Why your favorite brand names are starting to look like math problems

April 27, 2019
By Aric Jenkins



Two plus one equals three. In the span of that many weeks, consumers were introduced to a trio of subscription services promising to add to their lives: Apple News+ and Apple TV+, plus one from Disney, aptly titled­­—Disney+. They’ll complement a growing roster of arithmetic-branded media services, joining Disney-owned ESPN+ and following in the footsteps of the original “plus” brand in tech, Google+.

Things didn’t work out so well for the latter. The Internet giant shut down the social network in April after seven years. And while Google+ ultimately failed because of competition with Facebook and a massive privacy breach, its name didn’t do much to encourage engagement in the first place, branding experts say.

“That’s the biggest problem with [this type of name],” says Laurel ­Sutton, cofounder of brand-naming agency Catchword. “It doesn’t tell you anything at all. It doesn’t tell you what you’re getting; it doesn’t say why it’s different. It’s just adding a superlative on the end—like saying ‘ultra’ or ‘supreme’ or ‘better.’ ” …

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(Go to link above, or thumb to page 6 of Fortune’s May 2019 issue.)


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