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August 21, 2007

Company Naming Changes - Terms of Endearment

xohm.gif Our proprietary Company Naming Changes research has found that company naming... and by extension brand naming... is getting more user friendly and endearing.

The trend has continued into 2007, with bloggers decrying Sprint's Xohm Wi-Fi brand name as difficult to remember and not a serious brand name.

Today, brand names have to be promotion friendly and link easily to the business's domain name. This is nothing new: look at Famous Amos.

Pharmaceutical companies are getting the message by putting their brand names on major TV shows and naming them like sports cars to attract an aging and medical savvy consumer base in the USA.

User-friendly naming for 2006 included Inter-Bank's change to TomatoBank, which is a move geared towards appealing to tomato growers and a generation of consumers happy to use computers named after an apple. One blogger says of the bank, "I walked in expecting a great pita and left with a great rate."

WaMu.gif Similarly, Washington Mutual changed its name to WaMu partly because customers had been using that nickname to refer to the bank for years anyway.

In our proprietary Company Naming Changes report we also look at "companies that missed the memo" and actually became less user friendly, as when Equitex went to Hydrogen Power International, Inc. and the Center for Business Research went to The Center for Competitiveness and Prosperity Research.

Sometimes too much of a good thing is a bad thing, guys.

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Posted by William Lozito at August 21, 2007 8:11 AM
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