Brand names that stick

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Brand names that stick

Postposted on Mon Aug 19, 2013 5:05 pm

When I got into computers back in the early '90s it seemed like every few years a company would come out with new brand names for their products. ATi had Mach then Rage, nVidia had STG, Riva, and Vanta, and Intel had its 286, 386, etc. numbers. Then the brand names got so good they stuck for over a decade, until this day, instead of lasting only a couple years before fading away. We still have Radeons, GeForces, and Pentiums, even though the products today bear no resemblance to their original namesakes.

Are there any other internal hardware brand names that persist just because they sound good? It's common in pre-built systems and software, and also peripherals, like printers, but I'm curious about internal hardware.

There's a lot riding on names. Is it really honest to still refer to a product by a 'name' when the product is completely changed? A modern Pentium is nothing like an original, nor is a new Mustang anything like the cars were in the '60s. We realize this with people when we say things like, "This guy used to be my friend/lover/etc., but he changed, and now it's like I don't even know him." We're left with a sense that even though the person's name is the same, the person themself is different.

Would it be more honest -- or better marketing -- if consumers get to sink their teeth into a cool new brand name rather than riding the nostalgia of an old one?
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Re: Brand names that stick

Postposted on Mon Aug 19, 2013 5:48 pm

The Caviar brand name for Western Digital's consumer hard drives has been around for a very long time; IIRC the first drive I owned with the Caviar name on it was only 200 MB or thereabouts. That's "MB" with an "M". :wink:

It seems they are finally phasing the name out though.

Edit: Pretty sure the one I had was this model, or at least a drive from that same generation. Mine looked exactly like that.

Edit 2: The sticker on the drive in that FleaBay listing indicates that it was manufactured in 1992. So the Caviar brand had a run spanning approximately 2 decades.
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Re: Brand names that stick

Postposted on Mon Aug 19, 2013 6:19 pm

The first one that comes to mind for me is Sound Blaster, first introduced in 1989.
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Re: Brand names that stick

Postposted on Mon Aug 19, 2013 6:28 pm

just brew it! wrote:The Caviar brand name for Western Digital's consumer hard drives has been around for a very long time; IIRC the first drive I owned with the Caviar name on it was only 200 MB or thereabouts. That's "MB" with an "M". :wink:

There are tons of these names in storage: Barracuda, DeathDeskstar, Fireball, Atlas, Bigfoot, Raptor.
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Re: Brand names that stick

Postposted on Mon Aug 19, 2013 6:33 pm

Flying Fox wrote:
just brew it! wrote:The Caviar brand name for Western Digital's consumer hard drives has been around for a very long time; IIRC the first drive I owned with the Caviar name on it was only 200 MB or thereabouts. That's "MB" with an "M". :wink:

There are tons of these names in storage: Barracuda, DeathDeskstar, Fireball, Atlas, Bigfoot, Raptor.

I think as of right now Caviar was around the longest though. Barracuda may still beat it depending on how long Seagate continues to use the name.
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Re: Brand names that stick

Postposted on Tue Aug 20, 2013 8:41 am

I work in CPG (consumer packaged goods) and a recognized brand is gold.

you shoehorn everything you can into the brand so that people recognize it and give it a chance.

Most of the brands listed are Master Brands. Brands that are very well known and very powerful in their sales potential... If you hit on something memorable as well a hit you keep it going long after the product sold under it is not recognizable as the original.

I'm not a marketing guy but working an industry like this you cannot help but have touchpoints.
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Re: Brand names that stick

Postposted on Tue Aug 20, 2013 9:42 am

Arvald wrote:I work in CPG (consumer packaged goods) and a recognized brand is gold.

you shoehorn everything you can into the brand so that people recognize it and give it a chance.

Most of the brands listed are Master Brands. Brands that are very well known and very powerful in their sales potential... If you hit on something memorable as well a hit you keep it going long after the product sold under it is not recognizable as the original.

