October 21, 2008
Buckypaper: A Naming and Branding Strength or Weakness?
I have no idea why the inventors of so many new, interesting products seem to actually go out of their way to get silly names appended to their inventions. Today's case in point is Buckypaper.
Yes, you read that right. Buckypaper.
No, this is not really nubbly sandpaper, nor is it dental paper for buck teeth. In fact, this isn't paper at all. Buckypaper is actually "The tube-shaped variation of the buckminsterfullerene molecule" which can be dispersed in liquid and turned into a very, very strong film that's 10 times lighter, but 500 times stronger than steel. Say hello to new planes, cars and homes made of this interesting material.
Did I mention that buckminsterfullerene is referred to as "buckyballs," so nicknamed by its Nobel Prize Winning discoverer?
That's right, the miracle substance of the next generation starts out life as buckyballs and then evolves into Buckypaper. Although surprisingly, this might not even be the silliest prototype name I have seen this month - the (probably fictional) High Five-o-Meter gets that label - but it is close. A second runner-up is The Insecta, the product name for a new concept car that looks sort of like a . . . well, you know.
Hey, at least the Insecta has a name, the new, incredible eBook reader by Plastic Logic is still in the midst of its own product naming process.
However, in the case of Buckypaper, a bad name might actually be far worse than no name at all. You definitely won't see me stepping into an airplane made out of Buckypaper any time soon.
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