Seinfeld on Marketing: Names

It’s Friday! That means it is time once again for another installment of Seinfeld on Marketing. In this scene George and Susan are eating dinner with a couple and George decides to “help” the couple pick out a name for their soon-to-be-born baby girl:

SUSAN: So, have you picked out a name yet?
CARRIE: Well, we’ve narrowed it down to a few. We like Kimberley.
SUSAN: Aww.
GEORGE: (negative) Hu-ho, boy.
KEN: You don’t like Kimberley?
GEORGE: Ech. What else you got?
KEN: How about Joan?
GEORGE: Aw c’mon, I’m eating here.
SUSAN: (warning) George!
CARRIE: Pamela?
GEORGE: Pamela?! Awright, I tell you what. You look like nice people, I’m gonna help you out. You want a beautiful name? Soda.
KEN: What?
GEORGE: Soda. S-O-D-A. Soda.
CARRIE: I don’t know, it sounds a little strange.
GEORGE: All names sound strange the first time you hear ’em. What, you’re telling me people loved the name Blanche the first time they heard it?

(My apologizes to anyone named Kimberley, Joan, Pamela, Blanche and even Soda)

So you’re in charge of naming your soon-to-be-born product. Congrats! We’ll break out the cigars later, but for now lets talk about some naming rules. The name you choose must:

  • Fit the concept or category
  • Be easy to pronounce and spell
  • Pass the test of time (no buzzwords or fad-type words)
  • Resonate with your target market
  • Be something that is memorable

Also, you may:

  • Use made up words (like Google or iPod), but this may require more time for the name to slip into mainstream conversation.
  • Use common words used out of context (like Apple, Amazon or Soda). However, this again may require more time to allow the association (Amazon and books) to sink in.

What other naming rules can you think of?

This post is part of a weekly series, Seinfeld on Marketing.

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2 Responses

  1. Must not be offensive or contradictory when translated into other languages (e.g., Chevy Nova = no go).

  2. Ron,

    Great point. Although it appears that the Chevy Nova example may not be true. But I ‘m sure that there are plenty of examples that are true.

    Anyone else?

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