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

April 27, 2019
By Aric Jenkins

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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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