Good names, bad names, and terrible names

Acabo de leer (vía Wordlab) el artículo que escribe Theodore Kinni sobre las razones por las que una compañía adopta un buen nombre, una mala denominación o una marca terrible. La idea es que en la actualidad “if you want to sell your widget around the world, you must either find a name that is compelling and legally unencumbered in the ten or fifty or however many different countries in which you plan to market it, or you must come up with a number of different, but still great, country-specific names for the same widget. And, by the way, you must also contend with all of the businesses around the world that are trying to come up with their own great names”.

Sobre Kodak: “Over a century ago, Eastman approached the naming process in much the same way that many of today’s brand and trade namers recommend — playfully. According to company lore, he conjured it during a game of anagrams with his mother. He started with a letter. ‘The letter K has been a favorite with me — it seems a strong, incisive sort of letter,’ he said. ‘It became a question of trying out a great number of combinations of letters that made words starting and ending with K’. It sounds rather arbitrary, but Eastman had other reasons for settling on Kodak. ‘This is not a foreign name or word; it was constructed by me to serve a definite purpose,’ he explained on registering his trademark in Great Britain. “It has the following merits as a trade-mark word: First. It is short. Second. It is not capable of mispronunciation. Third. It does not resemble anything in the art and cannot be associated with anything in the art.’

Sobre Pentium: “No one is suggesting that a great name can make a substandard product or company great. Ask Intel, which made implicit promises of state-of-the-art performance with the ‘Pentium’ name. In 1994, to preserve its brand, the company was forced to undertake a $475 million recall of chips because of a bug that the vast majority of its customers would never encounter”.

Sobre Reebok: “A bad name, on the other hand, can hurt or even kill a product or company. Back in 1996, Reebok created a women’s running shoe and named it Incubus. No one knows what possessed Reebok to ignore the dictionary during the naming process, but the company failed to discern the word’s definition until the first day it advertised the shoe”.

Sobre Nintendo: “Nintendo announced that its new game platform would be named Wii. ‘Wii sounds like ‘we,’ which emphasizes this console is for everyone,’ the company painstakingly explained.

Algunos de los libros de Kinni se pueden encontrar aquí.

One thought on “Good names, bad names, and terrible names

  1. Pingback: Impresiones, el Blog de Javier Velilla » Blog Archive » Las tendencias en el naming: controversias acerca de cómo denominar

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