Was BlackBerry right to name its new tablet the SecuTABLET?

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By: Will Leben, Lexicon Branding

BlackBerry has just announced its newest device, the SecuTABLET. Here, at Lexicon Branding, Inc., we were pleased to help develop the name BlackBerry over a decade ago. Now, years later, we wonder how we would have directed the naming of BlackBerry’s new tablet. Would we have advised BlackBerry to adopt the name SecuTABLET?

The BlackBerry brand, although it has suffered greatly in recent years, retains some positive qualities in the marketplace. As the company’s website states, “Security, reliability and productivity are hallmark strengths of BlackBerry.” Of these, we would say that security is the feature that the market still associates most with the BlackBerry brand.

This makes one wonder: if BlackBerry already communicates security to people, and if the new device is a tablet, what additional message is offered by the name SecuTABLET? A brand name offers a rare opportunity to attract attention by announcing a new, exciting arrival. However, the name BlackBerry chose tells us quite literally that its new device is a secure tablet. Has an opportunity perhaps been wasted?

Unexpected features

As it happens, the new tablet does have some interesting, unexpected features:

-it will not be available to the general public

-it will be marketed to “national and international public sector markets and enterprises”

-despite that highly restricted target, it will work with social media and popular messaging apps

Wouldn’t it have been better if the name communicated some of these features, or some of the unique value that can be derived from these features? A vastly different approach might have alluded to any number of attractive characteristics: the device’s elite, privileged status, its official pedigree, its rarity, a specific new and unique security technology, and so on.

Does SecuTABLET sound like a $2,380 device?

That’s what this device will market for. SecuTABLET sounds too mundane for this echelon. Something more visionary would have been better.

Another important question to consider: does SecuTABLET allow room for future growth? Suppose the device becomes so successful that it gives rise to a generation of BlackBerry tablets with state-of-the-art security marketed to a broader population of users. Repurposed in the future as a consumer electronics item, the name SecuTABLET will have some disadvantages:

1. At four syllables, it’s too long.

2. Both syllables of “tablet” end in a consonant, making the name difficult to pronounce in any language that doesn’t allow syllable-final consonants.

3. “Secu” begins with the same letters as the word security, but the word is stressed on the second syllable, so secu (stressed on the first styllable) sounds more like secular and actually shares more sounds with executive than with security.

4. The name doesn’t excite the imagination.

Coming after previous BlackBerry names, SecuTABLET is a letdown. We’re afraid the market will take this as a sign that the makers of BlackBerrys have lost their vision.

Tags: blackberry BlackBerry SecuTABLET