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May 1, 2007

Company Naming: Fear of Commitment? Try Flexpetz

happy_dog.gifWhat do you think “Flexpetz” is?

Yep, you guessed it...Flexible pet ownership.

The SpringWise blog just wrote about Flexpetz as an example of an interesting trend they refer to as transumerism.

Flexpetz, a little more user-friendly than some recent pet drug names, just recently launched in Los Angeles and San Diego and its founder, Marlena Cervantes, views the service like an extended family and allows dogs more love and attention than single ownership can often provide.

This type of business is referred to as fractional dog ownership, and the name is an alliterative portmanteau containing the word flex. There are 5,820 nationally registered active trademarks with part of the mark being “flex.” And that’s 3 times as many as Fusion.

  • FlexJets - fractional private jet ownership
  • FlexCam - flexible video camera
  • FlexSpace - combining industrial space leasing with outsourcing
  • FlexCar - car-sharing company
  • FlexBank - flexible banking
  • FlexGuard - flexible mouth guard

Just goes to show the flexibility of flex. However, it becomes an interesting naming challenge when a competitor wants to enter the market and needs to develop a brand name. This happens in many categories, but take fractional jet ownership, like FlexJets.

To differentiate their service from FlexJets, competitors must communicate their advantages by developing brand names that emphasize the consumer benefits in other ways than simply flexibility. For example, these companies did just that:

  • Airshare Elite
  • OurPLANE
  • JetMatch

In the naming business, there is sometimes a fine line between stupid and clever. Even though the business might be a brilliant idea, some people are trying to figure out which side of that line the Flexpetz name sits on.

Some suggest it's just another way of saying Rent-A-Pet. What do you think?

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Posted by William Lozito at May 1, 2007 10:42 AM
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