Marketing majors? What's in a Name?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Evan S, Feb 13, 2002.

  1. Evan S

    Evan S Cinematographer

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    As you all know everyone has their likes and dislikes regarding high end audio...performance is important to everyone but looks play a large role to some, small to others, but what's in a name?

    For instance, I'm looking for bookshelf speakers for a small 2 channel bedroom system and due to price limitations I'm focusing a little more on the mail order companies like Swans and Axiom.

    I have a little anal retentive quality when it comes to the name of speakers...call me crazy.

    For instance, I think the names of the Linn and Totem lines are pretty cool...espek, tukan, arro, etc.

    I can see why companies would use the words "Studio" or "Reference" in the title like Paradigm or Revel...sybolizes quality and the standard for others.

    I also like the names of the PSB line (Stratus) and Monitor Audio (Gold, Silver, Bronze). Gives a very easy hierarcy of the lines you can follow.

    This is for discussion only, but why name your speakers Divas by Swans? Sounds like a kind of perfume I would give to a girlfriend. I think the look of these speakers are great and I've heard good things about the sound but I have trouble having to tell my friends I own Diva's by Swans.

    With all the clamor over the looks of the Outlaw and their logo I wonder if anyone else like me could be put off by the Name of a particular product.
     
  2. Steve Zimmerman

    Steve Zimmerman Second Unit

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    Uh, let's see... I'm sure you're having a fun time with this, but are you saying you are uncomfortable with the name of the company that designed the speakers (Swans Speaker Systems) or the fact that they chose Diva as the name of the speaker line itself?

    Please tell me how "Swans Diva 6.1" as a speaker name could possibly sound worse than "Bose Acoustimass 6" (the latter being the best name that a company known primary for its marketing could come up with)?

    --Steve
     
  3. EricHaas

    EricHaas Supporting Actor

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    "Acoustimass" actually is a perfect name for a Bose product. It is acoustics for the *masses*. I'm sure that is not what they intended, but I prefer that interpretation.[​IMG]
    I actually like the name "Divas by Swans." It has kind of a classical, elegant ring to it. A "diva" is an opera singer, and swans are beautiful flightless birds. Probably has more appeal to classical/opera lovers than others.
    My least favorite name for a speaker line is "Home Theater Direct." They made the mistake of naming the speaker line after the company itself. Bad move. Sounds like cheap mass marketed crap, which is more the pity since many people say they sound great.
    I like the sound of the Sonus Faber line. Amatis, concertinos, grand pianos. It all sounds very sophisticated. May be overpriced crap for all I know, but it sure sounds like I'd be buying something top of the line.
     
  4. Evan S

    Evan S Cinematographer

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    My argument wasn't that I wouldn't get these speakers because of the name only that the name didn't help much. I am still considering the Diva's at the top of my list right now but fell they would do themselves a favor by using a different Moniker. I agree with Eric, I like the names of the Sonus Faber line and after hearing them, I definately do NOT believe them to be overpriced crap.
     
  5. Eujin

    Eujin Supporting Actor

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    EvanS,

    As someone who works in the advertising/marketing industry (please, flame me gently), I think this is a very interesting thread. I think you're spot on with your observations that speaker nomenclature plays a big part in the marketing of those particular brands. Of course, I'm not suggesting that ANY of us on this forum should make purchase decisions based on the naming of speakers alone! But let's take a brief look at the brands already mentioned:

    Paradigm -- obviously an English word that clearly indicates the ambitions of the speaker/company. It's a pretty elegant word and works a lot better than some synonyms that come to mind (pattern, model and example just don't have the same ring, does it?)

    Linn, Totem, Sonus Faber -- these brands sound pretty "high-end" to us American and other English-speaking types partly because they're foreign-sounding names! There is an air of the exotic and esoteric about these names for us. The fact that they are backed up by outstanding products reinforces the initial impressions created by the name of the brand.

    Home Theater Direct -- I'd have to agree with EvanS that the company could have done a better job with the name they chose. Perhaps it was a marketing decision aimed at capturing an audience that was tired of getting the runaround with speakers that promise much, cost more and deliver little. HTD suggests that their products have a no-bull approach--"all our money went into the product instead of marketing". However, even a position like that is a marketing move! The trouble is, there's a double-edged sword here. The HTD name implies that the focus of their products is on home theater--the other half of the thought that is started in their name is, "...not Music Direct". So, it's easy for audiophiles to dismiss them as a manufacturer of cheap speakers aimed at the home theater crowd, with little sonic benefits for music listeners. Now, this may or may not be true, but the HTD name just carries that baggage around with it.

    Anyways, that's my 2 pesos.
     
  6. Bob_A

    Bob_A Supporting Actor

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    The name of the company is one thing...but notice that many companies use alphanumeric designations for their speaker models. This is probably done in order to emphasize the name of the company rather than emphasizing the name of the particular speaker model, and it is also a very intuitive way for potential customers to distinguish between the different models in the lineup. With cars, people will often say "Oh you have a lexus" or "oh you have a mercedes"...just like with speakers they will say "Oh you have a BOSE" (sorry but this really happens!)...regardless of which particular model you own. Acura switched to alphanumeric designations because they wanted people to think about the name "Acura" and not simply the name "Legend" or "Integra". The name "3.5RL" might not be as appealing as the name "Legend"...but IMHO it is a very smart move for a company to try to emphasize brand loyalty over just specific model loyalty.
     
  7. StevenK

    StevenK Second Unit

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    Indeed the Home Theater Direct name just rings of "made in Taiwan" (which they might actually be, come to think of it). Therefore I just refer to them as my "HTD" so people will think that they're in the same company as my "NHT" mains [​IMG] Hey...it might work on some people right? Level 3 vs. 2.5 i...close enough.
    But back to the Divas. I think it's a wonderful name, especially for speakers. From a marketing standpoint, when I hear "Swan" and "Diva", I think of a beautiful, lithe, blond haired, blue-eyed opera singer wearing a big ole white costume going "honk, honk, honk!"
     
  8. Bob_A

    Bob_A Supporting Actor

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    I've always loved the name "Definitive Technology"...makes it sound "high-tech" (which it is) [​IMG]
     
  9. Jeffrey Forner

    Jeffrey Forner Screenwriter

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    You know, for some reason I knew before I finished the reading the first post that this thread would bring up the Divas by Swans. [​IMG]
    This is a great thread for someone like me, who owns a set of Home Theater Direct speakers that he just replace with a set of Diva speakers by Swans!
    Home Theater Direct--After owning these speakers for little over a year, I can attest to the fact that this is by far the best name these speakers could be given. As Eujin noted, the brand sounds great for HT purposes, but sorely lacks in the music department. Still, the offer a tremendous bang-for-the-buck by selling directly to the consumer.
    Diva by Swans--Again, this name accurately reflects the product it sells. When I think of swans, I think of a simple, elegant creature that's beautiful to look at. Likewise, the Swans are beautiful speakers with a rich elegant finish that radiates class with their very pressence. At the same time, divas are known for their superb singing abilities, which is fitting for these speakers since they can really sing! The musicality of the product is enough to satisfy the most demanding audiophile.
    Is the problem the fact that the name of the speakers don't sound man-ish? If so, big deal! They sound wonderful, and that's what's important.
     
  10. Larry B

    Larry B Screenwriter

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    Eric:

     
  11. Eujin

    Eujin Supporting Actor

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    Jeffrey,
    I think the Divas are beautiful speakers too (haven't heard them, unfortunately) and I agree that the name "Divas by Swans" fits them to a tee--I'm assuming that all these positive reviews from owners are accurate. Your observation that the name does not sound very masculine is also very well taken. As everyone knows, the audiophile and HT worlds are very male-dominated ones, and it IS very unusual to see brands that have a feminine ring to them. Maybe the naming decision was arrived at due to the high WAF factor in these speakers? [​IMG]
    However, I think the interesting question here is why they chose "Divas by Swans" over say, "Swans Diva". I think the answer may be, that the little "by" imparts a bit of a high-end feel to it. I can't think of any examples of a naming convention used this way in the high-end, but it certainly calls to mind the idea that these speakers have a "designer" quality to them. Part of this comes from the world of high fashion, e.g. The 3/4-length camel hair coat by Georgio Armani. Obviously, as you've noted, the "Diva" part of the name draws on the music world, but the choice made here is very specifically female. We may take it for granted, but I don't think the name would have worked as well if it drew from male singing parts. Can you imagine if they had called it "Baritones by Swans"? On the other hand, if they extend their speaker lines in the future, they could have "Sopranos by Swans" or "Altos by Swans"--if they want to stay within their naming family (yes, I know that divas are not an actual part in a choral group).
     
  12. EricHaas

    EricHaas Supporting Actor

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    I said, "For all I know they may be overpriced crap,"

    That hardly suggests I think they are overpriced crap. It only suggests I have never heard them and am unwilling to make assumptions based on a name and price point.
     
  13. Evan S

    Evan S Cinematographer

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    Eric, I'm sorry if my post offended you...that was far from my intention. My intention was to get you to maybe run out and listen to some Sonus Fabers...even if it's just the Concerto's or Concertinos. Tweeter carries the line and it's truly fabulous. I'm not sure if it's what you would consider in the "bargain" category, but they truly are beautiful and sound tremendous.
     
  14. BryanZ

    BryanZ Screenwriter

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    ACI - Audio Concepts Inc. New way of doing things. How can we make speakers sound better ?
    Swan Diva - Elegence. Class. Not overbearing in any way. The type of speaker you'd want to date. [​IMG] (Okay, not really. [​IMG])
    nOrh - Different. Unusual. Definately something that goes against the flow. Peaks your curiousity.
     
  15. EricHaas

    EricHaas Supporting Actor

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    Evan:
    I don't think we have a Tweeter's in the Bay Area here. But I would love to demo the Sonusfaber series. I certainly enjoy their looks based on what I have seen on their websites. And they have it over almost any other high end brand in the "cool speaker name" category. Anything is better than "Watt/puppies."[​IMG]
     
  16. John Sturge

    John Sturge Stunt Coordinator

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    Here, let me take a crack
    M&K Xenon- Um kay'
    Revel Salon- Oooh la la
    Rel Stadium-Why would I associate a subwoofer with a stadium?
    Totem Dreamcatcher Package- Great name, to capture the Home Theater fanatics wildest wet dreams about speakers.
    Swan Diva- A duck quacking
    Moondog Audio- Oh my god, were they high when they came up with that name?
    Magnum Dyanlab- Fancy name for unfancy things
    NAD- What an ugly name for a good company.
    EAD- Not as a bad as NAD's, but the name spelled out is better, Enlightened Audio Designs.
    Integra Research- Always researching new things
    Hopefully, one day we can be humored by speakers being called like, "Totem Tsunami", "M&K Xtreme"( or 70 different variations of the word "extreme"), or maybe even "Revel Gourmet" [​IMG]
     
  17. Doug BW

    Doug BW Stunt Coordinator

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  18. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    Acoustic Research: Implies that the company spends
    most of thier time researching sonic qualities and technologies
    which then make the leap to production.
    AR has always stood for a company that did thier homework
    using real cutting edge technologies to produce a better
    product. Unlike some companies that just make up words and
    then pattent something after them.
    I agree with BobA that the Number Designation is a smart
    move for interbrand distinction. AR went as far as designating
    thier speakers by Alphanumerics AR9 for example. You know
    that the speaker company is AR and you know that it's the
    9 series of Full Range Tower Speakers. The problem with the
    method AR has chosen to use is that they re-use it. While
    this is great for a timeless recognition factor, it also
    tends to confuse people when talking about the Vintage
    versions.
    I also like how AR has seperated the brand into "lines" as
    such: The Edge, Sequel, Performance Series, Stature Series,
    High Res Series, Phantom Series. Each name implies the general
    theme behind the product line within the brand. For example
    the Hi-Res line is all about High Resolution Audio with
    speakers that have Freq-Resp that extend beyond 20Khz and
    lows that dip into LFE Territory on thier mains. The Stature
    Series conjours an image in your mind of a sleek, tall and
    sophisticated speaker with a statuesqe pose and that is how
    they do look.
    I am sure there are countless hours that go into "a name"
    and it's not easy to come up with that Company name, logo
    or image!
    (Very neat discussion!)
     

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