Today’s launch of the iPad created some serious hype, the likes of which I haven’t seen since the initial launch of the iPhone. While there have been some mixed reviews about the device, the product’s name itself has drawn quite a few snickers and been the butt of a few jokes. Even the Wall Street Journal reported on it.
This got me thinking about how (or if) I would respond to the silliness surrounding the product name if I were on Apple’s PR team. On one hand, having the WSJ write about the issue does raise some concerns; but on the other hand, the product name is not going to change and people will ultimately pay more attention to the news itself and product reviews. Without overthinking it, I would let the whole thing blow over.
One thing is for sure, while some folks take pot-shots at the iPad’s name, those of us in PR and marketing can use this as a reminder about the steps we can take to try and avoid similar situations. These are the two most basic approaches that come to mind:
- Use focus groups or surveys during the planning stage to get feedback about a product’s potential features, naming conventions, etc.
- Embrace social media monitoring tools like Radian6 or Sysomos leading up to a launch. Whether it’s a movie, a product or a service that you’re bringing to market, gaining insight into consumer sentiment before you launch can help guide your marketing plans; provide some direction on product features/functions to add/remove; help you tweak your messaging, etc.
What would you do? Would you also let the storm blow over?