WHEN GOOD NAMES GO BAD

Sometimes, despite the research, the homework, the meetings, the feedback, the screening, and all the best intentions a great name can get waylaid by events.

 

Consider Tata Motor’s new car launching this week.  Named the Zica, it unfortunately shares the same pronunciation with a virus currently spreading across South America and threatening to go wider.  They announced today that they are changing the name.

 

 A couple of months ago Isis, a mobile payment player, changed its name in very short order to SoftCard.

 

The issues fall under the bad luck umbrella.  But it is one of the risks a brander takes when inventing a new name as opposed to appropriating an existing word or root word. Changing a name is neither easy or cheap and a decision not to be taken lightly.  Some take a defiant stance, others weigh the pros and cons.  Each situation is unique.

 

So one of the recent changes Uppercase has made to its development process is to screen invented names against a medical database of diseases.

 

We haven’t heard of any Ebola Inc.’s yet.