Category: Innovation

What Does Your Business Stand For?

February 22, 2016 — Kent Lam

Last week in our series of 2016 predictions, we took a look at coming trends in technology naming. This week, we’re turning our attention to B2B brands—and how they’re using verbal strategies to tell more human stories about who they are and what they do.

Back in the day—when shoulder pads abounded and greed was good—the default personality for B2B brands was “big and powerful.” They had functional, impersonal, proudly corporate names like IBM, SAP, Qualcomm. The names—inscrutable acronyms and jargon to the Average Joe—were empty vessels that didn’t mean anything. They did their job, insinuating oversize presence and boundless reach. But they didn’t say anything about what the brands stood for.

These days, every brand—whether B2B or B2C—needs to have meaning, a reason to exist. Big and powerful, intimidating and impersonal—these are not the kinds of brands that businesses want to work with anymore, that consumers want to buy. In a landscape of more personal, more human, more local and transparent and approachable brands, B2B brands have needed to adopt new strategies. Using the same tools as B2C brands, B2Bs are starting to communicate what they stand for. Here are a few examples of brands that are already doing […]

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What Next? 2016 Predictions for Naming and Writing

February 16, 2016 — Jennifer Vasilache

In our last post, we looked back on naming and verbal trends for 2015. Now it’s time to look forward. In this first piece of a series of four blog posts, we share our predictions for what naming and verbal trends we can expect to see more of in 2016.

In this edition, technophile meets word-nerd. This is where CBX Verbal Strategy experts track the latest, most advanced, I-can’t-live-without-it devices and technologies unveiled by industry insiders in the New Year. We are excited and inspired by these cooler than cool innovations, and we are decoding their names to find out what’s hot in technology naming trends this year. Here is what we’ve seen, and what we would love to see going forward.

Super. Human. Technology: Show Your Human Side Move along Big Data, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the hottest topic this year. AI is the graceful technology that gives computer systems human-like capabilities such as visual as speech recognition. AI is fast-moving into the mainstream and our everyday experiences, which we see reflected in the names. Say hi to some friendly new faces in AI: Amazon’s virtual assistant Alexa, Arlo Q the connected home camera, and Lily the drone. So […]

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The Imitation Game

September 14, 2015 — Ben Glotzer

We have all heard the well-known adage coined by Charles Caleb Colton, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” We can appreciate this concept in theory, but when it comes to design and ownership of original creative content, there is a very thin line between imitation and inspiration—the latter being fundamental to creative development.

There is a long history of image appropriation in the fine art world. Think Andy Warhol’s 1962 Campbell’s Soup Cans, one of the most recognized icons of the pop art movement. Even Picasso said, “Good artists copy, great artists steal.”

Although commercial design is rooted in fine art, this “imitation” mindset does not translate. The world of commercial design comes with realities like legality and copyright infringement—which are not particularly swayed by the flattery argument. This “imitation vs. inspiration” argument is currently projected on the global stage with Japan’s recent retraction of the emblem for their 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. The selected emblem (consisting of a “T” and a red dot symbolizing a beating heart) was scrapped amongst allegations that it was plagiarized from a logo that designer Olivier Debie created for the Belgian Theatre de Liege.

See for yourself.

It is virtually a carbon copy […]

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Learning to Fly: Principles of Innovation

January 24, 2013 — Andrew Heller

A recent trip to Kitty Hawk proved to be a lesson on how pioneering inventors make their innovations real. The Wright Brothers changed the course of history. Through insight, mechanical ingenuity and sheer determination, they brought people into the realm of flight. The world got smaller the day they flew.

Here are 6 key takeaways from Wrights’ innovations for any marketer:

1. Be Driven, Not Intimidated Orville and Wilbur were not the only ones who were working on powered flight. Many had come before them, and contemporaries had raced to see who could figure it all out first. Early pioneers also had to experiment with (and on) their new equipment themselves. Failure often meant death. Get it wrong once and you might not get a second chance. But rather than be intimidated by these consequences, the Wrights drew more fuel for their fire, giving their work an urgency to help other would-be aviators. Failure is more than “not an option;” it’s a motivator.

2. Build On What You Know Orville and Wilbur’s fascination with flight began as children with a wind-up toy helicopter. They later made their living building bicycles, giving them a skill set in manufacturing, mechanics and fabrication. They also became self-sufficient, often building […]

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