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Zen's avatar

A rose by any other name... How much does the name of a product affect it, both positively or negatively. Think Crocs, or Twitter or New Coke.

Asked by Zen (7738points) September 13th, 2009

You know the famous Shakespearian quote and its meaning, but do you agree?

Could I make a beautifully smelling perfume and call it, say, FLUTHER?

What’s in a name?

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18 Answers

willbrawn's avatar

I don’t get part of the question.

What’s in a name? It’s all about how you were raised I believe. We are raised to associate rose with something pretty in nature and typically trashy girls (all by experience).

Like when I think of the word trash, automatically we think dirty. So I think choosing your words carefully is important. And if you named a perfume fluther. We all would enjoy it, but most of society would say “what the hell is a fluther?” and not buy it.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

Fluther is copyrighted. Andrew and Ben can make the Fluther perfume though.

Zen's avatar

I’m sure it would smell jellyicious.

marinelife's avatar

Names are vital. They lend the texture and connotation to a product or service. Would Starbucks be the same if it was called CheapSludge?

willbrawn's avatar

@marina over even expensiveSludge

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

People attach a lot to names so while the nature of names is somewhat empty in a philosophical sense, it is a big part of how we communicate.

You wouldn’t name your child “Adolf Hitler” for example, because of the negative connotations associated with that name.

cyn's avatar

Fluther sounds nice for a perfume/cologne.

willbrawn's avatar

@johnpowell interesting link, pretty sure those people are wack jobs.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

@johnpowell That does support my point, however.

Darwin's avatar

A long time ago, ad agencies figured out that people like certain sounds, words and phrases over others. Thus, they always test out product names to see what people think. I have been part of some of these name tests.

This book gives some examples, such as “Casual Male Big & Tall” which changed its name to “Casual Male XL” based on focus group studies. Apparently, the new name inspired more confidence.

And then there was a Dristan-like medication from Vicks called “Vicks Versus 3.” The name was supposed to remind folks that the product countered three symptoms, colds, sinusitis, and allergies. However, people found the name confusing or thought it meant the goold old, comfortable Vicks was suddenly attacking other companies. The product didn’t sell well enough to make it in the marketplace.

And then when Cingular was taken over by AT&T, even though Cingular is a name that appealed to young consumers, the company decided to use the AT&T name because it has been around so long that it is known by consumers of all ages and demographic groups. Personally, I still call it Cingular and like the orange Cingular logo better than the blue sphere of AT&T

So to answer your question, yes, a rose by another name would smell as sweet, but it might not sell as well as something called by the name of rose.

galileogirl's avatar

I don’t know if this is apocryphal but I heard when Chevy was introducing a subcompact into Latin America it failed until the changed the name. It was the Nova>No va, get it?

Zen's avatar

@galileogirl Got it. Cute.

cyn's avatar


Zen's avatar

@cyndihugs You are scaring me a little.

cyn's avatar

I’m laughing @galileogirl‘s joke. :)

Zen's avatar

@cyndihugs Still a little scared.



Dutchess_III's avatar

Speaking of “Twitter,” I still have a hard time taking that site seriously, and it’s because of the name.

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