What’s in a name?

$150,000. That’s what’s in a name. That’s how much Microsoft paid for the name “Zune”:

According to Boslet, Placek cited several other reasons for zeroing in on “Zune”:

  • It’s a short word, reflecting the gadget’s small size.
  • It has a familiar sound. “‘From tune to zune’ was the expression some inside Lexicon used,” the Journal reports.
  • The letter “U” has “a full sound” and “makes one think there is a lot packed into a little word– and product.”

So I searched for the Lexicon Branding company that came up with this name:

“The Lexicon Research Network of 60 Ph.D. linguists in 39 countries was tapped to provide insights into the latest brands in music and video entertainment and to give us suggestions as to words, word parts, sounds and metaphors that might be applied to a ‘next generation entertainment system” — from an SFGate article

It seemed strange to me that they get paid so much for just coming up with a name. But guess what other names they have come up with in the past:

  • Pentium
  • Powerbook
  • Blackberry

Heh, so naming does matter… recently there was an internal call for suggestion of code names for the next version of Flex, and one of the names I had suggested was finally voted as the official code name! I guess you will hear this name in the press articles on Adobe Flex soon.

6 thoughts on “What’s in a name?

  1. I am pretty sure that those products(Pentium, …) would have been successful even if they had a lousy name. Case in point is Wii. There was so much hoopla around it being such a lousy name when it was announced in April 06 and now, nobody even cares about it.

    A name competition in Microsoft could have provided better names for zune, just like you did at Adobe. Btw, Adobe accepting your suggestion is pretty cool! :)

  2. Wow!! Adobe accepting a name suggested by you… Curious about the name.
    Btw, just checked out the photos of Brahmagiri. They are amazing!!

  3. @Srikanth : But a cool name can spawn many more things. Think iPod and podcasting. I don’t think ‘zunecasting’ would have had a similar effect ;-)

    @Santosh, @PizzaDude : Yep, you’ll get to know the name soon (I think).

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