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Editorial: the problem with bad product names and what we can learn from it

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    Editorial: the problem with bad product names and what we can learn from it

    Product names generally fall into one of four different categories: good, safe, meaningless and bad. There may be better categories to group them in, but we'll use these for the purpose of this editorial. In the first category I'd put something like Kindle, arguably one of the best new product names of the last ten years. iPhone and iPad, and their subsequent suffixed versions, are in the safe category. They're perfectly fine names for a cellphone and a tablet, but they're not as original or distinct as iMac or iPod were, which I'd consider good (iPod nano, shuffle and touch, on the other hand, are all safe names).

    In the meaningless category are things like the MSI GT683DXR or ASUS XU6280, one of which I just made up. Some meaningless names can also be good in their simplicity -- like the Nokia N9 or Nikon D3S -- but they are still basically nothing more than differentiators. This is an acceptable option.
    In the bad category are the majority of smartphones released in the past few years. Rezound. Rhyme. Vivid. Epic. Sensation. Thrill. Skyrocket. Conquer. Triumph. Enlighten. Infuse. Prevail. Arrive. Can you name the company behind each phone? And those are just a few examples from this year. The names aren't just bad -- they're noise. Some names might fall into a fifth, slightly murkier okay category, but there are certainly more phones (and, increasingly, tablets) in the bad category than any other, and I'd argue that's a sign of a larger problem.Continue reading Editorial: the problem with bad product names and what we can learn from it
    Editorial: the problem with bad product names and what we can learn from it originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 11 Nov 2011 12:00:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
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