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August 30, 2007

Has Nokia Laid an Egg with Ovi Product Naming?

Nokia has just announced a new product name that will cover a range of Internet services called Ovi, which means door in Finnish.

nokiaoviphone.gifThis moves Nokia's focus away from mobile devices to Internet products, music and online gaming, which pretty much puts it head-to-head with Apple and the product naming legend iPhone.

Nokia's answer to iTunes will be the Nokia Music Store; and gamers get N-Gage, a name I wrote about yesterday. There will also be Nokia Maps, which I suppose will go head to head with Google Maps.

All Oy-Vey jokes aside, the Ovi name is almost as uninspiring as Loudeye, the service that Nokia bought and re-treaded to make Ovi.

ovilogo.gif I like the fact that Nokia is trading on its Finnish heritage... it works for the brand name Nokia. Ovi, however, is a little strange to those of us who have been brought up speaking languages heavily influenced by Greek and Latin (that's most of us in Europe, North America and the rest of the English speaking world).

As a name consultant, the first words that come to mind when I hear Ovi are eggs and ovaries. That's no coincidence, because ovi, ovum and ovo are the Greek and Latin prefixes meaning egg.

You can travel to Italy to visit the ruins of the Castrum Ovi, or the Fortress of the Egg if you like. Maybe they should do a product launch there?

Fact is, the prefix ovi is really very well ingrained into the English language as having something to do with eggs and pregnancy.

And that may not be so great for Nokia.

On top of that, in Ohio, OVI stands for "Operating a vehicle while impaired."

Enough said.

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Posted by William Lozito at August 30, 2007 9:02 AM
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