Automotive: April 2007 Archives

Broin’s Poetry in Naming

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broin_logo.jpgBroin Companies, the nation’s second largest ethanol producer, and a significant bio fuel researcher, has changed its name to Poet.

Chuck Offenburger worte an insightful blog post about it, and loves the company name change. He even asked a few poets what they thought of the name change. Robert Dana, a Poet-in-Residence and Professor of English at Cornell College, stated “It strikes me quickly as both preposterous on one hand, and possibly marvelous on the other hand.”

I had a similar reaction to Ballad Enterprises, Sonnet Technologies and Song Airlines.

You can watch a short video on the company's web site that explains the name change. The company’s CEO Jeff Broin was quoted on the Domestic Fuel Blog: “We wanted a name that would represent, rather than describe, who we are and what we do.”

I think Broin's comments are spot on.

POET_logo.jpgIt’s no secret that ethanol is the “green” fuel alternative and Broin has positioned its brand and its name perfectly to stand for more than just fuels. Bringing poetry to their brand is just the first step. It also brings resonance and meaning to products that some may find rather uninspiring.

There may be a few critics of the bold name change, but I think that by changing its name to “Poet,” Broin has transcended the category of selling fuel to creativity, ingenuity and a better world. Those are things that poets have hoped for through the ages.

And that argument is a lot like the one Apple Computer (now Apple Inc.) made to creative types with its successful Think Different campaign.

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New Luxury Brand Name from Hyundai?

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hyundai-genesis.jpgIt seems that Hyundai is serious about building a new premium brand to sell alongside its own marquee, reports Noah Joseph at Autoblog. The recent introduction of the Genesis concept car seems to be a sign of things to come.

This, of course, is similar to Toyota creating the premium Lexus brand name expanding its brand architecture, just as Nissan accomplished with Infiniti and Honda with Acura.

I think what we're really seeing here is the beginning of a shift in consumers' perceived quality of the Hyundai brand. For some time, the Hyundai name has lived on the fringe and was associated with economy. Taking cues from the formula Toyota and Honda made successful, I think this is the right direction for Hyundai. The difference? They're doing it much faster.

Hyundai is well aware that there are incredible challenges in its way. First of all, it seems as if Hyundai has to give its dealers lessons in how to sell luxury cars as opposed to “value” cars. And an article in the Washington Post points out that Hyundai has a long way to go in the U.S., where its cars are still considered “cheap."

It also does not help that Chung Mong Koo, the company’s chairman, was caught embezzling the equivalent of $73.8 million from the company.

Nevertheless, Hyundai has pitted its Veracruz vs. the Lexus RX350 and their overall product line keeps getting kudus for its quality, not least from JD power and Associates, who ranked the brand third in the U.S. for overall quality. On the other hand, the same company put Hyundai among the 7 car brand names (Jaguar, Jeep, Hyundai, Kia, Land Rover, Saab and Suzuki) with the worst reputations in the business among consumers last year.

Hyundai is the official vehicle of the 2010 Soccer World Cup in South Africa and I can say with confidence that the advertisers there have been told to expect a new high-end premium brand name from Hyundai. This will be a huge platform on which to launch a super-premium brand for Hyundai.

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VW Eos Product Naming Includes Scarves, Shoes, iPods

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VW EosThe new is clearly aimed at women: its name means "goddess of the dawn" and is also the name of a new upscale airline.

I have been following the VW Eos for a while and have noticed that VW has co-branded with fashion brand names , and to create a new line of "lifestyle accessories" around the Eos that include silk scarves, cashmere blankets and wraps as well as driving shoes and gloves.

I think naming a car Eos to appeal to woman (Karl Brauer is tempted to call it a "really cool secretary's car") is a wise move and I do not often see a car so single mindedly aimed at women.

Possibly VW’s offering to men — and that’s petty much all the rest of its cars — is being bolstered by the introduction of the overseas that has MacUser saying, "While the iGolf looks like a nice car, it’s still pretty amazing to see an iPod accessory that’s a car."

Wired's Gadget Lab is calling it the "ultimate iPod dock": in fact, the iPod fits into the armrest. It's pretty amazing that this warrants a name change.

I doubt that we will see the VW iGolf brand name in the US anytime soon, however there is already an iGolf here (of course): the distance finder.

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