I’m always intrigued by brand names that are “different”. It makes me wonder how the company came up with the name, and what it was intended to stand for – the “story” behind the name. The purist in me shakes me head, but as I admitted in an earlier related blog (What’s in a name?), the realist in me accepts that this is simply reality, especially in today’s online world.
One brand name that got me thinking was Zoosk (as in zoosk.com), the world’s largest online dating community, and Facebook’s #1 dating application, which has been around since late 2007. As a happily married person I wouldn’t typically come across, or perhaps be aware of the site, but an ad on TV caught my eye. My reaction – what a great name, whatever it is or isn’t meant to mean! It’s short and punchy. It starts with an unusual letter – and is also a bold move because it’s the last letter of the alphabet, which some would consider as being disadvantageous when it comes to listings, which tend to be alphabetical.
The name also reminded me of something I learned about branding and selecting a name – that a name is often an empty vessel, which takes on meaning over time, based on what its customers think or feel. It takes a wise (or brave) brander to settle on a name that appears to have no real meaning to it.
The brand has been a huge success, that’s obvious. How much of it is the actual name, which they’ve leveraged to call their community members “Zooskers”? And how much of it is due to the offering itself and the experience its members have – i.e. that they’ve “gotten it right” and the service is simply better than what’s out there? Regardless, the name certainly isn’t holding it back, and is more likely adding to the intrigue and appeal of the brand.
What do you think about the Zoosk name? Should brand names “mean” something?