March 1, 2007
Wii Remembered Nintendo Brand Name
Schneider Associates just completed research on new product naming that shows while consumer spending was up from $271 billion in 2005 to $285 billion in 2006, 81% of consumers could not identify the brand name of one of the top 50 products launched last year.
This is an all time high for consumers’ lack of name recognition...way up from 57% the previous year. The lesson for this year is that TV still rules the day in getting new brand names out to consumers and free samples lead to buyers: 96% of consumers who “sampled” said they would be “very” or “somewhat” likely to buy afterwards.
Of course, as Kevin Cassidy and the team at the Go Nintendo blog gleefully point out, the Nintendo Wii enjoyed the second most memorable new product launch of 2006 (22%), just behind KFC’s Famous Bowls (24%).
Pretty good for a launch that, as Nintendo Wii’s QJ.net blog notes, “didn't feature any shootings, muggings, or poor exploited Chinese men littering Japanese lines.”
Strategic Name Development closely followed the Wii launch with great interest last year and reported on the reactions to the new brand name. We looked at both those who despised the name and those who loved it. It certainly has been a name that garnered a lot of buzz - some people even thought it was a hoax.
It might be debatable whether or not making a memorable name is the same as making a great name. A case in point comes from politics: Hilary Clinton was recently ranked by Adweek as having the most recognized name in wannabe Presidential politics - she was also found to be both “most electable” and, paradoxically, “least electable.” If people recognize your brand name but don’t like it - and don’t buy the product - then you’re essentially treading water.
Overall, of course, the most recognized brand name is Google, followed closely by Las Vegas. If you are trying to make your brand name “sticky” (so its sticks in people’s minds) then remember, as Christine Buske says, that “Being Sticky Doesn't Have to Be Tricky”: just build in a great slogan, choose a great domain name, get out an “irresistible” viral message, and take Guy Kawasaki’s Stickiness Aptitude Test (SAT).
Read more about developing a great product name built on quantitative research based on best practices and using normative data on our brand name research page.
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