Vocab

Friday - - Leisure -

The top five brand names Ad­ver­tis­ing and brand­ing must be among the few pro­fes­sions where a catchy word or phrase can rake in big bucks. Is a good brand name a shot in the dark, or is there an in­fal­li­ble for­mula that can come up with just the right name?

One vo­cab­u­lary piece in the 1950s quoted an un­named large cor­po­ra­tion of the time as hav­ing laid down some ground rules: stick to short, one-word names, prefer­ably not ex­ceed­ing five let­ters; while it should be dis­tinc­tive and eas­ily re­mem­bered, it must be orig­i­nal; it should sug­gest power and im­men­sity; and so on. The list also pre­cludes any­thing neg­a­tive in the prod­uct’s name but that seems to work in re­verse in the 21st cen­tury, where “it’s bad!” means “it’s good”.

So what are the best prod­uct names ever? Opin­ions are sub­jec­tive, but if you look at the blog by John Bell, for­mer CEO of Kraft and a For­tune Mag­a­zine con­trib­u­tor, the com­mon threads con­nect­ing his choices are prod­uct as­so­ci­a­tion, im­agery, char­ac­ter and dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion con­veyed by the name.

In fifth place comes Dove, which at first sight is a sim­ple and unimag­i­na­tive brand name and yet, emo­tion­ally, it is hard to beat. A dove sym­bol­ises peace­ful­ness, gen­tle­ness, pu­rity and soft­ness – which is what women want when it comes to their hair and skin.

In fourth place is Häa­gen-Dazs. Th­ese two words look Scan­di­na­vian but they mean noth­ing, be­ing made up by its in­ven­tor Mat­tus. The name is so strong on im­agery, char­ac­ter and dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion that de­scrip­tion is un­nec­es­sary.

The third place win­ner is Sony’s Walk­man, an au­dio player that trans­formed mu­sic-lis­ten­ing habits by of­fer­ing the con­ve­nience of por­ta­ble mu­sic. Walk­man did not de­scribe the prod­uct; it told you what you could do with it.

The sec­ond place win­ner has noth­ing to do with a Bruce Wil­lis movie fran­chise; it’s a bat­tery called DieHard that was guar­an­teed to last “for­ever”, that is, as long as the orig­i­nal owner still owned the car in which it was orig­i­nally in­stalled.

But the win­ner was a name that the pub­lic gave the prod­uct rather than the man­u­fac­turer: the (Volk­swa­gen) Bee­tle. Enough said!

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UAE

© PressReader. All rights reserved.