Quiet as Thunder: What’s Wrong with a Brand Name that Boasts?

By Beth Gerber

February 4, 2011

When it comes to product naming—at least of their Android smartphones—no one can accuse HTC of understatement. For starters, there was the HTC Legend . . . the HTC Dream . . . the HTC Supersonic . . . and the HTC Hero (to name just a few). Now, there’s the HTC Thunderbolt—the lightning-fast phone due to replace HTC’s previously dominant Verizon Android phone, the Incredible (also no shy wallflower).

Ordinarily, I tend to be cautious about deploying brand names with swagger. In a world where so many brands are over-promising and under-delivering, you can trigger someone’s bullshit detector in a hurry. But hey, when you’ve got a respected brand and a phone that’s the talk of the latest CES show—and totally lives up to its over-the-top moniker—maybe a little attitude ain’t a bad thing. Plus there’s a lot to be said for real-word product names that are evocative and pack an emotional charge. Just one little quibble, HTC: if you’re going to blast your own horn with names like Incredible and Thunderbolt, maybe it’s time to re-think the tagline “quietly brilliant.”

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