In the world we live in today, it seems as though everything is personalized. Even the brands we surround ourselves with are being given individualized personalities designed to influence how we interact with products. In fact, if you look around at popular brands you will see that there has been a recent trend in companies creating brands using proper names, but what is the reason behind this and why has it been so successful?
A Brand represents a Company. In other words, a Brand is the face of the Company, so why not give that face a name? Creating a Brand with a human sounding name promotes a level of consumer interaction that does not exist without it. A product with a proper name may be viewed by the consumer as a friend or family member – reinforcing the customization of the product to suit individual needs. Recently, companies have been taking advantage of this by creating brands with proper names, allowing them to personally connect with their target audience. Amazon’s Alexa, the voice behind the Echo, is a great example of this.
Instead of relying solely on the Echo brand name to identify the product, Amazon decided to assign a proper name to the voice activated feature of the Echo Brand, giving consumers a “person” to interact with. Alexa gives the Echo device a personality, making the integration into the daily lives of consumers easy and fun, which in turn makes Brand awareness easier to foster. When a consumer references the “Alexa” feature they immediately attribute it with Amazon. It may be more recognizable than the product Brand, Echo, because once the purchase has been made – a consumer interacts with the Alexa feature on a daily basis versus Echo, where consumer integration ceases at the point of purchase.
Alexa is of course, not the only success story of its kind. Many of us talk to Siri every day on our iPhone, or use Cortana to look up something on the internet with our laptops. This type of product humanization is a big step in a new evolution of technology branding. Products are becoming extensions of their physical platform and are creating a relationship with the user that extends beyond that of just a simple feature, tool, or product. As artificial intelligence becomes more a part of consumer technologies, this trend will only continue to grow, as tech companies compete to create the most powerful devices in addition to the most relatable, intuitive and customized brands.
In the end, the consumer wants to have a product that they can integrate into their daily life and these types of names allow for that. Although, it is important to remember that this strategy can only extend so far. Technology is the most obvious and dramatic benefactor, as no one really needs to be on a first-name basis with their breakfast cereal. Brands that lack this unique personalization opportunity must continue to build relationships with their consumers in different ways, like Nike who has crafted a persona of competition that consumers can relate to.
Regardless of the naming strategy, successful brands should resonate and connect with their audiences. These technologies are revolutionizing the market and are displaying a fascinating way that brands can truly become a part of consumers’ lives and an extension of their personal network of colleagues, friends and family.