STAR: Is your name easy and

sim­ple? * SEC­OND STAR: Is your name oneof-a-kind? * THIRD STAR: Is your name highly

re­lated to your busi­ness ac­tiv­ity? * FOURTH STAR: Is your name

glob­ally pro­tectable? * FIFTH STAR: Is your name with a

match­ing and iden­ti­cal dot­com?

Source: http://www.fives­tar­stan­dard.com/

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