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B2B versus B2C Naming

Steve Johnson recently wrote about naming products:
There are two strategies for naming: descriptive or unique. Names that are unique like iPod, Nuvi, and RAZR work best for B2C products. For B2B products, the descriptive approach, such as that CA is following, is best. Certainly when you have hundreds of products, the name has to carry the positioning message along with it so that customers (and sales people) know what the product does just by reading the name.
Johnson's claim is that B2C product should have unique names (which almost by definition are not descriptive of the product). Different guidelines apply to B2B products, he maintains; descriptive names are best for them.

Johnson draws attention to an important branding distinction.

Corporate branding differs from product branding. In a B2B situation in which a single company sells many related products, the corporate branding is arguably more important than product branding. A strong corporate brand will carry all of the products, and the decision-makers at the businesses that buy them may care more about the corporate reputation than the image of the individual product. In such cases, a descriptive product name still carries the weight of the corporate name attached to it.


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