Friday, May 18, 2007

Of widgets and whatchamacallits

Thanks to Al Vogl, head editor over at The Conference Board Review, I got a quick, paid education in the naming business a couple of months ago. The article that resulted is in the May/June issue and is available online, too:

George Eastman's dry-emulsion film simplified and popularized the art of photography. In 1888, he registered the trademark Kodak to identify his film and the cameras that used it, and began advertising their ease of use: "You press the button, we do the rest." By dint of his prodigious brand-building genius, the Eastman Co. soon laid claim to the leading position in a field of more than fifty competitors. Today, the film that created a corporate giant is tottering toward buggy-whip status, but the name Eastman chose still has legs. In 2006, even in the midst of the turmoil caused by the digital revolution, the Kodak brand ranked seventieth in the world in value, with an estimated worth of $4.4 billion, according to the annual Interbrand Corp./BusinessWeek brand survey. Not a bad return on a manufactured word...(read more)

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