Google Plays Against The Name Game Rules

Google (GOOG, GOOGL) borrowed the simple dictionary word, “ALPHABET” to create a powerful corporate name identity which could have easily been ‘COOL’, ‘POOL’ or a “FOOL.' Any such identity would have gotten the same global buzz and frenzy of excitement. Thankfully, they wisely aborted other possibilities like ‘HEAVEN’, ‘HELL’ or, ‘PURGATORY.’ 

There is nothing wrong with the name ALPHABET but the name game itself?

This name is harmless and in public domain so anybody can use it in any way or shape: Alphabet Catalogue, Alphabet Listings, Alphabet Ding Dongs, etc. 

So, it’s not owned by them, but they always had an ironclad ownership on the global name identity of ‘Google'’ while Alphabet is commonly shared by thousands of other businesses, in various contexts, all over the world. Keeping in mind that the common word Apple is also a very successful brand identity, what level of confusion will occur with Alphabet?

Sometimes organizations, despite the efforts of global powers, still do not own their own name brand identity. Examples of these mega identities include United, National, Dynamic, and Quantum. There are already hundreds of thousands of such names in use for many such brands including: United Airlines, United Bank, and United Bakeries. The key question is why United Airlines is not as distinct and proprietary as a name like Alitalia. These are very serious and politically sensitive boardroom issues, and you have to first count the direct beneficiaries of such naming dysfunctionalities.

It is a good thing that ‘GOOGLE’ teams also decided not to be named by some crazy naming exercise, in a Silicon Valley style like ‘Confusoonostor’ or  ‘Godataumisote.’ Otherwise there would be full-page ads running around the world on how such super creative names convey the meaning from ancient scripts as ‘humble pit’, ‘soft yet very powerful’ or ‘crazy dragon fighter tackling big data’. It’s a fact; such exotic names often appear with a big bang effect but quietly fade away when mega budgets finally convince the confused customers of the naming stupidity.

Here, Google, by selecting a simple name, did very well. Alphabet is only a two star ranking while Google is five stars. How?

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Duke Peters 6 years ago Member's comment

Google really should have come up with a better name.

Doug Morris 6 years ago Member's comment

Doesn't Google create it's own domains extensions? Instead of registering, maybe this will launch a new wave sites. might be the first to start this trend.

Anastasija Janevska 6 years ago Member's comment

I have no idea what Google was thinking to take such a common word like that....

Some of the most successful names are completely made up like Twitter and Etsy. They should have done the same.

Carl Schwartz 6 years ago Member's comment

Interesting take. Being the president of ABC Namebank, I can certainly understand why you'd take issue with Google's new parent company's name. But I have to disagree with your article. This is GOOGLE we are talking about! They can take any name and make it synonymous with being cool and innovative.

Duanne Johnson 6 years ago Member's comment

I would have to agree and I have a great example. Look at Amazon. Amazon was a well establish name referring to a geographic reason. Yet these days, when anyone says Amazon, everyone immediately knows they are talking about the internet giant.

While I think Alphabet is a strange name, I don't think it will be an obstacle to Google in the slightest. If Joe Plumber were to use that as a company, the author would probably be right. But it won't be a problem for $GOOG at all.