Video: Nokia Zero – Why the next flagship needs a proper name.

| December 21, 2009 | 27 Replies

This is a video for the Nokia Zero: The new Nokia phone to rule them all.

This post is meant to demonstrate the importance of having a “memorable product name”. This goes for services as well as devices. Here I’ve taken “Zero” as an example. The rest of the post after the video explains why I’m ranting on about names.

Why Zero?

  • Nokia like to use numbers. Simply put – 0.
  • The symbol for zero could even be the actual picture of the phone.
  • You can rearrange “NOKIA” to make “ZERO”
  • N can rotate into a Z (branding/icon simplicity)
  • Zero just has two syllables.
  • The symbol for zero (essentially a circle) has no beginning or an end – something quite omnipotent about that.
  • er…um…Zero degrees is cool? haha

I’m sure you’ll have some even better suggestions for names

[Note - I know there are other things Nokia needs to do. That's why this 'name-thing' was just a small part of a huge rant discovered in my WP drafts folders]

What’s in a name?

For a product  – it is its identity, a metaphorical soul if you’ll entertain this notion [see point 4].

It shouldn’t just be an afterthought, “Ok we’ve finished this one, let’s call it N920-1TB-12MP or Melissa.”

Therefore it helps to have a memorable name, especially if they are high end and undoubtedly if it’s your flagship.

However, Nokia keeps making handsets with designations as friendly to remember as the periodic table.

As such, only a select few being able to decipher the handset behind the anonymous digits.

As a tech manufacturer you want everyone to know about your product. Not just your geek fans or people in the industry. When you’ve penetrated society such that the very non-tech minded has heard about your product, you’re onto a good thing. And one of the key factors to that is the right name.

Here are four points to consider:

1. Name needs to be iconic, simple to remember

The name is essential as a “storage” for that product’s reputation….

Person 1: “Oh, wow, that’s a brilliant phone, what’s it called?”

You: “This is the N920-1TB-12MP”

Person 1: “The what?!”

…as well as making it easier for purchasing…

Customer: “Hi, hello, I’d like to buy the um…I think it’s called the N9 something…Nokia N920″

Sales Team: “There’s no N920. Do you mean the N90, N91, N92, N93, N95, N96, N97, N79? 9700?…”

Customer: “Erm…*hangs up*”

…and setting it apart to compete with other manufacturers.

2. Helps if there’s an actual reasoning behind the name, e.g. a theme

This helps with advertising by being able to reinforce the identity of the product with imagery related to the name.

e.g. Droid – Android powered – Robotic/Powerful/Technological etc [vs Milestone - wtf]

Names (vs numbers) and names with meaning evoke memories and emotional responses better towards your product.

3. Syllable count matters

Although they may only be 3/4 characters long, e.g. N97, N900, 6303, consider the syllable count

N97: EN – Nine – Ty – Se-ven [5]

N900 – EN – Nine – Hun – Dred [4]

6303 – Six – ty – three – oh – three [5]

I can understand having these practical numerical designations for lower end handsets, but not mid, and quite inexcusable for the high end.

More syllables means more margin for error and confusion.

[Note also that now Nokia are going to focus on less quantity/more quality handsets, it's now much more feasible to use names and not codes numbers!]

4. Try and keep that name across future handsets

Just an idea to possibly spur some better names for Nokia's high end/flagships

Once you’ve built a good reputation with that handset, you’re gonna want to take advantage of that for its successor.

Over time the handset’s name will be an indicator of its pedigree.

As the success of the previous model is already etched in people’s minds, having that same name makes the transtition to the successor much easier. Better for brand loyalty (as people know what they’ll be getting) and better to entice other consumers (as the each new handset in line contributes to that renowned heritage)

Keep the name, and you accumulate each new strength of the successor. The name becomes a phrase that’s part of society and every day living.

Lose the name and you lose the history.

______________

Prime example across the board is iPhone. Simple, two syllable “iGoodness”.

Because apple have kept the same moniker despite there being 3 different models across several memory/colour variants, iPhone steadily but surely solidified its reputation as a world class gadget. With each new model it simply just added onto the known success and hype whilst gradually ironing out flaws.

