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November 20, 2008

Most Memorable New Product Naming of 2008 Not That New

It seems that 2008 was a bad year for product launches. Americans, distracted by the economy and the election, were woefully unaware of new product names.

wii_fit_box_front.gifEven the Nintendo Wii Fit, which was the most memorable new product launch as determined by a recent survey, was only recalled by 22% of respondents.

Americans appear to be clinging to tried and trusted brand names, as evidenced by the fact that the launches that proved most memorable to consumers were all orchestrated by well-known, established brand names.

As evidence, following the Wii Fit was the iPod Touch, Bud Light Lime, and McDonald's Southern Style Chicken Biscuit & Sandwich.

Part of this is the obvious affect of logo recognition, which always plays its part. But even with a memorable logo, never forget that failure can lurk just around the corner. The Wii Fit was popular, but Wii Music isn't living up to expectations.

Even the big names are resorting to interesting means of differentiating themselves to win over consumers.

McDonald's, another winner this year, is quietly trying to leverage the Quarter Pounder brand name by introducing stand alone stores in Japan that surprisingly do not have the golden arches and simply sell, you guessed it, Quarter Pounders.

Of course we cannot forget the role that packaging also plays in the successful launch of new products.

clamshell.gifOne way to get customers to instantly like a new product, in coordination with a new product name, is to try and get around annoying packaging.

There is a virtual revolt going on over "clamshell packaging." The disgust on the blogoshere over this kind of packaging was sparked by a recent New York Times article that notes that many established brands like Sony, Amazon, and Best Buy are offering user friendly alternatives to avoid "Wrap Rage," which is defined as the frustration we all feel after spending hours opening up packaging designed to cut us or tear our fingernails.

So when releasing a new product into struggling economic conditions, keep in mind that everything from the product name to the user-friendly packaging all play its part in determining success.

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Posted by William Lozito at November 20, 2008 8:05 AM
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