Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Nomenclature: Product hierarchies

Brand consultants love the term nomenclature – the study and systematizing of names. In a field known for expensive slide presentations and vulgar sloganeering, throwing the term nomenclature around sounds positively scientific. I confess to having said nomenclature a few times in meetings when I wasn't really sure what was going on but wanted to preserve my status as a key player. I once mentioned nomenclature in a discussion of implantable heart defibrillators and the client extended our engagement for three months. That's an exaggeration. But I did mention nomenclature in a restaurant and the waitress asked for my phone number. Okay, that's not true either. But this is true: If a man says the word nomenclature in a foreign accent when pointing to the ladies room, Americans will nod in agreement.

Alright, that's not likely and we're getting off the subject. This is a fact: A Nissan Maxima is the maximum value available in a Nissan car – the max, as the name implies. Except if you have the dough to afford an Ultima – which is, as the name conveys, the ultimate driving experience money can buy. Now, in the toniest neighborhoods, it is known that Nissan offers to special customers a hand-crafted machine called the Altima – which, for those who studied Latin, denotes the highest level car on the market. And that's the Nissan line-up – also a clear illustration of the underlying principles of nomenclature. It's the perfect marriage of naming with driving. Maximum to Ultimate to Highest. This elegantly rational hierarchy was hammered out by people who use the word nomenclature as casually as you might talk about carbohydrates.

If you want to rub shoulders with nomenclature greatness, however, you need to put on shades and cast your eyes on this work of art. It's the price list for space about the Louis Majesty cruise ship, one of the finest and safest vessels plying the Mediterranean Sea. For nomenclature sophistication, no one touches the Europeans.
The beauty of this system – so painstakingly designed – is that anyone can quickly see that for an extra 30 bucks you can upgrade from an Inside Premium Stateroom to an Outside Standard (Obstructed View) – which is pretty darn posh. I would be willing to ship aboard the Louis Majesty just for the chance to master the cabin-naming and pricing system so that the next time I'm in an important meeting I can bring it up.



身材維持 said...

Unable to give you a heart. so have a reply to push up your post. ........................................

brandsinger said...

yes, thanks for the memories.