I was very pleasantly surprised to read in today’s New York Times about–not the new search engine from Microsoft–but its choice of a name. Bing. Naming is one of the very hardest things to do in branding, which I have obviously mentioned before, and I think this one is a winner.
Early commentary on AdAge is negative, but it’s more about Microsoft the evil empire, than it is about anything else. I’m just taking a moment to revel in a real word that is clearly the result of an actual creative brief! Bravo to Microsoft’s marketing team as well as their agency, Interbrand. What is not known is whether or not this is the same team that came up with the original name, the unfortunate “Kumo“. (If so, well, congratulations on a good recovery.)
Clearly, I have not seen the brief, but can infer some of the criteria:
Short, Memorable, “Verb-able”, Evokes a sound, Easily pronounced, Upbeat (?)
For all I know, it took 18 months of torture to come up with the solution. But it doesn’t look that way. It’s a completely non-tortured, non-coined word. It’s a fun word, which is a departure for the massively literal Microsoft.
And yes, of course, the actual product must now deliver on a rather delicious promise that suggests “aha”, “eureka”, etc. But right now, it’s delightful to recognize some very very nice work.