the product naming blog

May 17, 2012

Australia Wangles a Naming and Branding Blooper

car.pngEvery so often I like to return to one of the biggest dangers in the world of naming and branding, and that's what happens when your brand becomes lost in translation.

It seems a company from down under called Wyngle found that their name really wasn't trusted all that much by Americans as it sounds too much like "wangle." So they are now named Wynbox.com.

The article, Five business rebrands that got lost in translation, mentions four other notorious failures, including Peugeot's ill-fated attempt to move into the Chinese market - the Chinese translation of Peugeot is "Biao zhi," which sounds like the Chinese slang term for "prostitute."

Other notable faux pas include Pepsi's slogan "Come alive with the Pepsi Generation" which in Taiwanese translates to "Pepsi will bring your ancestors back from the dead." And in China the KFC mantra "finger licking good" translates to "eat your fingers off."

But of course the world is littered with terrible names, and they just keep coming. Vauxhall's new car will be called "Adam," leading one source to wonder "Couldn't Vauxhall have done better?"

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And don't forget about the Netflix, SyFy, iSnack 2.0 and AOL naming debacles.

Let's just hope companies learn from these brand naming faux pas.

We have compiled a list of brand naming faux pas you may find helpful.

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May 15, 2012

Ford De-emphasizes Its Naming in the New "Go Further" Campaign

FordGoFurtherLogo.pngFord's new slogan, "Go Further" will replace its "Drive One" message while also making an interesting move in de-emphasizeing its brand name and logo in advertising.

This effort to de-emphasize the name is fairly radical as Ford has aways been very straightforward about its brand name (the F series truck is the best selling vehicle in the U.S. and of course "F" stands for "Ford").

Ford is trying to "overcome negative perceptions" about its name and get people to pay attention to the cars and the marketing. One Ford executive says, "As soon as people see the badges they jump to conclusions about the brand."

As a response to consumer research that showed people liking the products more when they did not know where they came from, Ford unveiled a week of nameless advertising starting April 30. These nameless ads generated 3.4 million consumer views online.

Despite consumer intrigue, Ford reintroduced the name and logo in its advertising a week later.

The new "Go Further" advertising will target the "skeptics" who see Ford as a less than stellar brand when it comes to quality and fuel consumption, areas where Toyota and Honda dominate.

They are not creating a "new reality" for the company, says another executive, but instead are documenting the "goodness in the company already."

The idea is that Ford is so well known - but so misrepresented - that the brand can now quietly reposition itself. Will this happen without constant reminders to consumers about who they are? Time will tell.

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April 24, 2012

E.F. Hutton Rebirth Brings Back Classic 80s Naming and Branding

efhutton_logo.pngI find it interesting that the E.F. Hutton brand name is making a comeback.

It is one of those iconic brands that we all missed when it disappeared in 1987 after being acquired by Shearson Lehman Brothers.

Remember the tagline "When E.F. Hutton talks, people listen?" It was even parodied in the 1983 movie Trading Places.

Now, former Hutton executives including Stanley Hutton, grandson of the founder Edward Hutton, want to bring the brand name back. The resurrection of the company, much like that of PeoplExpress Airlines, represents sound business sense from a simpler era - never mind that both brand names are tainted by failure.

Frank Campanale, former executive and new CEO of E.F. Hutton stated, "We're trying to create a great firm with great culture, something E.F. Hutton had. We have a clean slate."

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He went on to say that "It's a fantastic brand and it still has a wonderful legacy, not only with the advisers who loved working there but with the clientele as well."

Campanale had been chasing the name for years, until he ultimately secured it from Retriever Brands a year ago. The name itself has been out there for a surprisingly long time before being revived.

Robert Rittereiser, who was named president of Hutton in 1985, believes the name has a certain cache that should stretch across the decades.

I do think that some of these names still stand for a culture that people miss. Will E.F. Hutton seem too retro for today's investor? Probably not.

Nowadays, most well known financial brands are so tarnished that you really need to go back into history to find one that attracted consumers. I'm glad to see the E.F. Hutton name is with us again.

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March 23, 2012

Tagline Contest for a New iPad 3

apple-ipad-3-hd-new-photo.jpegThis is not a scam.

We have already shared a growing list of more than 2000 major brand and company taglines and slogans.

We are looking for entries that aren't already on our list.

Everybody loves a clever tagline or slogan. From repetition ("It keeps going and going and going" - Energizer) to juxtaposition ("Some of the Best Men are Women" - U.S. Army) to double entendre ("Nothing Runs Like a Deere" - John Deere), the best taglines and slogans are not only memorable, they become part of "the fabric of our lives."

The judging is simple.

Submit the greatest number of taglines or slogans for major brands and companies that are not already on our list at: http://www.namedevelopment.com/list-of-taglines.html

For the official contest rules, click here.

Go for it!

Pass this contest on:

Finally, this is not a scam.

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March 19, 2012

Win a New iPad 3 by Entering Strategic Name Development's Tagline and Slogan Contest

iPad3Image.pngEverybody loves a clever tagline or slogan. From repetition ("It keeps going and going and going" - Energizer) to juxtaposition ("Some of the Best Men are Women" - U.S. Army) to double entendre ("Nothing Runs Like a Deere" - John Deere), the best taglines and slogans are not only memorable, they become part of "the fabric of our lives."

And just as great artists and musicians learn how to create modern masterpieces by studying what has gone before them, so do the writers of today's taglines build on the ideas that have helped to market great brands and companies.

We already provide a growing list of more than 2000 major brand and company taglines.

This contest is designed to make this free database an even more robust resource for marketers and advertisers alike.

To qualify, entrants must submit their list of major brand or company taglines and slogans to submittaglines@gmail.com, no later than April 15, 2012. Entrant must also be 18 years or older and legal resident of the United States at the time of submission.

Judging will be based on the person who submits the greatest number of taglines and slogans for major brands and companies that do not already exist on this list: http://www.namedevelopment.com/list-of-taglines.html

We are excited to see who rises to the challenge of this contest - both for the love of taglines and for the opportunity to Think Different and win the world's most coveted technology products -
the new iPad 3.

For the official contest rules, click here.

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