Kill A Killer Product

Rich Tehrani : Communications and Technology Blog -
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Kill A Killer Product

Thanks to April Dunford's tweet for pointing out this entry on her blog pertaining to how to kill a killer product. One thing she leaves out and I have been meaning to mention for a while is -- in the consumer space -- the importance of naming a product effectively.

For example Apple is a master at selecting simple, easy and trendy product names. iMac, iPod, iPhone. Sony is one of the companies that uses too many letters in its product names. The company recently ran an ad touting its noise cancelling digital headphones which are according to user tests better than comparable models from Bose.

While Bose has names for their headphones like QuietComfort 1,2 and 3 - Sony chose a non-intuitive name -- MDR-NC500D -- the problems with such names is - when someone sees you are using these headphones and asks if you like them and what they are called, what do you say? Oh yeah - I love these headphones and the model number is the MDR - uhhh, well, NC MDR, uhh. Forget it.

Even if the owner of the headphones remembers the name, the person asking won't. What on earth is Sony thinking?

This is the same problem I have with the HTC/UT Starcom XV6800 phone I use. People ask me what it is and to be honest it is branded as a Verizon phone but is made by HTC and distributed by UT Starcom. People ask me what it is called because they want to buy one and it is not easy for me to answer. Do I just say XV6800? Verizon XV6800? I mentioned that the XV6700 the predecessor to this device should have been called the mobile office or something similar. I still think when companies have what they consider to be a "killer" product, the name should imply simplicity and name recognition is crucial.

I would like to finish this entry by saying that the consumer and business markets are converging in my opinion and using simple and catchy names in the b2B space is as crucial as in the consumer space. Don't name that new IP-PBX the IPB-20131JHP, call it "IP Simplicity" or "Productivity1" or some other cool name. I know this may seem silly but product selection and purchases are more emotional than you may first think.

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