July 29, 2008
When Does Brand Naming Become UnCuil?
Giving an opinion on a name without knowing the strategy behind it leaves much to be desired.
At first blush, it is easy to understand why people are being critical of the new super search engine brand name Cuil, which is supposedly going to blow Google out of the water.
Anyway, somebody who does not speak Gaelic or has never heard of Old Finn McCool (that would be pretty much all of us save for a few Irish scholars) is likely to initially pronounce it "quill."
Even if pronounced correctly, people will assumed it is spelled "cool," rather than "Cuil," which isn't great for a business that relies on the proper spelling of its URL to be able to use it. Everyone will have to tell you how to spell it, unlike say, Yahoo or Google, which are both spelled exactly the way they sound.
Already people are calling it UnCuil, which is to be expected, the name practically begs for its detractors to do so.
Like Google, Yahoo and so many other internet related names, what is strange and unusual today becomes common place, accepted and emulated in the future.
I think we should give Cuil a chance. As a brand name. And as a search engine, which I think, does not yet measure up to Google.
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