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


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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