How Smart is Bluetooth? Best and worst names of the week

[Cache – #46]

Names have jobs to do. Vote on which ones do them best and worst.

Your feelings don’t matter. That’s the reality you must accept when naming your organization, product, service, program, business unit, etc.  If, that is, you want a name that helps you make money. The question is not whether you like or love a potential name, but whether it does the jobs done by all great monikers:

1.Communicate the brand’s essence
2.Be distinct
3.Be memorable
4.Inspire and attract stakeholders
5.Leverage an existing naming system, or create a new one
6.Be workable into a suitable domain name
7.Pass linguistics
8.Pass legal

Last Friday we considered the first job: communicate the brand’s essence. This week we’ll look at Job #2. Again I’ll critique some names in terms of that job, and then you can vote on which names do the job best and worst.

Job #2: Be distinct
The name should be different from all brands within its competitive set, from well-known brands outside its competitive set, and should not perpetuate fads or copy popular names.

This week’s names

Bluetooth Smart
Distinctiveness score = 1/5
Using “Smart” to describe the latest Bluetooth technology is lazy. Smart as a name has been associated for years with the Smart Car, and more recently with the tagline – Live Smart – of another copycatter, Hyundai. What does it say about Bluetooth’s latest “innovation” if they can’t come up with an original name for it?

nikon one - best and worst brand names

Nikon One
Distinctiveness score = 2/5
“One” might score well on the brand essence metric, because it conveys the story of its origin: that “it’s a new type of camera that creates new imaging possibilities never before considered with conventional compact digital cameras.” But it doesn’t do well on the distinctiveness dimension because itis difficult or impossible to secure exclusive use of a descriptive word such as “one” – as the just-released Purina One dog food demonstrates.

Distinctiveness score = 4/5
The name of this overnight courier and freight shipping service is quite different from the names of competitors (like Quik-X, TNT or JB Hunt), and indeed seems to be unique among all brands.

Distinctiveness score = 4/5
Bell’s new high-speed internet service has a distinctive name, especially when you consider that competitors like Rogers use descriptive labels like “Hi-Speed”. But if we were talking about Job #4 this week (inspiring and attracting stakeholders) I might wonder why the name calls attention to the fact that this service runs on a phone line, which is widely perceived as slower than cable.

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Previous bests and worsts:
Friday October 28

Friday October 21

Friday October 14

Friday October 7

Friday September 30

Friday September 23

Friday September 16

Friday September 9

Friday September 2

Friday August 26

Friday August 17

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