It was almost a year ago, when the iPad name was revealed, that I blogged about it in iPad naming fiasco or good branding?. Looks like all that initial chatter, criticism and poking fun at the name was all for naught. At the time, I’d speculated that the iPad would be a success – or not – based on its own merits as a product, not because of its name. And, it looks like I was right on this one, especially judging by its popularity as a Christmas gift this past year! The initial ridicule associated with the iPad name quickly disappeared, and the product took off based on its own merits. In the end, the consistency with Apple’s “i” branding was the right approach – it was good branding and not a naming fiasco.
Sure, having a great name – and the right name – can help to build a brand and drive sales, but having the right product is what’s most important. After all, a brand is simply a promise, and it’s the product that does or doesn’t deliver on that promise. The name may help, that’s for sure.
I do think that naming plays an important role in branding. But I don’t think that a good – or cool – name can make up for a bad product…at least in the long run. The name might entice users to try it, but unless the product delivers, no matter what you call it, you won’t have created a successful product/brand. And, for the same reason, I think the reverse is also true. The ideal, however, is a great name and a great product.
What do you think about the role of naming in branding? Do you agree that the iPad name was in fact good branding? And, what impact do you think the name has had on the success of the brand?