Saturday, August 11, 2012

New55 FILM is official name of first planned product

The first planned product from this group will be called New55 FILM.  The two word name with a combination of letters and numbers, and with the word FILM in all capital letters is the correct term to use for this product.

New55 FILM is the product, and New55 is a brand, not a company, and we may have other names and designations for various types. As we learned with our very successful ribbon microphone line, names and not just truncated numbers, are far more effective.  The Wayback Machine has a nice stored page of Crowley and Tripp Ribbon Microphones made up until 2009, at this link.  Give it a few seconds to load.  Note that unlike their less successful competitors, names, not numbers, were given to the models. Once that was taken away, product recognition, and overall mojo, slipped.

Here is a link to an amusing, old rant about product naming that quite a few people commented on.


Anonymous said...

I can't wait to be able to buy some New55 FILM! I have a 545 holder coming in the mail (along with 8 sheets of Type 55) from eBay; so as soon as I can buy some New55 FILM I will do so!

David E Matuszek said...

I can't wait to get my hands on some! This will be great for my 4x5 fun shoots.

Chris 'holmburgers' said...


Love your comments about branding, and names over numbers. Who wants to shoot film stock 5222 when you can shoot 'DOUBLE-X'. Or play an Ibanez JCRG20126, when you can pick up a Fender Stratocaster. Names seem to give us a sense of comradery to the product; they make it something we can, quite literally, refer to by name.

Now on the flipside, it seems that certain niche and luxury products can benefit from numbering schemes. Look at BMW, Mercedes, Lexus, Infiniti.. ALL #'s and letters ... compared to Honda, Ford, Chevy, Toyota; mostly ALL names. It seems that past a certain level of price or "niche-ness", numbers and letters can take on a life of their own. I drool when I hear Honda CB450, for instance.

Maybe it's because any two people talking about BMW R75/5's or Gibson J45's suddenly sound like experts on the topic. They relish the complexity and esoteric nature of what they're talking about. Whereas the "lay person" can do a better job by comparing the Fit and the Civic, the Prius and the Leaf, etc.

I wonder if our our brain physiology actually deals with products differently, depending on whether it's names or numbers.

Polaroid 55 seems like an example of an arbitrary designation, which may have served it well in its day. But then again it's a short, symmetrical number that has at least some kind of connotation to most people (55 MPH for one, and Sammy Hagar too...).

So perhaps you're bridging the gap between niche numbers and populous names??

Anyways, thanks for giving a look into the thought process of a successful marketer/brander.


Bob Crowley said...


Don't confuse German demand for numbers as a success story over names. 7 is an important number to the German car industry. I have looked into and written about numbers and names extensively, and experimented with real products.

You have to know the audience: People who already know and love a 7 want a 7. People who don't even know what a 7 is either need to be taught, or perhaps they never know and don't buy.

In our case we know that 2/3 of the market are newbies who want to experiment with 4x5 cameras that they have for free and don't know anything. Merely descriptive names cannot be trademarked, so a New55 FILM is sort of halfway. It serves BOTH groups, as it is a New FILM, and also carries the 55 connotation for the ever-fewer who used it in the past.

Then there are empty names; "Select", Signature", "pro" and even the numbers people have empty suffixes such as "DX". The empty prefix "i" is overused too.

So someone who loves Gibson wants a J45. Even a J45-a won't do. But newbies need a guitar.

Polaroid had the most confusing numbers and letters designation possible.

Sam Hiser said...

Bob- Thanks for clarity on the fundamentals ;-)

Chief Procrastinator said...

I prefer product names when there is a limited line - Stratocaster, Jazzmaster, Telecaster comet to mind - but numbers work for cars when connected to some technical description - 323, 325, 328, 525, 528, 533, 535 (I'm sure someone will know those numbers).

Look forward to buying some film whenever it's available.

Thanks for the regular updates.

Jennifer Harvey said...

I want to know where to buy it! I want it yesterday!!! I have 1 box of Polaroid 55 in the studio and it is off limits. So the sooner I can get my hands on this the better!

Jennifer Harvey said...

Where is the buy it now link?