It depends on how strong the branding is. Firefox, for example, is
starting to develop a brand of its own. It would be worth it in that
case to include "Mozilla Firefox" as the launcher instead of "Web
Yeah, I agree. In cases where heavy branding has already been done, it
will be easiest for people to recognize the brand. E.g. if we're
offering Coke in our menus (and our menus have plenty of, ahem "coke"),
I'd call it Coke, not "Cola Beverage". Our goal should be to use the
lowest noise / most identifiable name. The apache brand is strong enough
in sysadmin circles that I would definitely label an apache menu item
(if we were to have such a thing for some wacky reason *grin*) "Apache
Web Server". I caution, however, that while the Firefox (or
) brand could in theory be strong in 2 years, its
basically non-existant in the general office worker population today.
From a usability perspective:
In cases where the brand does not
already exist (the norm for
practically all of our apps relative to, say, Abby), we should use
generic names. Branding is usually a process of educating people about
things they don't need to know, but we want them to know. It is not
typically helpful from a usability perspective (there are cases where it
is, but on the whole, not so much). We should not be reducing usability
to help establish brands, though where a brand is established we can
leverage it ).
From a branding perspective:
Prolific brands lead to brand
dillution and reduces the ability to have
*any* distinct brands. In the marketplace you can't control this,
because everyone will try to establish a brand. In this case we can. We
can effect how many brands show up in the interface.
Sometimes having two or three brands can help, because you associate
different things with each brand, but you want to do this strategically.
Typically you'll have multiple products under a single brand, not a
brand per "product": and I even think its questionable to treat each
menu item as a "product". We want to treat the core desktop as a single
product, not 50 different products.
Put another way, if we add names to menu entries we have multiple brands
per product. If anything, we want multiple products per brand.
There's also the issue of whether or not you want to
consider it part of the overall brand or operating system or whether
or not you're co-branding.
Yes. Sometimes it will be strategic (and mutually beneficial) to
associate with existing strong brands by co-branding... but that's not
the norm. I have no problem with a couple things that deviate from the
norm on the basis of exceptional arguments.