I have been looking at Google’s new codename for their Android 4.4 called KitKat. I remember the old codename for this was called Key Lime Pie at one point and now Google changed to KitKat? After reading the BBC News article on the announcement, I got scared of the name more. Google has branded themselves with the name of a non-vegan chocolate bar and put a huge statue of the chocolate bar in front of their headquarters in California. Why, oh Why would you do that ever? Google seems to be branding themselves for good or bad with that name.
If one brand is not liked in a certain country, hearing the two names mesh up together is not good news. This could hurt sales of both companies without even knowing. As I mentioned above, people who are vegan will most likely protest the name Google is using as a way to show there are alternative names that could be friendlier to animals and the environment.
Do people really want to have their software releases names after food? This is interesting but not really clever, I would like names that are more mysterious. Apple uses animals when they codename / brand theirs Operating Systems and seems to make people feel better. If I had to compare food to cat names, I would pick cat names as most will not say “Oh, Jelly Bean, now I am hungry for a snack”. Also I feel cats are more in the fighting mood and food is softer. Would you want your company to fight for the customer or say, we are sitting back and waiting to see how others move forward? Overall, I believe this is up to the customer to pick one or the other but personally I would pick the wait and see approach with a hard left jab.
Google is not a stranger in using strange names in their codenames. I only feel that at some point people will get tried of this or there will be a revolt to use standard names for software. I actually like some names like Solaris or Firefox or Nintendo. Branding products is very hard, and takes awhile for a good name to come around as I have experienced before. A name can make or break a company depending on the timing.
I would say the name is one aspect of the software but the way this is marketed is even better. Take for example Apple’s 1984 ad that was revolutionary to Google Chrome Speed ads which were fun to Microsoft’s ads with Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld which no one understood the point of. The only ads I know that had a real effect on the competition was Microsoft ads that gave people a certain amount of money to buy any computer and the people did (Can’t find as). With that money, they couldn’t even touch Apple products. In the next year, Apple said “We are introducing low cost Mac Machines.” My favourite ads ever are the Linux IBM ads, as they are thoughtful yet tell a story.
In the end, strange product names = interesting brands = crazy ads but for some products this actually works better. People need to see all three come together to feel like this is worth upgrading to or buying.
Did Google get this right? You be the judge in the comments below.