Product Naming: May 2011 Archives

Sometimes, product naming gives me a headache.

Take, for example, the news that Bayer Aspirin is giving us a faster-acting aspirin in hopes of taking back lost sales in the over-the-counter pain-reliever sector, and attracting younger buyers.

BayerAdvanced.pngThe Washington Post solemnly informs us that "expanding the demographic of users is key to budging Bayer's 14.6 percent market share" and consumers' number one complaint is that the stuff just does not work fast enough.

How fast is fast? Well, the average dose of regular Bayer Aspirin starts working in 100 minutes and the new formulation, called Bayer Advanced Aspirin, starts working in just 16 minutes.

Never mind that the real culprit as far as lagging sales are concerned, seems to be the rise in generics (Aspirin is a double generic: you can sell it under any name, as it has become genericized).

A glance at the box of Bayer Advanced Aspirin has me scratching my head. Where, may I ask, do we learn about the astounding fast acting qualities of this new product?

It is called "Advanced," and we are then told it is "Extra Strength" and that it has "Pro-Release Technology" behind it.

Now, doesn't "Pro-Release" sound alot like "Slow-Release?" Like you see on some allergy medications? And don't we know that this would completely defeat the purpose of the new product?

Yes, it does say "Fast, Safe Pain Relief" but really, shouldn't we add that this new formulation works up to five times faster?

Faster is the magic word here, not fast!

Aspirin in any form is the mildest over-the-counter pain reliever you can buy. Aleve or Motrin 800 are far more powerful. Consumers know this. Aspirin is seen as an old-school pain reliever. This is why consumers seem to be taking it more to prevent stroke and heart attacks than to kill headaches.

A recent Bayer campaign even suggested that some of the great minds of history would not have been as effective without Aspirin, a campaign that only underlines the fact that aspirin is pretty retro pain relief.

Some bloggers feel that the Bayer brand is too diluted, and is not tightly associated with pain relief.

I disagree. Bayer Aspirin is the gold standard of aspirin brands. And studies have shown that while consumers may happily buy generics to save money, they believe that the branded remedy is more effective.

Bayer's major means of revamping the brand and the product materialized when it became clear that it could start working in sixteen minutes.

Why are they not banging that drum harder? Why call it "Advanced" when you could call it "Faster?" (Regulatory reasons, I guess).

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IntelIvyBridge.pngThe news of Intel's new technology,
3D Tri-Gate transistors, is sending waves of excitement through the blogosphere.

The new line is being referred to as "Ivy Bridge" and will replace the current "Sandy Bridge" line of processors. This may indeed be a "breakthrough" in semi-conductor design.

It seems Ivy Bridge is right now just a codename. Sandy Bridge was the internal name for its Second Generation Core processors.

The Ivy Bridge chips will go into a variety of devices, but the important market for Intel lies in mobile processors - think iPhones and iPads. This puts Intel on a collision course with ARM, who already supplies to most smartphone and tablet manufacturers.

PC World is saying this is a breakthrough. Calling this kind of chip the "future of computing," and they go on to say that, "With 3D transistors, Intel may finally have the ammunition it needs to do battle in the smartphone and tablet markets." We'll see the new chips in laptops first, and then they are sure to migrate into the mobile markets.

What will it be named?

The Sandy Bridge code name has endured and is regularly used in the press. It has an interesting history - the chip was originally called "Gesher," which means "bridge" in Hebrew, but was eliminated when it was discovered that Gesher is also the name of a former unsuccessful political party in Israel.

The Sandy Bridge name does not reference an actual geographical place on a map, which is Intel's usual code naming process. In the past, they have used public places that cannot be trademarked and do not have any risk of lawsuits. The Sandy Bridge name was a result of a suggestion from upper management for a switch.

In any event, expect to see the Ivy Bridge name endure, at least in the world of geekdom.

What will customers see? Well, Intel's naming system is a beast that they are trying to tame, as I have written before.

They will almost certainly call this the "Third Generation Core" processor, but after that, it gets complicated.

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GhostFaceKillahBeer.pngRapper Ghostface Killah has a new, limited edition beer out there that is inspired by his name (sort of, not really).

Twisted Pine beer has a new, spicy beer out called Ghost Face Killah, which was partly inspired by the Wu-Tang Clan member. They even claim to have "reached out" to Mr., er, Killah, in an effort to co-brand the beer with him, but he was unavailable.

So why do they get the product name? Because the name itself comes from the Ghost Face Killer character seen in the 1979 kung-fu movie "Mystery of Chessboxing." Ghostface has co-opted that title as well, in his single "Da Mystery Of Chessboxin."

This is a pepper-infused wheat beer with the charming tagline "The Hottest Beer This Side of Hell" that includes what is purportedly the world's hottest pepper, the so-called "ghost pepper" or Bhut Jolokia. This stuff is so hot, you could use it as a weapon. The graphics on the bottle feature a skull engulfed in flames holding a pepper.

Some blogs say that a beer named after Ghostface ought to be called "Ghost's Nutmeg" or "Shakey Dog" or even "The Grain." These reference songs sung by the man.

Ghostface still has no comment on the beer or its name. I'd imagine that by the time he does get around to saying something, this limited edition product will be a ghost - only 100 bottles were brewed, just in time for Cinco de Mayo (May 5).

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