August 7, 2006
Product Naming: How Should Apple and Motorola Manage Their Nomenclature?
In life and in marketing when something is overdone it can lose its impact.
For instance, aren’t you tired of seeing movies where something is exploding, a car or building or whatever? Or a car running into a fruit stand or some other similar roadside object?
In the marketing world, I’m wondering, just wondering, if two great companies, Apple and Motorola, with great brand equity, are not “running into one too many fruit stands”. At least one writer, Steve Johnson, of the Chicago Tribune, has had it with the "lowercase i" brand names.
In the latest BusinessWeek Top 100 Brands, Apple is ranked 39th and Motorola 69th. These rankings are, in part, most likely influenced by the iPod and RAZR brands, respectively.
To make my point, the first person that can correctly guess, without doing secondary research, what these two letter combinations represent, I'll send them a $25 gift card to Starbucks.
Apple, on the other hand, is faced with a different branding situation with their iPod and iTunes.
- In one sense, all of the peripherals and gadgets that enhance the usability of the iPod reinforce the iPod brand as well as generate revenue for Apple with its Optimized for iPod(R) program
- In another, as I previously written about, these brand names, especially iTunes, have not been elastic enough to accomodate the evolution of the concept. iTunes, in addition to music, is now a source for video, TV, and possibly movies.
It would be interesting to see how both Apple and Motorola manage their brand name nomenclature to optimize and reinforce their brand promise.
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