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Naming the Palm Prē: Strategy Boutique OD's on joss-sticks

'Fluid alliteration' to the sound of whalesong

We're sure you were all wondering just how Palm came up with the paradigm-busting name for its much-anticipated, iPhone-annihilating Prē smartphone. The answer is it didn't - it asked a Strategy Boutique to do it.

Cue the heady fug of joss-sticks and the sound of whalesong - in this at Catchword.

Here are a few extracts outlining the process:

Once the industry trailblazer, Palm needed a game-changer if they were ever to reclaim their brand luster and dominant market share. And they had just the ticket. Their new smartphone merged business and personal applications in a way iPhone and Blackberry fans could only dream of. What’s more, it anticipated users’ needs, shifting fluidly between applications and websites - even during phone calls - or an experience of flowing, uninterrupted multitasking.

Good start. OK, so what's it going to be called? The iFlow? The PalmBlazer?

Frankly, it was tough slogging. For starters, we were naming a moving target; both the phone and its strategic positioning continued to morph and evolve throughout our naming process. So being able to shift on the fly was key...

The creative exploration was mammoth. Yet after developing many thousands of names (and screening hundreds for legal snags and global suitability) the answer was almost elemental in its simplicity.

The result? Brace yourselves...

The Palm Prē. Refreshingly direct, unlike many of its hipper-than-thou competitors that take themselves way too seriously. (Think Juke, Krave and Decoy.) The name Prē also subtly conveys the device’s ability to predict its user’s movements. And we like the fluid alliteration and upscale tonality (reminiscent of Grand Prix). An added bonus: the Prē links naturally to its sibling, the Trēo, both aurally and visually (with the long bar over the “e”).

FFS.

For the record, the Prē is rumoured to be heading for an unleashing later this month. Those of you thinking of stumping for one might want to consider just what percentage of the retail price went into funding this complete and utter cobblers. ®

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Thanks to Steve Adams for the heads-up.

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