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September 4, 2006

Product Naming: Love Your Pejoratives

Taco HellPejorative names for well known products have always been with us, whether we are talking about the way some people call "" or "". players (and probably their significant others) call the game for its as well.

One other brand the pejorative nickname of which has almost become mainstream is , which is constantly referred to as "CrackBerry" because people who own them, by their own admission, simply cannot kick the habit of checking them and using them. recently did a profile on just how addictive a BlackBerry can be, discovering that while being in constant touch with the office can have detrimental effects on one’s personal life, it is probably ultimately a good thing.

Mariah Carey with BlackBerryBlackBerry users are proud of the CrackBerry moniker (see Mariah Carey image, right) …which is used gleefully by millions of “addicts” across the globe. By the same token, the Nintendo , as I have written about before, has been the butt of constant jokes and even an Internet viral…and yet it seems to keep on ticking.

I do not think that branding companies name these devices hoping they will attract pejorative brand names. But I do think that the management of these pejoratives is quite an imaginative task for any name consultant, and one which can build equity into a company or product name if done correctly.

Target PupsBlackBerry Cool proudly tells us how CrackBerry addicts "like being addicted" while people who are fond of Target and call it "Tar-zhay" have supported the resultant the nickname engendered among enthusiasts.

I think the key here is to roll with the pejorative name you are given, sort of the way people in the Bush administration have to deal with the nicknames the President assigns them.

The customer is in charge, after all, and learning to love your pejorative could be one of the best business decisions you ever make.

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Posted by William Lozito at September 4, 2006 12:55 PM
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