Treadmill Device’s Name Dashes to Decency: Run-n-Read Product Name Review


A device called Run-n-Read has just been developed by Weartrons that coordinates the text on an e-reader to bounce at the same rate as your jogging self, making reading on a treadmill seem like reading on a couch.  ISN’T THAT AWESOME? SHOULD I REPEAT THAT? I won’t, but bounce your eyes back up to the first sentence if you want to relive your initial amazement.

This device is inexpensive, clips on to your shirt or headband, and transmits information to a special app on your non-paper reading device of choice.  But before you run and order one to revolutionize your exercise routine…what about the name?

Run-n-Read follows a trite naming construction with an explicit, straightforward message, but in this case it’s fitting. Like Shake ‘N Bake, the construction implies that it is simple to use. The name almost serves as an instruction manual—you shake it and you bake it, or you run and you read. And from what I have seen in this video, it is indeed just that easy. It is as small as a button, wireless, and does not need to be calibrated to the user. You simply attach it and it works.

Furthermore, the name Run-n-Read helps the consumer understand the device because it is pretty much the first of its kind, solving a problem that has never been solved before (OK, there was the ReadingMate developed at Purdue, but it didn’t work all that well and nobody’s heard of it. It could be a coffee additive that improves eyesight). With Run-n-Read being so explicit about its function, the consumer can find it easily and knows what they are getting with no room for confusion. Additionally, Weartrons’ publicity probably works mostly through word-of-mouth, something made easier by the descriptive nature of Run-n-Read.

Perhaps you could knock the name a little for the slightly awkward double-“N” sound that doesn’t slide smoothly off the tongue, but hey, In-N-Out makes it work. (Although it helps that their food somewhat greases up said tongue.)

All told we have a functional, self-explanatory name, a tried-and-true construction, and alliteration. It doesn’t WOW me, but the product does, and the name is used to support the product. But Weartrons should be warned that I won’t be so forgiving if the success of the Run-n-Read leads to version 2.0, the “Sprint-n-Speed-Read.”

Overall grade: B+

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