As the big baby boom wave starts to hit retirement age in the USA, it is very appropriate that the biggest retirement organization (unfortunately with just another set of initials name) chooses to update its position and go for a great new tagline: Real Possibilities.
I love it when so much power is contained in so short a tagline, and always wonder how many hundreds of words and taglines they studied before coming up with the final winner. In addition, it is nice to see the writers and editors in their magazine also embracing the tagline and making numerous references to it and using it as a hook for a number of stories.
Some companies and organizations are just stuck with an old name or set of initials. A new logo doesn’t make much of a difference. But anyone can do a new tagline or slogan, and easily get it legally approved. Congratulations to AARP for showing us a great example.
© 2013 – All rights reserved – www.BrighterNaming.com
When your name is relatively long, like in Discover, you surely do want a short second name for a product descriptor. But why something as lifeless as “it” unless you mean Information Technology – and we know that is not your game?
Imagine how much fun they could have with the word itch instead? Would solve everyone’s itch to go shop till they drop. Or at least something else with some character or image or motion or action or life or..
Great color, graphics and nice use of depth make for a good choice of imagery here. In fact, we may even get used to it (pun intended) especially if we ever see or know someone who actually has a Discover card.
© 2013 – All rights reserved – www.BrighterNaming.com
Years ago I wrote about the stupidity of United Airlines launching their low-cost airline subsidiary with the dumb name of Ted. There sure wasn’t anything friendly or cute about the name or logo usage… and, in fact, the whole endeavor was soon grounded.
Today, however, a great series of conferences that star eminent speakers and experts in their respective fields, has sprung up and it too is called TED. This stands for Technology, Education and Design…. which is rather long and boring. And while I usually shy away from initials as they are so hard to brand and own, the TED conferences have imbued their’s with a great brand personality – which in turn has led to a big following that helps spread the brand.
And as usually happens with great names, people no longer stop and think about what the name means in a literal language sense. They just tell their friends to go to TED or to watch one of the many speeches from eminent speakers on a wide range of subjects. They will surely inspire and motivate you, or at least move you and entertain you. They have revived the lost art of great public speaking – in most cases with out props or slides.
© 2012 – All rights reserved – www.BrighterNaming.com
Since VMware is in the process of buying them, I thought it appropriate to quickly give Nicira a name award before the name disappears. I don’t know this company well, as I try to be less technical every day. Nor do I know what the name means. But isn’t it nice to find a new unique name that you can pronounce and when you search Bing for it, only that company comes up and not a big spew of unrelated garbage.
I have a feeling they made up Nicira from their founders names or initials somehow, but I could be way off base here. Doesn’t matter. More importantly, when you read their news and press releases, they are very diligent in always saying “Nicira, the network virtualization company, ….” So they directly positioned themselves every time with this tagline and claimed implicit industry leadership. Plus they help your recall of the name. You have a mental hook and association… to separate it from all those other techy names floating around your brain clouds.
Their investors must be very happy now they have been sold for $1.2 billion or so. Not a bad return on $50 mill or so and some very bright engineers. Hopefully VMWare can find a way to keep the name in use now that it has such industry traction.
© 2012 – All rights reserved – BrighterNaming.com
Palm Computing started life as a software company but was forced to make a pocket device to stay alive. They became a hardware success and offended other licensees of its software, so then split in two. But they never could keep up with the big boys so retrenched and eventually sold the remnants to HP for an exhorbitant price.
Well today we hear about some leaked memos that HP is rebranding that group under the new moniker Gram. We can confirm the rumor is true because HP has filed an Intent to Use trademark application on the name Gram back on May 14th as follows:
|Goods and Services
||IC 009. US 021 023 026 036 038. G & S: Computer software development tools; operating systems software; operating systems programs; computer operating systems; computer software and firmware for operating system programs; computer software that provides web-based access to applications and services through a web operating system or portal interfaceIC 042. US 100 101. G & S: Providing a website portal in the fields of technology and software development; providing online information in the fields of technology and software development; developing operating system software; developing computer software
So now Palm has become a GramPa !! Or is Gram just the European version, and here stateside we will call the new/old guy Ounce?
And, very interestingly enough, do we go to hardware giant HP to license our software if we want to make smart phones since they currently have no smart phones or tablets? Or do we go to software giant Google to get Android and compete with their extensive Motorola phone division?
PS Do you think their best software apps will win a Grammy?
© 2012 – All rights reserved – BrighterNaming.com
Every week or so now for over 3 or 4 years, we have posted an entry here in which we cheer or jeer, or simply smile or frown upon, business names of the world. We have tried to write from both a discussion point of view for marketing professionals, as well as an educational point of view for people learning the role names play in branding. But our original intent was to run a formal naming awards ceremony or competition each year. In fact we did once, but only after deciding Name Awards was too dull and boring, so we called it the Brand Name Awards and literally presented engraved brandy sniffer glasses to the winners.
Well we had some fun with it, were cheered on a lot, and lost a lot of money. So today Brand Name Awards has evolved into a free advertising supported site listing all the creative marketing awards. We apologize for the template formatting errors on the site, they will be fixed shortly. Meanwhile, if you are looking for where to enter your great ad campaign, writing, photography or graphics design, we hope this can be your initial productive starting point.
Our long time readers will have noticed that we no longer issue one, two or three trophy awards here. Do you care? In large part this was because we want to be a little less formal and have more dialog, rather than us standing on our high pedestals as naming professionals.
And, in fact, we do have a separate column, called the Name Critic,
which has been going on for many years as an adjunct to our Brighter Naming website. That is where we do rate names formally on both a technical name scale and a visual presentation scale. In further support of educating business professionals before they get involved in naming projects, we also have a series of application stories that are usually not specific about a single name, but are of general help and interest.
Like many other branding professionals, send out the occasional tweets on twitter under the @namiac handle… where they all seem to get lost in twitterdom within minutes.
Plus we have a Facebook Page of course, where we are slowly trying to make a picture scrap book of names. No need for explanations here.. just visually amusing with a name or sign theme. So if you see a funny name sign, please post it on our Facebook/Brighter Naming page.
More we cannot do. But is this too much? Does anyone read all this? Or do different audiences like the different postings? Or is naming just a passing fad as need be for most people? Your comments, feedback and suggestions are much appreciated and will help guide us for at least another year. For our total offerings you may visit us on the web at www.BrighterNaming.com or Bnaming.mobi if you are on a mobile device.
At our sister blog, Brighter Products, we cover consumer goods ranging from fashion to wine, so we were excited when we spotted the news that researchers at the University of Western Australia had found a way to create clothing from wine and beer. The fabric is the end result of some processes that begin with “a skin-like rubbery layer covering a vat of wine that was contaminated with Acetobacter bacteria.”
What pushed this over into NameAward territory was the realization that, if they ever manage to get this going on a commercial scale, they’ll need a name and brand that will convince people to don clothes made from what could be described as an upscale cousin of pond scum.
Mysophobic..and proud of it!
We think these guys got off to a good start, by calling the new fabric Micro’be’. Funny punctuation is always a risky move in a name, but this one seems to cue pronunciation as “micro-bee” rather than “mike-robe”. It does at least start the process of imparting information about the provenance of this new product. Let’s face it: you really don’t want to be the guy at the returns counter when some trendies find out how this was made after they bought it. Looks like some similar thinking went into the slogan these characters have already cooked up: ‘Microbes à la mode’.
Some free marketing advice to our friends Down Under: this really will pose a challenge when you try to go mainstream and mass-market so we suggest “casting against type” for your celebrity endorser—figuring if Howie Mandel will wear it, anyone will. But there might not be enough Australian dollars in circulation to persuade the world’s most notorious mysophobe to slip into an outfit made of Micro’be’.
When you are the only bicycle shop in town, and your town has the lovely name of Mariposa, why not simply call your business Mariposa Bicycles? And if you rent and sell the latest in mountain bikes, electric bikes, fold up bikes, what modern logo are you looking for?
Well a penny farthing of course, being ridden by a very colorful butterfly (since Mariposa is the Spanish word for butterfly). This is what I really like in a logo – a dramatic attention getter when the name doesn’t do that for you. And this logo and their signage really stand out in a town where there are butterfly symbols and signs everywhere.
Accidentally or otherwise, this business is taking advantage of their first mover advantage. Imagine how hard it will be to brand and establish the second bike shop in town.
After Cisco pulled the plug on their Flip phone, I thought we were back to shopping the Japanese brands to find exciting new cameras. But then from Half Moon Bay, on the sleepy coast of Silicon Valley, comes Woodward labs and their GoPro. Wow. For first time ever I watched the complete home page video on any website.. and it is over 5 minutes long.
They really are changing the way we see the world. Now armchair warmers can even see the fantastic sites enjoyed by action sports nuts around the world. In a sense a new HD camera is nothing new. Nor are rugged video cameras. Or ones with remote controls. Or ones with anti-jitter that are waterproof. But somehow no one had put it all together before at the right place at the right time.
On top of that.. a simple English registered trademark name that is an exhortation: Go Pro. Wow. Love it. Sure wish my days of windsurfing were not over. Maybe on my sailboat? … Oh heck.. just put it on my birthday list.. I’ll climb trees with it on my hat!
So an old naming project warmup exercise was to ask your audience:
- Why is it called Rhode Island if it is not an island?
- Why is it called junk food, when it is not junk and not food?
To which today we can add:
- Why is it called Facebook when it is not a book of faces?
Regardless, Facebook deserves their mega success as they go public this week. My only concern is if they have become the platform of choice for many businesses in place of websites. A clean, simple, almost boring name without any hot logo is the story at Facebook… but not really.. because it is a book of everyone’s personal stories and pictures.
Talking of which – did an interesting sign/name catch your eye? Why not post it on Brighter Naming’s Facebook page with a brief comment and help us build the biggest Fun Name Signs album in the world?