We Are Family29 Apr 2013
Like Kim, Kloe and Kourtney it’s often tempting to name products in a family that start with the same letter.
Several years ago Ford had a range of SUVs that all began with the letter ‘e’: Escape, Explorer, Expedition, Excursion.
As the names got longer the cars got bigger. In the UK, venerable car compay MG did a similar thing in the early 80s with it’s Metro/Masetro and Montego car line. Porsche has the Carrera, Cayenne, Cayman. But it also has the Panamera which breaks the pattern.
But car companies aren’t the only ones who strive to create linkage using naming, nor is using a similar beginning letter the only tactic for imbuing linkage.
Mcdonald’s has the Mc prefix on products like McMuffin, McCafe, McRib, McFlurry. Clearly, these names also link back to the corporate name.
Bugaboo the well-known stroller brand use animals to subtly underscore the relative size of the stroller: The Bee is the smallest and most transportable, then there’s the Frog and Gecko in the middle of the line. Finally, the Cameleon is the largest stroller in the family.
In the past, the prevailing wisdom with creating these families of names was that if, by chance, one product failed it could single-handedly tarnish all siblings and ruin a brand and a business.
Generally speaking that’s not true unless some catastrophe befalls a product.
The main downside with family naming strategies is that they can become difficult to extend unless the linkage is more proprietary.
McDonald’s for instance, has a firm lock/ownership on the “Mc” prefix in the foods category. Whereas, Ford can’t prevent anyone from using car names that begin with the letter ‘e’. Bugaboo can’t prevent other firms from naming their strollers after other amphibious animals.