15. Service Naming Development

  • Surrutto Kansai PiTaPa

When creating the verbal identity for a service, the name should always express what the service does. However, there are different ways to do this: you can explain what the service is; communicate the merits of the service; or evoke the emotions the service inspires in the user. That is why, when developing a service name, it is important to i. define who the users are and ii. figure out what message to send to them.

Service Naming Development Case Study: Surrutto Kansai PiTaPa
PiTaPa is a postpaid IC card service that can be used on 42 different travel systems (subways, trains, buses) in Kansai, west Japan. As such, the target user is the public in its entirety--young, old, male, female.

The PiTaPa name combines two Japanese onomatopoeic expressions to express the service's convenience. 'Pita' suggests briefly touching an IC card on a ticket gate or machine, while 'Pa' evokes moving rapidly through the gate. The plosives Pi and Pa are brisk and lively, giving the easily understood and memorable name a sense of dynamism and quirkiness. Since most IC cards in Japan, such as SUICA or ICOCA, are built around the letters IC (as in IC chip) PiTaPa also stands out for being different.

Descriptive service names tend to be long, unmemorable and lacking in distinctiveness names. By contrast, the more inventive PiTaPa name is: easy to register, short, distinctive and memorable.

Bravis's focus is on developing service brand identities that combine brand appeal with practical usability.

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