Goodbye version numbers, hello brand names

04 September, 2013 · 2 minutes to read · written by Rob Gregory

After the announcement that Google are to name the next release of their Android OS KitKat we started thinking about some other brands that might like to have a software version named after them.

Google and KitKat might appear to be an odd pairing but as we discovered its not that easy to find brands that can pair up without conflicting in some way. For this to work each brand has to be equally represented and not bring with it any ambiguous messages or connotations.

The whole point of building a strong brand is to be different in what you offer your customers and to stand out from the crowd.

A great brand is all about a strong ethos, amazing service, positive messaging and ultimately standing out as the best offering in the marketplace. When it comes to naming a version of one of your products using the name of another branded product you have to think long and hard about what this means for both parties.

Google and Nestle are the big guys so will be working very hard to make this partnership work. Assuming it works out this interesting concept could set a trend for this happening in the future.

As a bit of fun we’ve come up with a couple of brand partnerships that may or may not work.

Apple iOS + Stella Artois

Apple spends a lot of time and effort promoting a brand that is premium. Yes they are more expensive than some of their peers but as consumers we have become accustomed to their prices being higher in return for great customer service and some of the best products in the marketplace.

The Reassuringly Expensive advertising slogan used by Stella Artois from 1982 to 2007 aimed to promote a similarly premium brand. The Apple ‘Pint’ doesn't sound great. That said said remember the furore over the iPad name when it was first launched. Now the word iPad is not only ubiquitous it cost Apple a pretty penny to buy [leaves blogpost to trademark iPint].

Not convinced the marketers at Apple would see aligning one of their products with a pint of lager….maybe Waitrose would be a better option!

Facebook - Coke

Facebook is all about sharing. The Facebook brand is built around the idea that we should make our information open and share it inside their social graph.

The recent Share a Coke campaign from Coca Cola is a perfect partner for a new Facebook version.

Facebook has a bit of a problem in that each time it releases a new version of it’s user interface we all jump onto it’s information sharing tools to complain about the changes.

A partnership with Coke would allow Facebook to linked in with campaigns like Share a Coke as part of a new release.

Like with Apple and Stella this partnership might have a problem. Facebook makes it’s money via advertising and a partnership with such a big brand may not sit well with other advertisers. Maybe the should choose a charity like Wateraid to partner with instead, sharing the gift of water holds more social value than a plastic bottle with a name on.

Probably just a gimmick

So it’s not that easy to get 2 brands to work well together even if they are from entirely different sectors. We’ll see what happens with Google kitkat but for now it’s likely that we’ll continue to see version numbers or arbitrary release names such as OS X Lion and Android Jelly bean.

Let us know which brand your business would like to partner with and why!