What Were They Thinking?
They say that choosing the right brand name for a product or service is crucial for its success. It’s not an easy and a simple task. This one decision will have significant branding consequences for years. After all, it’s an organization’s entire story, distilled down to one or two words.
When one is developing a name for a business, a product or a service, there are a number of different branding routes one can take.
- Use the founder or inventor’s name (Hewlett-Packard)
- Describe what you do (Southwest Airlines)
- Describe an experience or image (Sprint)
- Take a word out of context (Apple)
- Make up a word (Google)
While traveling last week in train, my co-passenger had this brand of mineral water bottle.
Water Balls!! Water is ok but why Balls? Let us try to understand this brand name by focusing on how both the words identify with a mineral water brand. Water is not available in pellets or balls. Nor is this is packaged in a ball like container. Water-balls are water toys that are played on the water surface, but then how is it related to packaged drinking water? So, these interpretations don’t make any sense with reference to the brand in focus.
Let us now deconstruct the two words in the brand name separately and understand the rationale of this unique brand name. Water is clear to us. Balls could have different meanings. Let’s try and understand what could it mean with reference to packaged drinking water.
- Ball – Spherical object or entity – Nope, water is not a spherical entity so the brand manager could not possibly mean this.
- Balls – Any of various rounded, movable objects used in various athletic activities and games – Again, a package drinking water and a playing ball are far from related.
- Balls –Vulgar slang – I am sure nobody in their right mind would use this for their brand of water.
- Balls – Testicles – This is out-rightly ruled out too.
- Balls – Courage, especially when reckless – Do we need reckless courage to drink this water?
- Balls – An exclamation of strong disagreement, contempt, annoyance, etc – Really?!
How did this company come up with this brand name. Wonder, what would be the story behind this brand name! For the life of me, I can’t figure this branding strategy for a packaged drinking water. Can you?
October 20, 2014 8:29 pm|
Sometimes, a silly name is given to a product for PR/Word of Mouth spreading reasons. They’ve managed to get a blog post from you, right? 🙂
November 22, 2014 5:38 pm|
Yes, out-of-the-ordinary names certainly attract attention!! And yes, this brand even got a blog post and so much of discussion on it even though they might not be aware of its existence! 😀
October 20, 2014 9:36 pm|
Most probably, they’ve used this name to get attention.
They’ll get attention all right, but will they get buyers? I don’t think so.
November 22, 2014 5:40 pm|
Yes, attention they have got! Must be a small time brand from a small place and am sure people there wouldn’t even think of a brand name, the way we are analyzing it 🙂
October 20, 2014 10:24 pm|
Made me chuckle…and you did such a good job dissecting what it would actually mean. Nice!
November 22, 2014 5:41 pm|
Vella time, velle log 😀
October 21, 2014 3:25 am|
Haha.. that’s a weird name to keep for a water bottle. Had fun reading your analysis. 🙂
November 22, 2014 5:43 pm|
Totally weird!! 🙂
October 21, 2014 7:57 am|
November 22, 2014 5:45 pm|
LOL, yes 😀
October 21, 2014 9:32 am|
They had to have chosen the shock factor to stand out… that would be my guess 🙂
By the way, there’s one more ball to consider – the gala event (winter ball, ballroom dancing) . Maybe if this is a truly elite brand (:p) , they were trying to convince us that this is a hi-fi water 😀
November 22, 2014 5:50 pm|
Oh, then they truly shocked us! 😀 Yes, I missed that ball. Thanks for sharing that, Roshan 🙂
October 21, 2014 10:18 am|
Ha ha…perhaps it’s the perfect water for making ice-golas? 😉
The other day I came across a shop selling mobile phones called The Big C! 😛
November 22, 2014 5:51 pm|
Ice-Golas… now that’s very creative thinking and very niche marketing 😀
LOL @ The Big C 😆
October 21, 2014 10:27 am|
Haha now that is an interesting line of thought! I can’t figure it out myself…maybe it’s someone like me who has names it..Did you know I was going to name my sister ‘Aaam’ and no she didn’t look like a mango! 😀
November 22, 2014 5:52 pm|
Aaam! That’s hilarious! Thank God, you didnt get to name your sister, Nabanita!! 😀
October 21, 2014 12:40 pm|
Selecting a name is very important because people should immediately identify with the product. IBM – Computers, Xerox – Photocopying, AT&T – Telephone service, Google – Search engine.
