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Nokia’s Naming Convention, What’s it Going to Be?

As I mentioned in my last post, it is not very clear how Nokia is going to name all of their upcoming Windows Phone devices. Their problem bases around the fact that in the U.S market, names, rather than numbers, appear to have more success. Nokia has unveiled a naming convention that uses numbers in the hundreds to classify and name phones. So a Nokia 900 would be better than a Nokia 700 and so on. But Nokia has also been asking user’s opinions on names for the U.S variants of their phones, giving options such as Genesis, Phoenix, and Elite. Does this mean that Nokia will release a phone under two names? One for the world, which would be a numeric name, and then a second name for the U.S market? It would be something like the Nokia C7 and Nokia Astound: the same phone, under two different names.

The problem with this approach is that it would divide the popularity of a phone by two; people in the U.S and people in the rest of the world would be talking about the same thing, but calling it two different names. This causes confusion, inconsistency, and just trouble in general. It is important that a single phone is known by the same name everywhere in the world so its identity and popularity remain in one piece.

When Nokia asked for names for upcoming Nokia phones, I suggested they should use the periodic table of the elements to name their upcoming devices. It is logical, consistent, and element’s names are very cool and memorable. However, a reason I missed, is that these names are also global. The pronunciation for elements is practically the same across languages and it is definitely not an arbitrary english word such as “Sensation” or “Galaxy.” Words for elements are similar across countries, but Nokia could also use the specific word for the element in a given language and region.

It also seems that from a marketing view-point, it is more memorable and easier on the consumer to remember a name rather than a number. The only problem of this idea, is to find out whether it is convenient for Nokia to associate its brand with the scientific side of things. But since it’s a tech company, it’s probably not a terrible idea.

Nokia Elements:

Nokia Helium, Nokia Lithium, Nokia Boron, Nokia Carbon, Nokia Silicon, Nokia Neon, Nokia Scandium, Nokia Titanium, Nokia Cobalt,  Nokia Argon etc…

Similarity Across Languages:

English: Argon/Helium/Neon/Vanadium

German: Argon/Helium/Neon/Vanadium

Spanish: Argon/Helio/Neon/Vanadio

Albanian: Argon/Helium/Neoni/Vanadium

Danish: Argon/Helium/Neon/Vanadium

Finnish: Argon/Helium/Neon/Vanadiinia

French: Argon/Hélium/Néon/Vanadium

You get the idea….

  • http://twitter.com/kopte3 Matija

    If you got a great device, name is not an issue, everyone will hear about it/own it.
    I vote for 3 digits, much cleaner than Cha cha Galaxies. :)

    • Anonymous

      You are right, I like numbers because they are logical… We immediately know that a 900 is better and more expensive than a 800, the problem is, that I would hate for Nokia to name the same phone two names. If they come up with numbers, then don’t offer the same phone under a different name in the U.S! If they go numbers, they should go numbers worldwide… That would be ideal. 

      However, if they go with names (and names are more efficient from a marketing stand-point) then do something logical… not just random names like “Jedi” or “Elite.” You could also arrange phones in the periodic table by series… noble gases for high end and alkali metals for low-end.. of course that’s too technical in practice. The advantage of the table is that it is already an international convention by itself. I can’t think of another way you could logically arrange names.

  • Anonymous

    But names are MUCH MUCH friendlier to memory… My friends remember my Galaxy S, but not my Nokia N950. 

    The problem would be, does Nokia want to associate its brand with the periodic table, technical, science side of things?

  • http://twitter.com/kopte3 Matija

    I get the idea of natural elements, but somehow i don’t like it. The best thing about digits is for average consumer to see one device which he likes, for example the Nokia 500. He will know that if he can afford a little more he can check out the Nokia 600, or that other form factors for the same price begin with the number 5.. You get my point. It’s just easy to navigate from device to device with understanding which has better specs or lower price. That’s number one reason why i like digits better than names.
    Number two is that names mean different things in different cultures. And after some time you start to hear some weird names like Cha cha, only to be different. You cannot screw that much with numbers. They’re always classy. :)
    The reason why your friend remembers Galaxy S and not Nokia N950 isn’t in the name. iPhone could be named iLoveWaffles56 and it would still be the world most known mobile device. :)