View Full Version : product naming
07-31-2001, 04:16 PM
How important is a product's "name" (like, Atrium) when you're buying speakers?
Do you prefer your speakers to have "names" or "letters" ("LSi") or "numbers"?
Feel free to expound. Your opinions are welcomed.
Micah, I think either one works well as long as the buyer can easily remember the letters or name of the item.
07-31-2001, 05:09 PM
I like an abbreviation or name for the SERIES. And numbers for the models within the series.
example: RT 800, LSi 9
I also like combo letters/numbers for the models within a series...
My favorite, just because I'm old school, is a simple model number for the speaker itself, no series name.
example: Model 17, or just 17
What I dont like, and seems 'gimmicky' to me is NAMES for the models....
example: The Phantom, The Sequel, The Asswhooper.....
anything 'Grande Utopia' or some such must go.
07-31-2001, 05:10 PM
Names are much better than letters/numbers. Just think of the images that these names conjure up: Amazings, Nautilus, Utopia, and Evidence. What's your opinion, oh marketing Micah?
07-31-2001, 05:27 PM
Well, I'm working on names for multimedia and car audio products, among other things, and sometimes I like the idea of naming -- identifies the product, lends image, memorable idea, etc. -- and sometimes I hate it -- hokey, goofy, tedious, disingenious, etc.
I just wanted to know what some other, non-marketer opinions are.
07-31-2001, 05:44 PM
I agree with Russ. I like the letters or a name for the series and then numbers for the models within a series.
Names for the individual models seem silly to me, in most cases. I guess if you have a really unique, top-notch product that you want people to remember and associate with all your other products then a name for it might make more of an impression than a number. (Nautilus, etc.)
Polk's current scheme seems pretty logical to me.
07-31-2001, 08:48 PM
well, either can have both positive and negative effects. I wouln't necessarily want to buy some speakers named qt9's or pinkies. however, stuff that sounds masculine is the way to go. when I hear Earthquake, I immediately think subwoofers (whether or not the word is refering to the subs). letters like rt, lsi, amr, ex, ds, etc. don't hit me either way. MOMO is a good name. maybe there should be an eq line? would that get confusing with equalizer? would it look like an earthquake wanna be? MAN, I sympathize with ya Micah. this is tough.
07-31-2001, 09:10 PM
Let me clarify my support of names over letters/numbers. I think it's good to have a name for an entire line, and then differentiate the line by simple numbers. I also do like using an all-name naming convention, but I think it would be tough to pull it off tastefully. Cool names add an upscale flare to a product. It's probably not something you would want to do on low end models. I think "Atrium" is a really cool name, by the way. Kuddos.
07-31-2001, 09:12 PM
I like how Polk subs are priced according to their model No.'s.
PSW250 = $250
PSW350 = $350
PSW450 = $450
PSW650 = $650
Thats very kewl. Granted, the MSRP's are higher... but,
the actual sale prices by most of the retailers sell at the above prices for new.
08-01-2001, 12:43 AM
Personally, I like acronyms when it comes to naming products. For instance; "SDA" stood for 'S'tereo 'D'imensional 'A'rray. Or "RTA" for 'R'eal 'T'ime 'A'lligned and so forth. Catchy names not only sound stupid, but they also make the product sound like something it's not. Like, Nautilus---sounds like a health spa machine not a loudspeaker. Or Puppies...I mean come on, puppies? That's the most ridiculous name ever, next to Utopia. Numbers are simple to associate with, however, Polk doesn't exactly have the best track record with using numbers. For example, how many incarnations of any particular "numbered" model of speaker were there in which no defferentiation was was made to distiguish between them except maybe a stamp on the box which usually got discarded the same day they were brought home. To this day many people don't know the difference between an SDA-1, 1A, B or C. Or between a Monitor 10A or B or whatever. Polk has traditionally used acronyms to name speakers and their features, I think after already making an abortion out of the logo, you should stay in touch with something original and unique to Polk. Before you know it, "The Speaker Specialists" will be diversifying into electric garage door openers if you keep it up!
08-01-2001, 06:27 AM
mjmcg - EXACTLY.
This is what made Polk great:
a) Unique product - SDA Technology.
b) Big speakers - very big actually.
c) Cute Logo - it helps.
d) Simple design approach - understandable (count the drivers).
e) Unique sound - very flat frequency response.
f) Nice wood cabinets - the size of coffins (placed on end).
Come on Polk guys... you are pretty much selling to men.
