By Harry McCracken | Tuesday, September 20, 2011 at 12:35 pm
Someday, the name “Qwikster” may be famous, even beloved–or at least tolerated. For now, even pundits who think that Netflix is doing the right thing by splitting its Internet streaming and disc-by-mail services in two seem to be pretty much unanimous in regarding the name the company is giving the disc half of its business as dippy. But what do real people think?
Branding company Strategic Name Development–the outfit that named Wendy’s Baconator, among other products and companies–has already conducted a survey of five hundred consumers, and…they don’t like “Qwikster” either! Or at least they find it confusing. (Only 19 percent say it’s a good name for a service that does its business by mail.)
Of course, there are other examples of names that got rocky initial receptions that stuck it out and found success–Nintendo’s Wii is an excellent example. And I suspect that Netflix isn’t going to kill “Qwikster” even before it starts using it. But I’m still startled that it was the best thing Netflix could come up with–and a nagging voice keeps asking me whether it’s lame on purpose, since Netflix is trying to wean people off DVDs.