The name of the game

Many companies are stuck with business and product names which really don’t translate well to an online world for one reason or another. Maybe they’ve got odd characters in the name, which might be one factor in B&Q choosing the website domain name diy.com. Or maybe the name is the same as something way more popular in a different field. Scientists considering buying your “Justinbieber 3000” spectrometer might be fine with the name, but forget anyone ever finding you on Google. I suspect this is why we’ve seen so many companies changing their names in recent years to slightly odd, Latin-sounding words like “Agricola” or “Spectaculum”. At least the domain names are available. (I just made those up, by the way, I hope they’re not rude or anything).

Similarly, it’s more important than ever to give your products (and companies) names which are unique as well as memorable. I could never understand those businesses which dumped their marketing departments with something to promote called the “567 000-345/23 BT890000”. It’s even more unforgivable now that we’re finally starting to care about the hard work this causes customers. One of our AdWords management clients actually has some products we can’t advertise in a standard advert, because the model number has more than the permitted maximum of 25 characters. You could number every atom in your body with a code that long. It impresses nobody.

Conversely, calling your product something friendly like the “Akabusi” or the “Ambleside” isn’t going to help anyone find it online either. There’s a happy compromise, and the marketing department needs to assert itself in finding out what it should be.

Discussion

  1. David Turner

    It’s a very good point. I started to think that brands like Drupal and Joomla chose ridiculous names for their CMSs to make marketing managers look stupid when they proposed using them in front of a room full of directors. Then I thought perhaps it was because no-one else would have that exact ridiculous name. Then I realised it was as a result of brainstorming, the single worst solution to any problem.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *