Lexicon Branding, Procter & Gamble's Swiffer (B)
2002 | Case No. M300B
This case explores Lexicon Branding’s unique branding and naming strategy and its naming of a Procter & Gamble (P&G) dry mop device. Since 1982, the firm had named over 1,800 companies, products, and services, and had developed and honed a naming strategy that melded techniques from advertising and linguistics. By 1999, the firm had over twenty employees. In building the firm, Placek and his team had elevated Lexicon Branding to the pinnacle of the naming business with spectacular successes such as the brand names for Pentium (Intel’s successful family of microchips), Outback (Subaru’s sports wagon), DeskJet (Hewlett-Packard’s printer), Zima (Coors’ alcoholic beverage), Slates (Levi Strauss & Co.’s dress slacks), and BlackBerry (Research In Motion’s “anywhere” e-mail product) (Exhibit 1). Because of its success, numerous corporations such as P&G regularly outsourced its naming projects to Lexicon. In 1998, the head of P&G’s Corporate New Ventures Group, Craig Wynett, contacted Placek to discuss naming a new dry mop device that used cleaning pads to trap dirt. P&G had brainstormed potential names such as “Dr. Mop,” “Mr. Mop,” and “MopHit.” The Lexicon team flew to Ohio to meet with the P&G team in order to learn about the product and P&G’s branding strategy. After meeting with P&G, the Lexicon team wondered how they would best help the consumer goods company develop a new name for its product.
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