How to Brand Next Generation Product - a Study by Hbs Marketing Faculty

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RESEARCH & IDEAS How to Brand a Next-Generation Product Published: April 23, 2012 Author: Carmen Nobel Upgrades to existing product lines make up a huge part of corporate research and development activity, and with every upgrade comes the decision of how to brand it. Harvard Business School marketing professors John T. Gourville and Elie Ofek teamed up with London Business School 's Marco Bertini to suss out the best practices for naming next-generation products. Key concepts include: • Companies often take one of two tacks in naming a next-generation product—the sequential naming approach or the complete name change approach. • Experimental research showed that each naming approach affects customer expectations. With a name change,…show more content…
So it gives you added freedom. You can change who James Bond is—Sean Connery, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan, Daniel When Apple launched its latest iPad, experts and nonexperts alike expected it to be dubbed "iPad 3," a natural follow-on to the second-generation iPad 2. Instead, the company called the new iPad just that: "the new iPad." Observers debated whether this was lazy branding or a very deliberate effort to market the iPad as a sibling to the Mac. Macs keep their names with each successive upgrade, analysts noted, while iPhones sport sequential numbers and letters to indicate improvements. Brand name continuation vs. name change In one experiment, 78 participants considered a hypothetical scenario in which a well-known firm is preparing to launch a new version of its color printer. The participants, who were split into two groups, received a list of seven successive model names. For the first group, the entire series of printers was branded in a sequential fashion, from 2300W to 2900W. For the second group, the first four models were named sequentially—2300W to 2600W, but the last three models reflected a brand name change—MagiColor, MagiColor II, and MagiColor III. Based on the names alone, on a scale of 1 to 7, participants gauged the likelihood of "Consumers don 't necessarily read specs to learn about new features, but they 'll always

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