November 22, 2014 6:08 pm|
True. Deciding on a brand name is not an easy task! It has to be a well thought of strategy as your brand can make or break you!
October 21, 2014 1:38 pm|
The idea is to make the consumer remember the brand – just like you did. Brand goal achieved!
November 22, 2014 6:23 pm|
I think that must be a short term goal! 🙂
October 21, 2014 1:52 pm|
Strange brand name for bottled water , like you neither can i figure the reason behind the name …..but water balls is the name of a pani-puri vendor near my home.
November 22, 2014 6:24 pm|
Water Balls for a pani puri vendor, still makes a lot of sense 🙂
October 21, 2014 3:08 pm|
Shilpa, that brand name had me laughing my heart out. But it’s effective!! Truly!
November 22, 2014 6:24 pm|
Aah! You think so too 😀
October 21, 2014 5:14 pm|
hahaha I think you did more analysis than the company would have actually done 😀
You post made me realize that we always try to come up with different and unique names, but Apple gave a simple word a revolutionary change in meaning.
November 22, 2014 6:26 pm|
LOL 😀 Yes! And sadly they are unaware that their brand is creating waves in the blog-word 😀
True, some brand names are amazing stories! Like the one about Lady Gaga. “I was performing in New York and my friends started to call me Gaga,” Stefani Germanotta told Barbara Walters. “They said I was very theatrical … you’re Gaga.” And, as the story goes, a stage name with “natural correctness” was born. Amazing na?!
October 22, 2014 7:09 am|
Very hilarious post. You have analysed different aspects of naming water,in different ways, in your own unique style. Nice post.
November 22, 2014 6:27 pm|
Thanks Ma’am 🙂
October 22, 2014 2:44 pm|
hahaha…..what an unusual name; but yes, it did get all the attention it wanted to with its name 😛
November 22, 2014 6:28 pm|
Yeah, attention they got it, right! 🙂
October 22, 2014 8:57 pm|
This is hilarious!! Can’t imagine how they came up with this one unless they were all drunk out of their minds, got to laughing, and came up with this, laughed themselves silly, and woke up the next day with monster hangovers and thought “Water Balls”!! YEAH! Ha ha ha! Thanks for the giggles Shilpa! Love it. I would drink water balls simply because of the looks I would get and the giggles it would create…yeah that is me. HA HA HA!
November 22, 2014 6:29 pm|
I loved your story, Kathy! I think that explains it for us, no further discussion 😀
October 23, 2014 6:46 pm|
Really, can’t say.After reading your blog,I am convinced whoever gave the name,wasn’t sure himself
November 22, 2014 6:30 pm|
I think Kathy in her comment above, got it right 😀
October 24, 2014 10:35 pm|
But I guess they want to be infamous, and at least get some publicity in the process. Phew. Look at how the standards have gone down.
November 22, 2014 6:31 pm|
May be! Wish they come out here and explain their stance! Though I am loving Kathy’s interpretation the most 😀
October 25, 2014 10:50 am|
lol, That’s funny
November 22, 2014 6:32 pm|
You bet 😀
October 26, 2014 12:02 am|
Maybe this was there intention. To make others notice their brand cos of their weird name 😀
November 22, 2014 6:32 pm|
May be 😀
November 5, 2014 5:01 pm|
November 22, 2014 6:33 pm|
Weird is the word, I would say 😀