17. Technology Naming

A technology brand can make consumers aware of the technology hidden inside the devices they buy, thus enhancing their value and appeal. Classic examples of this would be Intel's branded chips for PCs (Pentium, Itanium, Xeon etc.) and, more recently, Corning's Gorilla Glass used in everything from smartphones to flatscreen TVs. The successful branding of a technology can help build dominant mindshare, making the name brand into a de facto standard.

Two Approaches to Technology Naming
There are two main approaches to technology naming.

  1. Technology naming that references the company that makes it, thus raising the value of the corporate brand.
  2. Technology naming that does not directly evoke the company that makes it and so can be more easily adopted by a range of manufacturers to become the market standard.

Both approaches leverage the value created by expensive investments in technology to create positive synergies with the corporate brand and other product brands.

One risk of being over-successful in naming a technology is for the brand name to turn into a generic noun or verb to describe a process. ('To google,' meaning 'to do a web search,' is a recent example of this) When a name ends up in general use like this, all the money spent developing, and registering it is wasted. When developing and later managing a technology brand, it is crucial to be conscious of such long-term trademark-related issues.

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