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A Closer Look At Abstract Names

28 Oct 2013

Abstract names are generally defined as those ideas that have no meaning to average consumer.

They do not describe, suggest or associatively connect to the company, product or service.
As such, they are the polar opposite of descriptive names (like General Electric, Analog Devices, Smart TV), suggestive names (Sprint, Cingular), or associative names (Apple, Blackberry or Amazon).

Examples of abstract names are things like Kodak, Exxon, and Hulu.  Many Rx brands (‘tradenames’) are often abstract to the naked eye, too.

However, a closer inspection of the different abstract names reveals that very few are total ‘blank canvas’ ideas.

‘International’
Hulu – is in fact a Mandarin word that means ‘gourd’ or bowl and thus, once the meaning is known there is a subtle associative link that implies a ‘vessel’ (from which to watch or consume content)

‘Strong in tone’
Exxon – is actually derived from it’s former name ‘Esso’ which is the phonetic form for it’s initials ‘S.O’ or Standard Oil.

‘Soft in tone’
Yaz – is a female contraceptive pill.  It’s short and has a softer feel than, say Exxon.

‘Hidden meaning’
Viagra – is widely known as Pfizer’s drug for ED or erectile dysfuncion.  If you deconstruct the name, the ‘Via’ implies a way to reference blood flow and the name phonetically sounds like Niagara to further reinforce the idea of flow

Next time you see what you think is an abstract name, look again–it’s likely to fall into one of the above 4 categories.

POSTED BY: want | IN: Blog
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