I’m thrilled to have this platform to vent about a long-standing beef: awkward, made-up product and company names. Trademark lawyers call them coined.
Among the worst offenders are automobiles, technology and finance. When I was a kid, cars had names like Roadmaster, Thunderbird and Catalina. Now a prospective car buyer has to wade through an alphanumeric sea of names like IS, GLK350 and FX35.
I don’t blame trademark lawyers … exactly. But the need for a strong, legally defensible name no doubt accounts for some of the odd lexicography we see.
I reserve most of my reproach for the naming consultants who come up with these clunkers and the corporate executives who think that a vague name containing an X will magically transform their company into a paragon of the new economy.
See if you can match these 10 names to the products or services they represent. Warning: One of them is a complete fake, made up by me!
1. Celero a. dental insurance
2. Tolamba b. private mortgage banking
3. Onvio c. oil and gas operations
4. Fortex d. email relationship manager
5. Xobni e. fake!
6. Opteum f. motion control equipment
7. Contango g. trading software
8. Nexxar h. wealth management services
9. Provantis i. money transfer services
10. Graxxion j. allergy treatment
Answers are below the jump.
- c – oil and gas operations
- j – allergy treatment
- f – motion control equipment
- g – trading software
- d – email relationship manager
- b – private mortgage banking
- h – wealth management services
- i – money transfer services
- a – dental insurance
- e – fake!
—John Reinan, Senior Director of Media Relations at Fast Horse