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#1 NickDMax  Icon User is offline

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Marketing Names vs. Software Names

Posted 09 May 2011 - 11:42 AM

Once upon a time a piece of software or suit was generally given names, some enigmatic in meaning or reason, but a distict name: Word, Office, Draw, sea monkey, etc.

Now however it seems that organizations are rebranding products to rather generic and hard to remember things such as:

Content Services
Enhanced Management Portal
Document Repository Management Studio

These new names rarely make good acronyms (although they are inevitably better known in acronym form) and seem to change quite often. As a customer facing consultant I often get caught up in all of the verious names for products at my organization, and other venders are even more confusing. While it may be a little embarrasing not to know the latest marketing term of some internal piece of software, the problem with other vendors software can often make us look unknowable or untrustworthy since the customer may not know the vendor X used to name their product Y and think we don't know what we are talking about at all.


Anyway I was wondering if anyone knew why companies are going away from giving a piece of software a solid name. I figure it has something to do with copywrites or trademarks etc. but that does not seem to make sense since it is easier to defend the name "AppStore" then "Application Acquisition Market"

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Replies To: Marketing Names vs. Software Names

#2 tlhIn`toq  Icon User is offline

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Re: Marketing Names vs. Software Names

Posted 09 May 2011 - 12:06 PM

After a while
Word 2001
Word 2003
Word 2005
Word 2007
All sound alike and people begin to wonder if there really is a difference justifying the expense of purchase - which often there isn't.

But "Document design platform" sounds new and shiny and impressive. It's a 'studio': It must be so much more than a word processor. Let's get it.

Companies scramble to retain revenue when the economy turns to crap. That means nifty marketing mumbo jumbo. Any technique (read 'trick') to get the public to buy.

Frankly, for most people there is no to update from Office 2005, to 2007, to 2010. For what? Writing emails and the occasional paper letter to Home Shopping Network complaining about a product? A simple spreadsheet of one page? Most users don't come close to using the full potential of their software and there is rarely some amazing NEW feature that justifies the cost. But the software vendor still needs to stay in business.
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#3 NickDMax  Icon User is offline

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Re: Marketing Names vs. Software Names

Posted 09 May 2011 - 12:30 PM

I think most product marketed directly to end users still tend to maintain the single "name" -- its the ones marketed to organizations that tend to be given fancy "phrase names"

One thing I think I recognize is the inclusion of verbs (or at least gerunds -- verbs become nouns). So maybe it is just a marketing thing trying to make the products sound more active and important. The trade off being clarity which probably works in their favor too since it becomes hard to keep up with all of the names.

It just seems to me that it would be better to be known for "Advantica 8.5" the Content Management Advantage then "Content Management Advantage Studio 8.5"

(note: I have to admit that I am HORRIBLE at naming things. I mean its bad. I am not even very good at naming variables. Database admins despise me and my table naming "conventions" etc. so... )
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#4 tlhIn`toq  Icon User is offline

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Re: Marketing Names vs. Software Names

Posted 09 May 2011 - 12:42 PM

I completely agree about the verb thing, but wasn't going to bring it up thinking I was off my nut.

But yeah... Our society has stressed productivity more now than ever. So if a software title sounds like it will help us get more done in less hours or with less labor... If it sounds like it can do the work for us... then it might be easier to justify the purchase, which is the hope of the software vendor.

Our company still uses 'real' names that describe the product.

Thrill-Capture - Captures photos from a camera
Thrill-Display - Displays captured photos
Thrill-Archive - Archive and backup system.

We have this old-fashioned idea that to sell new software maybe we should offer genuine improvement and upgrades and new features. What a concept!
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#5 NickDMax  Icon User is offline

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Re: Marketing Names vs. Software Names

Posted 09 May 2011 - 01:17 PM

Another thought occurred to me. Many vendors are named after (or at least it seems that way) their core product. For example Oracle, SAP -- so then when they come up with new products they want to leverage the "brand". So we get "Oracle Application Management Suit", etc. Or IBM worked hard at the "WebSphere" name and now there are a ton of different "WebSphere" products and you have to stay on your toes to know if "WebSphere" refers to "WebSphere Application Server", "WebSphere Web Server" etc. -- As far as I can tell they just pack the name "WebSphere" into anything they want to market in that particular area (webby-like-stuff).

If Oracle were to have developed Java in-house today it would probably be called something like: "Oracle Virtual Appliance Application Environment and Control Language"

Had IBM done it, it would be something like: "WebSphere Virtual Application Platform" or something equally confusing and useless.
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