Wednesday, October 20, 2010

When Marketing Folks Drink Bong Water

I’m getting really numb to the stupid product names these days.  First it was the dumbass acronymn names from the 1980’s.  Then came the prefix names like “Active” this and “Active” that, coined by Microsoft in the 1990’s.  That led to “Premium” and “Plus” and “Gold” and “Silver” suffixes.  Then came “Ultimate” and soon the pool of names became a cesspool of names.

Now it’s names like “i”-This and “i”-That, or the ever-growing Great Wall of China names like “System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008”.  Really?!  I mean, uh… really/!?!!  Is this the BEST that these multi-billion $ companies can dream up?

What’s wrong with esoteric names used for most beta programs like “Tahoe”, “Ruby”, “Titanium” and, crap, nevermind.  I completely forgot about those boneheaded stupidass Linux names like “Cranky Cracksmoker” and “Dandy D***sucker” like Ubuntu uses.

Check this outImagine you’re an IT “engineer” (woooooooo!  just the name evokes wonder.  ok, I happen to be one, I’ll stop) and you want to implement some ass-kicking new product into your company’s environment because you’re convinced it will save time and money and improve the overall quality of operations.  You finally get that long-sought invite to the executive board meeting where you intend to make your pitch.  You iron your only collar shirt and comb your hair.  You drink a whole Monster drink, suck in your gut and poke out your chest.  You enter the room of wonder…

The room is full of dark suits with serious faces, day planners, smartphones, and bottles of water strewn about in orderly fashion.  You get to the podium.  The room is silent.  You fumble with your laptop and get the projector to finally show your screen.  You clear your throat…. Try to ignore the gurgles in your stomach. The suspense is building.  You take a deep breath and begin:

“Good morning everyone.  Um. Uh… I’d like to show you a demonstration of a product I think will take our company to the next level.  This product is called… (your eyes pan the room, making eye contact with each head mounted on a suit)… Floozy!”

Silence.

“That’s right.  It’s called Floozy 2010, and it will change the way we…”

CEO: “Thank you son, that’ll be all.  Please shut the door on your way out so we can conduct serious business.”

The Linux name-branding bong-drinking folks make the Microsoft bong-drinking folks look smart.  You can’t sell those names to suits.  As dumb as they are, names like “System Center Mobile Device Manager 2008” sound more businessy and corporaty than “Squirt” and “TurdFlame”.

Maybe these marketing folks should turn on a TV once in a while and take some pointers from the drug companies and car manufacturers.

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