Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Who comes up with these names?

Within the span of about three days I encountered two products that left me agog at the thought process behind naming them.

Seeing “Anarchy” welding gear, I felt pretty certain that the people in the board room rejected “Extreme” as too cliché. But “anarchy” was “edgy” and “hip”, so they went with that instead. When I hear the term “anarchy”, welding is one of the last things that comes to mind. 

But the one that really left me shaking my head was “Lynch Mob” duck calls. Uhhhh......what?! I guess if your target audience are guys called Bubba, they likely don’t see the problem. The rest of the world is left with a really bad taste in their mouths. This is not a term that evokes warm, fuzzy feelings in any thoughtful person.

It’s mindless, lazy and frankly tactless.

According to the principles of product naming, sure, they check off the boxes in the legal part, (they can be trademarked), but as for appealing to a potential target audience, or implying or evoking a salient brand attribute, quality or benefit, or any sort of symbolic association, they fail. It’s appropriation, taking a name and applying it to something else. But it’s not evocative, and it certainly is not humorous.

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