January 31, 2006
Product Naming: Luxury Brands Battle of the Alphabet
On January 25th Honda Motor Company filed suit against Ford Motor Company, stating that the name for Lincoln's newest SUV, the MKX, is too close to that of the Acura MDX model designation for its SUV.
This means that as automakers migrate toward a more alpha and alphanumeric nomenclature for its luxury vehicles, it is more and more likely that potential conflicts will arise. Ford is arguing that it wants to refer to the new Lincoln MKX SUV as the “Mark X”, and thus confusion with the Acura MDX would be minimal. I’m sure Ford management is well aware that its sister brand Jaguar, first used the Mark X designation to refer to one of Britain’s finest exports.
I think that Ford is trying to have a dual-brand nomenclature for its new Lincoln SUV, which will only serve to dilute its branding efforts. Ford should decide on one naming approach and one only. That, I believe, would be in their best interest to strengthen the beleagured Lincoln nameplate.
No matter what Ford ends up with for its new Lincoln SUV nomenclature, I think it's clear that alpha and alphanumeric designations will likely conflict with existing auto brands.
I predict that the Acura-Lincoln alphabet conflict will be resolved out of court, as was the Nissan vs Audi “Q” conflict. In the latter, it was reported by Leftlane News that there was a gentleman’s agreement, with a likely financial settlement, that allows Audi to continue using the Q7 name and the Q-series nomenclature for future SUVs.
I believe that it is difficult to impossible for a brand to tie up a letter of the English alphabet. Can you think of any examples of a brand in any category with a trademarked letter or letters?
Read more commentary on the Acura vs Lincoln conflict at Autoblog.
TrackBack URL for this entry:
Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Product Naming: Luxury Brands Battle of the Alphabet:
» Product Naming: Can We Stop The Spread of Virus Names? from Strategic Name Development Product Naming Blog
The other day I got a warning about the Kama Sutra virus. Frankly, it didn’t seem like much of a cause for alarm. Don’t people know not to open funny attachments yet? But imagine opening your inbox and finding a host of different warnings: one for ... [Read More]
Tracked on November 15, 2006 7:41 PM