How Did Zune Get Its Name?

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The SF Gate has an article where David Placek, founder and CEO of Lexicon, disusses how his company came up with the name Zune. Some bullets:

  • The person who came up with the name isn’t getting the credit, to prevent a “swelled head”
  • 3,500 names were considered, developed by three teams with different instructions (one thought the device was from Sony, another an MTV product) as well as 60 Ph.D. linguists
  • The name had to be short, since the device is small
  • The letter “z” is really popular among these guys, probably a mistake (not in this case, but many products are hurt by including a “z”)
  • Zune beats iPod by only having one syllable, to iPod’s two

Lots of interesting stuff to be learned about the branding process. What would you have called it? The most original name I can come up with is “Wave”, as in soundwaves, and I know Zune is better than that (although I wouldn’t mind owning a Wave player). Anybody got a good one?
(via Todd Bishop)

Also, Ed Bott calls out Om Malik for reviewing the Zune poorly based entirely on negative reviews around the web. While many bloggers are doing that (and I’m basing my opinions, which are in the middle, using the same process), Om is an egregious offender because he has a Zune! Microsoft sent him a Zune, but Om was too depressed by the reviews to give it a chance. He eventually did open it, and was a little less negative, but Ed puts it perfectly:

    I’ve never seen a more graphic representation of the Silicon Valley Echo Chamber in action.

Om, I’m on the fence on this one. How about sending me the device?



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Nathan Weinberg writes the popular InsideGoogle blog, offering the latest news and insights about Google and search engines.

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How Did Zune Get Its Name?
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