Automotive: September 2008 Archives

How Much Does Gender Affect Naming?

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

Genderizing brand naming is a tricky business.

re-gifters.jpgSome brand names that are meant to appeal to women seem to fail despite the "can't miss" odds. One example is DC's Minx line of graphic novels (including Re-Gifters, pictured right), while some feminine sounding brand names aimed at men, like Claiborne, seem to do quite well.

L'eggs panty hose is a great brand name for women and Marlboro is a masculine brand name cigarette that appeals to men, but also had plenty of crossover appeal to females.

Things get even trickier with fragrances. Men seem content embracing both masculine and feminine brand names when it comes to colognes, such as Ralph Lauren's macho sounding "Safari" name, as well as more unisex names like "Chic."

And then there is Chanel's "Pour Monsieur," which received a great review in a recent article in The Independent. Most would assume that taking one of the most feminine names out there and tacking "Pour Monsieur" to it to attract men wouldn't work, but in this case, it most certainly did.

On the other hand, cigarette makers have discovered that women appear to prefer the taste of feminine sounding brand name cigarettes to those with more masculine names, even when the test groups taste the exact same product. If this were not the case, Camel would not likely offer us the sexy sounding "No. 9" brand cigarette.

miata-mx-5-3.pngNot surprisingly, consumers seem just as willing to apply genderized naming to cars. More feminine sounding names seem to attract women, while hard, masculine names appeal more to men. For example, take a look at the top ten cars for women, which all have polite, demure names like Miata (pictured above), Sentra, Fit and Civic.

That said, women also seem to be turned on by the sound of high performance cars that have wonderful, lyrical, and dare I say it, feminine sounding names like Maserati, Lamborghini and Ferrari. This was actually uncoverd by some research sponsored by a company called "Hiscox." No joke.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Trademark and Naming: the Good, The Bad and the Ugly

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

Trademark law is a special interest of mine, not least because I am always interested in how good brand names are used (licensed) and misused (trading off someone's brand equity).

lamborghini-logo.pngThe Good: Lamborghini is now licensing its name for office equipment, which looks pretty interesting to a car loving desk jockey.

They also have licensed their name for a men's jewelry line. Here we see high end, finely crafted products that reflect well upon the mother brand: the watches offer "classic styling and superior performance under the most demanding conditions."

The Bad: AAA is defending its well known trademark against various pretenders, including one outfit called AAA logo.pngAAA Smogz and another company based in Tacoma called AAA Insurance, Inc.

The real question is whether or not there is a likelihood of confusion between the real AAA and a few imitators? The obvious answer, yes! The real AAA offers insurance and of course car related products and services. Many would consider this outright theft and we wish the real AAA well in its efforts to protect its very recognizable brand name.

tatanano.gifThe Ugly: The Tata Nano, India's answer to The Beetle, already had its clever naming poached by . . . bakers? Small time fruit cake makers in India are using the Nano name to sell their products and there is nothing that Tata can do about it. What's makes this even more interesting is that these fruitcakes just grab any name that is in the news and run with it. "People may not have any idea of the product or its quality but they will want to nano-ipodhand.pngbuy one just out of curiosity." This has led some people to think that auto giant Tata is now in the cake biz.

You have to wonder what Steve Jobs is thinking. Some people think Tata grabbed the Nano name after seeing the success of the iPod Nano.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , ,