May 14th, 2007 by Jeff
The “oPen™” name was originally assigned by the development team as a project name for our interactive, handheld scanning tool. Although the name oPen is certainly a clever double-entendre, it was never intended to be the name of the commercial device. In that capacity the name has a couple of major problems.
Calling it a pen plops it into a mundane category of existing products that embody only a small amount of our functionality. These handheld scanners (e.g. C-Pen, IrisPen, DocuPen, etc.) have a reputation for producing a frustrating and limited user experience. With all of that established baggage already out there, oPen may as well be shmoPen. Who will notice?
The value proposition Exbiblio offers to consumers goes far beyond the functionality of a hand-held portable scanner. That value proposition is likely to exist over time in other form factors like cell phones. Tying that value proposition to a brand name that evokes images of a “pen” is potentially shortsighted. Initial branding discussion within the company yielded the following with respect to oPen brand positioning.
- Positioning – what we offer to each specific customer:
For users of printed materials, oPen technology provides user-friendly tools that quickly and reliably enable them to infuse their documents with web functionality while enabling them to capture, store, share, annotate and link information.
- Brand Promise – What we stand for in the hearts and minds of our customers:
Tools that transform paper media into a web portal.
- Key word:
Two insights came out of this discussion. The first was that that our technology should only be embodied in cool tools that are very user friendly. The second was that the product’s commercial name should convey that we are providing portal technology that links the paper and digital worlds.
An internal brainstorming session around naming yielded well over 100 names. The most popular of those are listed below. These and others will be tested for name recall, name pronunciation, top-of-mind associations and connotations, fit with core product positioning, preference and foreign language difficulties. A $1,000 finders fee will be paid to the first person not from Exbiblio who submits a name via the blog that ends up being used with the technology.
Internally generated names (so far):