Product Naming for Dummies

Marketing people sucks.

Every now and then these people sit in their comfy offices scratching their balls thinking of new ways to infiltrate their latest “marketing buzzwords” into our vernacular.
That’s not the sad part. The sad part is when these products become popular, every other marketing managers and their dogs begin coming up with similar product names hoping to cash in on their popularity. Problem is, a lot of these product names making little or no sense at all.
I can almost visualise their marketing departments’ thought process in Dilbert-style comics.

Here’s top 3 marketing monikers I find most annoying.
The -360° Suffix

Made famous by: Microsoft
Originally used to mean: A new revolution
Shameless abused by: Yahoo
Examples: Microsoft’s Xbox 360°; Yahoo’s Yahoo 360°.
Name you’ll never hear: MRT 360° – Going Right Back To Where You Started.

The Cyber- Prefix

Made famous by: Cybernetics
Originally used to mean: Through the use of a computer.
Shameless abused by: Cyberjaya – a white elephant trying too hard to be that futuristic world class “intelligent city” it initially set out to be.
Examples: Cyberspace, Cybercafe, Cybersex, Cybercrime, Cyberlaw.
Phrase you’ll never hear: “Kanina Chow Cyber!” – Cuss words coming out from the mouths of Multimedia University students when they failed a major assignment.

The i- Prefix

Made famous by: Apple
Originally used to denote: Connectivity to the Internet, replacing the ubiquitous “e-” prefix during the dotcom boom in the mid 90s.
Shameless abused by: Osim
Examples: Apple’s iPod, iMac, iBook; Osim’s iSymphonic, iDesire, iGallop.
Product you’ll never see: Osim iSuck – The New Vacuum Cleaner From Osim.

That’s just the beginning. I have a feeling that the world isn’t about to move away from the whole “lower-case single character prefix” craze anytime soon.
And it’s getting real iRRitating.

I timed myself today – I can walk one kilometre in 6 minutes comfortably. Now, all I gotta do is repeat that 42 times in 2 weeks.

81 Replies to “Product Naming for Dummies”

  1. hey guess what, i’m a marketing + advertisement freak myself and found this really interesting:
    Electrolux, Sucks! [for their vacumm cleaner]

  2. heh, about the i- prefix, actually it started on the iPaq (2000 – compare with iPod in 2001) and was pretty successful there. but no doubt Apple was much better with their marketing and today anything with an i- in front is thought to have copied from Apple =)
    iLike your blog360

  3. hey’ve just pin point a fact what’s going on in the world now…they COPY! that’s the only thought pple have in their minds now..can’t blame them~
    Seriously, i really luv your iSucks ad but too bad we’re never gonna see it in public. How sad~ might want to consider starting another blog with ikennysia dot com..

  4. hahaha. great one kenny.
    didn’t the whole ‘i’ thing start with the ‘e’ thing with the internet? like ur ‘eServer’ and ‘eMail’ and ‘eCommerce’?
    maybe were going by vowels.. next one should be ‘o’. oPod. oRiver. hmm.. maybe skip ‘o’ and just go straight to ‘u’ so that the next generation ‘iSuck’ is ‘uSuck’

  5. Ijane Utarzan 2gether Vpower…
    I guess the ‘i’ is a metaphor for something personal and individualistic, making it more applicable for the customers. the ‘i’ in i-suck could possibly an acronym for something. (i)ncredible?(i)ngenious?(i)nappropriate?

  6. Serves the fact that the marketing think-tanks of this world have all run out of their creative juices.
    They quit being creative and just wait for something unique to pop up and jump on that bandwagon.
    I vote for Kenny to be da King of marketing think-tanks. The rest shall follow. =)

  7. Ya, and the ‘i’ prefix thing is trademark-ed. My fren wanna open a graphic designing shop called ‘iStudio’and she’s not allowed… need to find another name when she registers for her company.

  8. i recently saw an ad for car-window film called ‘iKool’…not to be confused with ‘iUnoriginalbecausewe’retoolazythinkofabettername’

  9. kenny,
    u know what is iSex?
    scroll down,,,,,,
    kenny i know u do the iSex thingy lah,,,

  10. HILARIOUS!!!
    Obviously, u have a flair for contributing your stories for “thoughts and musings”.
    so, continue to ‘dish out’ such true-yet-so-funny stories!
    PS. Do u have any plans 2 publish a book?

  11. I suck
    You suck
    We suck
    They suck
    He sucks
    She sucks
    It sucks
    Marketing people = they
    Therefore, “Marketing people sucks” = wrong
    Correction, “Marketing people suck” = right
    This message was brought to you by the Grammar Police.

  12. i wonder now if in the near future people would actually give their children names start with some prefix like that… hehe…
    oh btw,answering to ur question whether is it nice or not to have a carbon copy partner? well,for saggy,yeah it is nice..bcs i am one(saggy),and i have one =P and it is so far a really very adventurous and fun relationship,i might say…;)

  13. Ipod Imac Ibook….Whats wrong with it? I think Mac’s smart for using the consitency of the ‘i’. It markets well and its straight to the point. In the future mac wont have to use some lame add for its product. Just one poster with an “I” on it. You have other companies trying to manipulate and duplicate it but sorreh mate. The “i” is hogged by mac.
    Call it the macult. iLove my mac!

  14. hey man i agree with ya on the osin sucks thingy. that vaccum cleaner really sucks. i own one and its never proven its worth. much like the osin staff. bunch of lazy, sweet talking, worthless, protcting their ass ppl. go trash osim, i’m behind you all the way

  15. Dear Kenny,
    Hi.. I know this might sound odd to you ( well for one thing, you don’t know me.. ) but I need a favor from you.
    You see, I saw your UZAP poster like 2 years ago and yeah, I thought that it was really interesting, funny and creative. Emm.. something else actually caught my attention as well. The original UZAP poster ( not the one with Marion on it ).. I have been looking for the one with some few girls on it telling all the positive remarks on that product..
    Beleive it or not, I even went to several Osim outlets just to have a look again at that particular poster but, they no longer keep the poster.
    Is there a way that I can get hold of it?
    Do you have it with you or something?
    Yeah, I know..
    Thanks anyway…

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