the product naming blog

May 29, 2012

Should Airport Naming Rights Be Given to Alcohol Brands? China Thinks So

WuliangyeLiquor.jpgImagine that you were taking a flight to Jack Daniels International Airport. Or Absolut International.

Would that be a little, well, strange?

An airport being built in southwest China will be named Wuliangye after a high-end spirits brand.

Wuliangye is a 600 year-old drink that is the second biggest liquor brand in China after Moutai, so the local officials saw a chance to cash in on the brand's resonance.

The brand's flagship office is located a few kilometers from where the airport is being built, which is slated to handle 800,000 passengers yearly by 2020.

This brand naming example has caused a bit of an uproar in China, where airport names have historically referred to the geographic location of the airport.

Chinese bloggers found time to make fun of this move, with one writing "Ha, ha, another new example of the collusion between the government and the business world," and another suggesting that the Xian airport in the northern province of Shaanxi be renamed "Meat Sandwich Airport" after a local food.

It is unclear how much Wuliangye paid for the naming rights, but it is probably the start of a larger trend given the cost of air travel these days.

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Posted by William Lozito at 8:08 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 9, 2012

Palm Springs Has Changed Its Name to an Oasis

The greater Palm Springs area, a desert valley that has seen an increase in tourism, is rebranding itself to The Greater Palm Springs Oasis.

palmspringsoasis.pngAdditionally, the new slogan is "Greater Palm Springs Oasis: A Brand New Day."

Another part of the destination rebranding initiative is the commercial which offers a collection of experiences from golf to music and film festivals.

The new logo is an "oasis infinity" featuring nine loops that symbolize the valley's nine cities and nine "brand pillars."

The nine brand pillars are:

Sanctuary: Spacious places of escape, from historic to quaint to modern and resort.
Seductive: Enticing the senses and passions.
Sensory: Not just a place, but a collection of experiences that engage all the senses.
Serene: An oasis of calm and quality relaxation.
Spectrum: Alive with color, light, discovery, from sunrise to sunset.
Spirit: Enriching, nourishing, rewarding and connects.
Sport: A mecca for outdoor adventure and activity.
Style: Timeless, chic, unique lifestyle, architecture, art, fashion and music.
Sunny: The 360 days of clear blue skies changes your outlook and warms your heart.

The metaphor of an oasis, a peaceful relaxed area, in the desert should draw more attention and visitors to Palm Springs with its new name, The Greater Palm Springs Oasis.

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Posted by William Lozito at 9:27 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 30, 2012

Titanic Naming Sails Again on Exact Replica

OriginalTitanic.pngWould you sail on a boat called Titanic II? Think about it. Would you really bring your significant other and possibly your kids on a transatlantic trip on a boat with this name?

It seems that Australian billionaire Clive Palmer is betting that enough people would do this to actually build a replica of the original Titanic and name it Titanic II.

Palmer assures us that passengers will be safe because "It is going to be designed so it won't sink. It will be designed as a modern ship with all the technology to ensure that doesn't happen."

Which is what people were told back in 1912 when the original Titanic sank.

Ship naming has been making headlines the past week as the U.S. Navy mulls over plans to rename a ship after slain gay rights pioneer Harvey Milk.

The problem some people are having with these ship names is that they do not follow the accepted conventions that were started thousands of years ago by the ancient Romans and Greeks.

The first is, you never change the name of a ship. The second is, you never, ever name a ship after one that has sunk.

There's no law against doing these things, but years of superstition have cemented these rules in sailors' heads.

Ignore them at your peril. Just as Mark Wilkinson of the UK did, who named his pleasure boat Titanic II. It sunk on its maiden voyage, leading the hapless Wilkinson to fume "I got pretty fed up with people asking me if I had hit an iceberg."

Even when you obey the rules, the naming ceremony has to go off right. For instance, the bottle of champagne you break against the stern had better actually break. The ill-fated Aurora passenger ship didn't have such luck and it was beset with problems ever since.

And many believe that bottle of champagne against the Titanic didn't break. The Titanic, however, didn't even have a christening, which might be the worst luck of all.

Heck, even the movie Titanic II was a disaster.

More than that, the Titanic name is synonymous with a tragedy that killed 1,500 people. To actually recreate the ship and give it the same name is to invite the fury of the gods.

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April 25, 2012

New Brand Naming for Roanoke Region Staking Claim to Blue Ridge Mountains?

VAs-Blue-Ridge copy.pngThe new brand name for the Roanoke region will no longer highlight the "Roanoke" name.

The Roanoke name will obviously officially live on, and is still part of the logo. But I think it is interesting indeed that Roanoke takes second fiddle to the name for an entire mountain range that starts in Georgia and ends in Pennsylvania.

The region's new identity is Virginia's Blue Ridge, a name that leverages the beautiful and widely known Blue Ridge Mountains.

As Bart Wilner, President of The Roanoke Valley Convention & Visitors Bureau, put it, "Claiming the Blue Ridge Mountains as ours keeps us focused on the importance of regionalism and working together to benefit everyone."

Now you can have a "Blue Ridge Day" of hiking, shopping and fishing. The new logo shows blue and green lines forming mountains, or possibly rounded hills. It capitalizes on the "metro and mountain" contrast but also gives a real identity to the area from Natural Bridge to Blacksburg to Smith Mountain Lake to Floyd.

The name originates from the region's trees that are almost a blue color thanks to the isoprene they release into the atmosphere. Australia has the "Blue Mountains" for just the same reason.

Fannin County, Georgia, sees itself as the "Gateway to the Blue Ridge Mountains" and the name is used by numerous brands, from a honey company in Georgia to a sportswear outfitter.


The Blue Ridge Mountains have also been the inspiration for numerous country-western songs, ranging from "Blue Ridge Mountain Sky" by the Marshall Tucker Band to "Blue Ridge Mountain Blues" by Earl Scruggs to "Upon the Blue Ridge Mountains" by the Grateful Dead.

I think any objection to the shared use of the name is circumnavigated in the "Virginia's Blue Ridge" name. This area is indeed the part of Virginia located in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

But of course, one would hope that visitors don't get the matter confused and think that Virginia can claim ownership of all the Blue Ridge Mountains.

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April 19, 2012

PeoplExpress Airline Naming Flies Again... After a 25 Year Delay

PEOPLExpresslogo.pngPeople Express Airlines, better know as PeoplExpress, is coming back.

This brand name has risen from the dead and revives an old argument over whether or not taking on a failed brand name, albeit under new management in a new era, is a good idea.

The start-up's president and COO Mike Morisi says, "The brand is iconic, and what people know and remember about it is low fares, great service and high frequency into markets that didn't have existing service. I think what we've identified is an opportunity to replicate that again."

Morisi, who has worked for PeoplExpress in the past, stresses that this will be a completely new company. The former PeoplExpress charged passengers extra for serving drinks on-board, as well as baggage fees - the new version won't.

One travel industry analyst noted, "Any time you pick a name of a company that has gone out of business, you risk reviving the negatives as well as the positives associated with that brand."

I am sure the new brand owners hope their customers won't remember when the airline was called "People Distress" as it began to fail.

Those of us who do remember the former PeoplExpress might have moved on, because cut-fare airlines have almost become the standard today.


The point is that PeoplExpress is known as the first truly cheap service carrier, and that resonance might be leveraged in the future.

But that specter of failure has one airline consultant scoffing, "This isn't a resuscitation of PeoplExpress of old. It's just some people starting an airline and naming it after one that failed miserably.''

But even in a world of cut price airlines, having a name that still means "bare bones" and "cheap" must have value.

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Posted by William Lozito at 8:36 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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