I'm not a marketing guy but working an industry like this you cannot help but have touchpoints.

True. But the flip side is, when you start doing things like repackaging generic components and slapping the brand name that you've carefully built up over years on them (Radeon RAM... *cough*, *cough*), you cheapen the original brand.
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Re: Brand names that stick

Postposted on Tue Aug 20, 2013 9:49 am

just brew it! wrote:True. But the flip side is, when you start doing things like repackaging generic components and slapping the brand name that you've carefully built up over years on them (Radeon RAM... *cough*, *cough*), you cheapen the original brand.


Only if you don't live up to the quality and image of the brand. I did not feel that Radeon RAM cheapened (or diluted) Radeon video cards... it was just a premium brand that I was not interested in. No the other question to ask with that: Was RAM to far from the core brand? All are computer parts so I can see why some marketing guy thought them close. To us into tech they are distinct... but to someone outside the field (like someones mom) they'd hear the buzz over fanboys saying Radeon is awesome and if they were buying RAM that may bleed over.

it is just branding 101... the loss of some hardcore fans but opening the way to new customers. does the gain outweigh the loss? the fact that I don't see Radeon RAM any more I think they found their mistake.
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Re: Brand names that stick

Postposted on Tue Aug 20, 2013 9:52 am

just brew it! wrote:The Caviar brand name for Western Digital's consumer hard drives...

It seems they are finally phasing the name out though.



I thought WD had phased that name out a few years back in favor of colors: Green, Blue, Black and later Red.
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Re: Brand names that stick

Postposted on Tue Aug 20, 2013 10:49 am

Kingston is a venerable brand of memory modules. It's goes back farther than Sound Blaster or Voodoo, in the era of brands like Compaq, Plextor, Conner, Iomega, Cherry.
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Re: Brand names that stick

Postposted on Tue Aug 20, 2013 11:09 am

Sargent Duck wrote:I thought WD had phased that name out a few years back in favor of colors: Green, Blue, Black and later Red.

They used "Caviar" along with the colors for quite some time. For example: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6822236155 is a "Caviar Green" drive. If you select the 2nd static image and zoom in you can see the manufacturing date as well: Feb of 2012. (The rotatable image seems to have had the manufacturing date removed for some reason, but it is visible on the static images.)
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Re: Brand names that stick

Postposted on Tue Aug 20, 2013 11:12 am

trackerben wrote:Kingston is a venerable brand of memory modules. It's goes back farther than Sound Blaster or Voodoo, in the era of brands like Compaq, Plextor, Conner, Iomega, Cherry.

Kingston is the name of the company. IOW Kingston is to HyperX as Western Digital is to Caviar (or as Creative Labs is to Sound Blaster).
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Re: Brand names that stick

Postposted on Tue Aug 20, 2013 11:19 am

just brew it! wrote:Kingston is the name of the company. IOW Kingston is to HyperX as Western Digital is to Caviar (or as Creative Labs is to Sound Blaster).


Yea, Micron has Crucial and Lexar.
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Re: Brand names that stick

Postposted on Wed Aug 21, 2013 7:35 pm

I remember Sound Blaster and Creative Labs (especially the packaging, color scheme, logo, etc.)

In my experience, most companies go through a periodical brand evaluation, looking for those that stick out the most, ones with the most equity and strong, relevant positioning in the market. And, companies that succeed over long periods of time, are ones that successfully re-position their brand and products in today's market (including MS, Intel, AMD, and NVIDIA). As for names, it's tricky business imo. From registering the mark, symbol, name (trademark/copyright) and researching its meaning and marketability is not an easy task, so names that worked in the past are more likely to be kept as is as long as possible imo. :)
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Re: Brand names that stick

Postposted on Thu Aug 22, 2013 1:45 am

I was rather disappointed when Seagate changed the "Medalist Pro" into "Barracuda".
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