Give us what we want:
a) Clean & simple
c) Big - REAL BIG.
d) Real Wood Graine
f) Incredible sound.
g) Undisputed quality
You did it once. It worked. Do it again and you will find - SURPRISE - It'll work again.
The one thing that Polk does very well at is Customer Support.
Thank you for that.
08-01-2001, 06:47 AM
I personally find the names to be tedious. Paradigm's speaker lines are ridiculously arcane. As great a speaker as it is (I will take Senor Grand's word) The Carver Amazing Platnum sounds like an info-mercial product.
The abbreviation plus the model number works for me. Simple. It says to me that you are more interested in the product itself as opposed to spending a fortune on a catchy title.
08-01-2001, 09:11 AM
Hey, you guys are good!
mjmcg, rskarvan and TroyD: you all make really important and cogent points. You're really helping me, too, as I think this thru. I really appreciate your insight and suggestions. That's very cool.
I'll keep you updated on my progress. (And you have to know that your input is very important to other people here at Polk as well.)
Thanks guys! Please, continue the debate if you have more to say on this topic.
08-01-2001, 10:41 AM
The most rediculous product naming scheme is in car audio by Blaupunkt. Very, very confusing.
Product numbers should make sense. They should reflect something like powerhandling or, they should be sequenced to reflect relative status on the audiophile ladder.
Caterpillar engines come to mind:
3406, 3408, 3412
(34 3.4L per cylinder - 06, 08, 12 is the number of cylinders).
D7G, D9L, D11N
D = Diesel
7, 9, 11 = relative product size (Horsepower)
G, L, N = design level (newer models)
08-01-2001, 11:14 AM
Sheesh, I just had a look at the Blaupunkt products.
What a great argument for NOT having names!
I have to take another look at what I'm doing and hope none of my names are as goofy as those names. "Skyline"? "Funline"? What are these, amusement park rides?
08-01-2001, 01:29 PM
Thanks Micah for starting this thread, this is good stuff. Voice of the customer and all that. It gets interesting when the customers don't all agree. Some like names, some numbers, and all opinions are valid.
Let's get a little more specific about the task at hand, and see what shakes out. Whenever we begin work on a car audio project I assign it a preliminary designation, and during the product gestation lifecycle we work to refine the name of the series. For example when we first began working on the EX series of products I called it the "E" series which stood for "Entry Level". Before launching the product this changed to EX when we realized that Gen-Xers were our primary customers, and "EX" just sounded cooler than "E". Now, 8 years later the EX series is one of the most succesful product lines in autosound history, and at least a small fraction of that success is because the name worked (at least it didn't hurt). If they were called "pinkies" I doubt we would have sold as many.
We are now working on a new product line which I have code named "UHX". While I can't get into the specifics of the products I can tell you that UHX is code for ultra high efficiency. As I have given presentations to senior level executives the working name "UHX" has come under attack i.e. "you're not really planning on calling it that, are you?".
Named product lines are very common in car audio. "Premier", "Excelon", "Reference", "Rally","Explod" etc. etc. Some are good and some are just plain goofy. People whose opinions I respect have sugested that we come up with a name for this new product line, as opposed to letter designations. Part of the pressure is because most people here really like the "Atrium" name and are suggesting I follow suit. I have 60 days to come up with a new name, or dig my heels in and insist on UHX or some other Alpha-numeric code. What would you do if you were in my shoes?
Homer: Okay, now look. My boss is going to be at this picnic, so I want you to show your father some love and/or respect.
Lisa: Tough choice.
Bart: I'm picking respect.
mark k. anderson
08-01-2001, 05:17 PM
I prefer the simple names that give the impression the product is either the only one in that line, or one of just a few different models.
Audiosource AMP 1
Anthem AVM 2
Acoustic Research AR1
ID's such as Sony's TAE-9000ES or DVP-S7700 are kind of annoying. But, then again, they make a ton of different products.
Best product ID yet? Polk SRT of course.
08-01-2001, 05:56 PM
I think that giving names to each line of products is a little bit dangerous. Come up with a bad mane
and you are done! (Although one thought it was wonderful. Yes I know, there is such thing as market research or however you call it).
I like acronyms, it says what the product is about, I guess an acronym can't hurt but I may be wrong. I also like numbers to distinguish between products of the same line.
