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May 13, 2008

Blackberry Embraces Some Bold New Brand Naming

BoldBlackberry.pngThe news that the new Blackeberry, which up until this weekend was called The Blackberry 9000, is now officially to be named Blackberry Bold, is sure to send addicts scurrying to get their new fix. The web mantra for this phone is “Be Bold."

Engadget Mobile is already buzzing, asking if the new gadget has a “Bold new design, bold new flavor?” and jokingly calling it the “Blackberry Clunk”, much to the irritation of some of the people posting on their blog.

The name bold is actually in reference to the display, but Newsblog can’t help mentioning “The bold and the beautiful,” which I suppose is a good thing.

A quick flip through the Blackberry website indicates that this is the Blackberry Bold 9000 (its full name, it seems) is pretty cool, and PC World reminds us that this is designed to take on the iPhone, based on the 3G platform and a higher-res, but smaller screen, though it "holds the same number of pixels as the current iPhone's."

blackberrycurve.pngSub-branding isn't new to Blackberry. The company previously introduced the Blackberry Pearl 8100 Series (marked by its small size, smartphone brains and elegant beauty), followed by the Blackberry Curve 8300 Series (designed with a slightly curved keyboard "For the Well-Rounded Life").

The Bold is a deviation from previous Blackberry naming by using an adjective rather than a a noun.

However, brand names that are adjectives or verbs are not something new to the category. Three notable examples are:

  • LG enV - of course, envy can be both a noun or a verb (pictured below left)
  • HTC Touch (pictured below middle)
  • Samsung Juke (pictured below right)
phones.png It also occurs to me that the word bold, unlike curve and pearl, is distinctly masculine. With a tagline like “Be Bold” on a black web splash site, one has to wonder if Blackberry is trying to appeal to men more than women with this one.

The language is also distinctly macho: RIM feels the Blackberry will “Power the passions you pursue.”

Could it be that RIM has decided to take huge inroads into iPhone’s potential male market and let Apple have its fair share of female buyers?

blackberrypearl.png One thing is for sure, it is hard to see some guy buying the Blackberry Bold for his girlfriend, while holding on to his Pearl.

Finally, expect to see more brand names in the cell phone and smartphone categories, as well as more broadly, that are verbs or adjectives. As a society we've pretty much run out of nouns that are available to trademark in many categories.

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Posted by William Lozito at May 13, 2008 10:49 AM
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