Experiential names offer a direct connection to something real, to a
part of direct human experience. They rise above descriptive names because
their message is more about the experience than the task.
For instance, in the web portal
space, descriptive product names include Infoseek, GoTo, FindWhat, AllTheWeb,
etc. Experiential names of web portals include such product names as Explorer,
Magellan, Navigator, and Safari.
These names make sense to the consumer.
They map to the consumer's experience with the company or product.
Because they require little explanation, experiential names are easily
approved in a corporate process.
They work best for products within a brand strategy designed to accumulate
brand equity for both the company and the product.
Experiential company and product names are most effective for the
early entrants in a business sector, becoming less effective for later
Because they are so intuitive, experiential names are embraced across
many industries with high frequency, making them harder to trademark.
These are names that tend to be historically common in the branding
Their over-usage makes them less effective in the long run. For instance,
while Explorer, Navigator and Safari are web portal names, they are
also the names of SUVs.
The similarity in tone of these names across an industry is indicative
of similarities in positioning. As web portal names, Explorer, Navigator,
Safari and Magellan are all saying exactly the same things in exactly
the same ways to exactly the same people. Consequently, they aren't
pulling any weight when it comes to differentiating a brand.