But hey, don't listen to me: I'm an engineer so now one in his right mind will choose a name based on my advice.:)
08-01-2001, 06:28 PM
I bet if Micah had his way he'd name speakers like:
Peter North. With long throw drivers
Amber. For the color of the amp light
Niki Dial. The line with the dial-adjustable crossovers
08-01-2001, 06:32 PM
I still want to know who the hell Peter North is??
08-01-2001, 06:37 PM
While I care nothing about auto sound whatsoever, I think you are on to something very important with your new line's naming. Number 1, it follows suit with Polk product identification using acronyms. Number 2, it's simple, unique and recognizable. Also...it was your first instinct. You know you can't go wrong with that. Ten years from now you'll be looking back and saying, "why the hell didn't I just call it what I came with in the first place?" And above all...you already have that name in place, so why bust yer nads trying to think of something else...you've already taken care of the little details, put your energy into the product now.
08-01-2001, 06:52 PM
I still want to know who the hell Peter North is??
Troy, according to Micah he is a male porn-star.:eek:
08-01-2001, 07:00 PM
Hey, call them whatever you like, just make sure you can back it.
I gotta admit, I just looked up the book definition of Atrium. There's a couple different def's, and neither one is bringing audio OR loudpeakers to mind. Just a thought.
Don't name them after birds. That sounds too "wifty". I forget the company, but model names like Kestrel, and Meadowlark come to mind. Maybe the speakers are supposed to sing like birds. Kinda tutti-frutti sounding.
Bozak had something with their "Concert GRAND'S" I always thought. "Voice of the Theater" made sense at the time. So did "Patrician's".
Gosh I hope this helped.
Darva Conger's Manager (How'm I doing?)
08-01-2001, 08:06 PM
I kinda figured that Ron....what I wonder is what makes him so memorable for Micah. Trick photography I'll bet....
08-02-2001, 09:07 AM
It's not trick photography. It's sick and inhuman.
Now, back to the topic. (Please :rolleyes: !)
08-02-2001, 09:46 AM
.......I'll take your word for it.
08-02-2001, 10:19 AM
Names mean nothing to me. Call a speaker whatever you want. If it sounds good and looks good that is all that matters.
08-02-2001, 10:51 AM
The Atrium name doesn't do much for me. Neither does the Voyager or what ever Boston Acoustics calls thiers. Sounds like a mini-van. It seems that outdoor speaks seem to inherit funny names.
08-02-2001, 12:47 PM
Atrium is fine with me. Way I figure it, sounds better than 'Patio' or 'Porch' or 'Deck' or some such.
So much for the big One-Five-Zero, eh......
08-02-2001, 01:58 PM
YEAH.....what up wid dat J ??
Whatever they call them irregardless, thinking about the Atriums is giving me a woodrow. Want a pair bad.
01-10-2002, 06:29 PM
If it was me, I would incorporate the power handling in the name in some way. It really gives (to me at least) a fast simple easy way to know who's the boss. After all, power not quality is what it's all about because (again according to me) quality is already in the brand name... Example instead of SRS 3.1 TL !!!!!!! I would have used SRS250 or something like that. Also I kind of like the Bose way too like 901, 802 or 501 ... then add the generation number like 2nd series or IV series.
01-10-2002, 07:36 PM
Just follow one rule which works for most anything, KISS.
Keep It Simple, Stupid.
01-10-2002, 07:49 PM
Man, thats got to be the record for bringing a post back from the dead.....
01-10-2002, 09:19 PM
I like the KISS keep it simple stupid....
but what sticks in your mind ... letter # combos....
Jag XJ series...
Polk RT series ..LSI
the letter# idea can say more in a more memorable short less memory consuming chunk....
01-11-2002, 01:04 AM
Isn't the purpose of marketing to target a specific population of consumers? Names are important to certain demographics. Me, I just want something that works.
This is how I would market the same subwoofer to different market segments:
If I were marketing it to audio snobs, I would use something like
"Vail Avalance 2000" and I would put a rediculously high price on it so that "common" folks couldn't afford it. Plus, it would only be available in so-called high end car audio salons.
If I were marketing it to teenage or young adult males, I would use something like "ThumperMax 2000". Or maybe something aggressive like "SoundEnforcer 2000". I would sell them through "better" car audio dealers. Not high end, but not quite mass market.
If I were marketing it to the general public, I would use something suggestive of its function and easy to remember, like "Subliminal Series 2000". Sell a billion of 'em at Circuit City.
Good Luck :cool:
01-11-2002, 04:54 PM
How we name products at Polk Audio:
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