the product naming blog

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January 30, 2007

Is "Live" a Dead Product Name?

Windows LiveCan you have too much life? I'm seriously starting to think so, at least when it comes to product names. In fact, I’d like to add "Live" to the list of banished words for 2007.

Office LiveAny word used too often, in too many ways, loses its meaning. Any name used for too many products dilutes the brand of all those products, not just the one that used it first. recognized this when it decided to call its new internet TV receiver AppleTV instead of iTV. There are just too many products out there with a lower-case "i" in their names. And along with "i" and "My," "Live" is getting to be sooo 2006.

OneCare LiveYet companies are still jumping on the "Live" bandwagon. It's bad enough that has saturated the market with everything from the confusingly named search engine to the (Beta) offline blog editor (which by definition is not live, though it's actually a good blog editor) to ’s web-based software, which does, at least, rely on a "live" internet connection. And let's not forget OneCare Live.

Aquafina AliveNow Pepsi has just announced vitamin-enhanced waters. Maybe I'm just squeamish, but I don't want anything in the water I drink to be alive. That's part of the point of drinking water from bottles and not out of streams.

Viiv"Live" is appropriate, if unoriginal, for anything broadcast directly without delay or editing, like live news and interview shows on TV. But "recorded live" has always been something of an oxymoron, and many other uses of "live" in the broadcast industry are redundant. (Would you want to record in front of a dead studio audience?)

While I rather like Intel’s Viiv, makes me wonder whether I’m going to get an electric shock if I touch it.

Let’s put a moratorium on "Live" in product names for 2007, and get more creative.

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Posted by William Lozito at January 30, 2007 9:31 AM
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