Anachronistic nomenclature

I was shopping in Kingston upon Thames and seeing the newly branded EE shops touting their network’s new 4G services, it struck me that the mobile network current known as “3” is about to look very dated.

Contemporary naming of brands is a risky business, as there is always going to be a factor of obsolescence to contend with. The Chinese takeaway close to a house I used to own “Y2K Express” seems horribly dated; and (with apologies to all those people I know who fall into this category) I fear for businesses whose brands are linked closely to “Cloud” as that seems to be a buzzword that is passing into the annuls of so many IT marketing fads*.

There are, of course, those organisations whose products and services ride out the storm of an anachronistic branding; The Telegraph (and the Belfast Telegraph, for that matter) seem to have become brands that transcend their original meaning – at the time the use of the word telegraph was to indicate the cutting edge of technology, as described in Tom Standage’s book The Victorian Internet. And actually, come to think of it, my own employer’s brand is one that these days would probably be stated as “MobileApp” rather than “Microsoft”…

For all of that, though, better something with a bit of history built in rather than those terrible, anodyne, meaningless brands that are so often dreamt up: Aviva, Arriva… words that have no real meaning but usually a heck of a branding consultant’s back story…

* don’t get me wrong – I am absolutely convinced about the business, economic and technology trends that underpin much of what “Cloud” computing means – it’s just that I think the buzzword has run its course now.

3 thoughts on “Anachronistic nomenclature

  1. You could also possibly add ‘The Carphone Warehouse’ to the list – nobody cares really whether it is relevant to their current offer. Interesting to see how words can loose their meanings.

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