Good Name,Bad Product: Windows Vista Brand Name Gets Dumped

By Burt Alper

October 30, 2008

Here at Catchword, we’ve often reminded clients that a great name will not be able to save a bad product (nor will a horrible name kill a great product). Our friends at Microsoft have helped prove this point with their recent news that they are abandoning the Vista brand in favor of Windows 7.

I wonder how much of an impact the (brilliant) Apple campaign had on this decision. If you haven’t seen the latest Vista-basher, check this out:

The sad part for me is that I thought Vista was a great brand name. It did a great job of subtly tying back to the Windows masterbrand, it was short, international, and downright catchy. Too bad the product was glitchy, buggy, and downright useless.

I wonder if Microsoft hired a naming consultant to come up with 7. Wouldn’t be the first time. I work with a guy who got paid big bucks by Tanqueray to come up with Ten. Of course, in Mark’s defense, it’s not like Ten was the next product after Nine – he had to think a bit more than that. Heck, if Landor can get paid to come up with “FedEx” out of Federal Express, someone certainly can get paid for “7” as a brand for the 7th version. Funny, Catchword never seems to get tapped for those easy jobs. Maybe we’re just not charging enough.

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