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Category: Maemo, Nokia, Nseries, Rant, Suggestions, Video

About the Author ()

Hey, thanks for reading my post. My name is Jay and I'm a medical student at the University of Manchester. When I can, I blog here at mynokiablog.com and tweet now and again @jaymontano. We also have a twitter and facebook accounts @mynokiablog and  Facebook.com/mynokiablog. Check out the tips, guides and rules for commenting >>click<< Contact us at tips(@)mynokiablog.com or email me directly on jay[at]mynokiablog.com

Comments (27)

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  1. illusionado says:

    for me they just dnt to add 8mp, 12mp or 8gb to a phone, they have already add new line up like c and x so its better to stick on d plan..plus the bad side for nokia about their namings are the 4 digit line up..i.e. 5530, 5235, 6303? Gd darn it who will remember ths ?
    For the flagship about n97 or d next n98..we shud wait for d n99 successor so we will know how nokia marketing strategy will work..im sure dey will not continue their n100 becöz there are existing nseries w 3 digit..

    They shud name d successor of n99 to be Z1 ..

  2. illusionado says:

    for me they just dnt to add 8mp, 12mp or 8gb to a phone, they have already add new line up like c and x so its better to stick on d plan..plus the bad side for nokia about their namings are the 4 digit line up..i.e. 5530, 5235, 6303? Gd darn it who will remember ths ?
    For the flagship about n97 or d next n98..we shud wait for d n99 successor so we will know how nokia marketing strategy will work..im sure dey will not continue their n100 becöz there are existing nseries w 3 digit..

    They shud name d successor of n99 to be Z1 ..

  3. Rags says:

    iPhone is so successful to date because it’s still known as iPhone (albeit with the additional suffix 3GS). When the 2nd-gen iPhone came out, all everyone knew was that it was called the “new iPhone”.

    Nokia should just use the same method in naming their devices. N97′s successor should just be called the ’2nd gen N97′ or the ‘new N97′ (something like their Classic), instead of cracking their heads finding a new name, and eventually cracking our heads trying to remember all of it.

    And psychologically, 3-digit denomination (N900, N810, etc) doesn’t work so well either, which is why people have trouble remembering Sony-Ericsson models as well.

  4. Rags says:

    iPhone is so successful to date because it’s still known as iPhone (albeit with the additional suffix 3GS). When the 2nd-gen iPhone came out, all everyone knew was that it was called the “new iPhone”.

    Nokia should just use the same method in naming their devices. N97′s successor should just be called the ’2nd gen N97′ or the ‘new N97′ (something like their Classic), instead of cracking their heads finding a new name, and eventually cracking our heads trying to remember all of it.

    And psychologically, 3-digit denomination (N900, N810, etc) doesn’t work so well either, which is why people have trouble remembering Sony-Ericsson models as well.

  5. edward says:

    I was thinking about the same, funny thing, is I was thinking about Nokia One, or Nokia NXT or Nokia Revo.

  6. edward says:

    I was thinking about the same, funny thing, is I was thinking about Nokia One, or Nokia NXT or Nokia Revo.

  7. dcastrog says:

    The thing is that Nokia do name their phones with normal names when they are protos, remember the Nokia Rover, which turned out to be the N900? They even release protos with a label N00 meaning they havent chosen a number, They simply want to name them after numbers for some reason.

  8. dcastrog says:

    The thing is that Nokia do name their phones with normal names when they are protos, remember the Nokia Rover, which turned out to be the N900? They even release protos with a label N00 meaning they havent chosen a number, They simply want to name them after numbers for some reason.

  9. nath says:

    the thing is the nokia 0 is a bit cool

  10. nath says:

    the thing is the nokia 0 is a bit cool

  11. This is fantastic! Works perfectly!

  12. This is fantastic! Works perfectly!

  13. j says:

    zero is 0 which looks similar to O which stands for Ovi…

    It’s the Ovi phone…

  14. j says:

    zero is 0 which looks similar to O which stands for Ovi…

    It’s the Ovi phone…

  15. Husham says:

    I Like the name of a phone somthing like

    “Nokia C701-8MP-9-8GBEX-BT3.0″
    a phone Like this would be cool

    My laptop’s name is “LC946EA#ABV” who knows what Laptop Im talking about ???

  16. the1beard says:

    NOKIA RIP

    Can’t make a good phone let alone give one a good name!

    Utter rubbish.

    Nokia 1000 rotten phones
    Apple 1 excellent 1

    They deserve to fail.

  17. Fighter Man says:

    Yeah that’s right ! I’m sorry to say but RIP Nokia!

    Miss the 3310 though !

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