What, Me Worry About my Product Name?

In the most recent edition of Inc. magazine, which arrived in my mailbox this week, I noticed a review of new video projectors (the on-line article is here). Now I like technology and gadgets, but I simply do not understand what thought process – if any – goes into the naming of many of these products. In this case, all six of the models reviewed had clearly passed through the Alfred E. Neuman brand-naming process:

  • Sony VPL-FX40
  • Panasonic PT-DW10000U
  • NEC NP60
  • Sharp XR-30X
  • Toshiba TDP-FF1AU
  • Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 1080

Names only a product engineer could love, or come up with.

If I’m going to purchase a projector, I want to have a brand name that I can: 1) figure out, 2) pronounce, 3) remember, and 4) tell others about with pride. Every one of these flunks badly. And this Alfred Engineer Neuman naming process runs through a lot of other technology companies as well (think: camera models, phones, etc.)

Why can’t these companies name a projector something like TruVizion? And when you introduce a new model, make it the TruVizion E? Do I really want to be counting zeros when writing the Panasonic model’s “name”, simply because some techno-geek thought it would be cool to put the number 10,000 in there so that maybe someone might guess it has 10,000 lumens? That’s not branding that sticks. It’s just stupid.

What other industries practice Alfred E. naming? Nominate your favorites in the Comments!

(Alfred E. Neuman copyright Mad magazine)

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Author: Steve Woodruff (19 Articles)

Steve Woodruff launched his consulting practice (Impactiviti LLC) in 2006, working with clients to create branding that sticks. StickyFigure, a division of Impactiviti, specializes in helping small and mid-sized businesses that are seeking to make greater impact in their marketplace, but do not have the internal resources to brand themselves effectively. We also partner with larger organizations that need to borrow a fresh creative perspective. Steve also actively consults in the training/communications field, with a particular focus on healthcare and pharmaceuticals; and he serves as VP Communications on the Board of a local ASTD (American Society of Training and Development) chapter in NJ. LinkedIn profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/swoodruff