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Can You Say You Have a Big Ass Brand?
By: Cindy Wendland
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Haiku Fan is advertising a Big Ass Fan®. The two page spread appears in the April 29 edition of Autoweek. The copy and claims are impressive: award-winning design, quality craftsmanship, unprecedented performance. But calling it a Big Ass Fan? Will that help or hurt their brand?

According to Eli Altman, creative director at branding company A Hundred Monkeys, it turns out “with today’s seven-second site visits and 2 percent click-through rates, it’s significantly more risky to have a boring name than to have a risqué one.” Unless you are in the Bible belt.

It seems today that funny brand names resonate more with consumers. Brand names are better when they are memorable, understandable, and short. If the name contains words like "ass," will it matter? One of the past the danger was having outgoing emails blocked by spam filters, but these filters are now more sophisticated and use reputation-based filtering relying less on simply flagging offensive words. That is good news.

The bad news is products and companies are becoming less family-friendly. Do children need to see these words advertised wherever they go? As adults we find these things funny and light. It’s really a matter of balance. Just don’t take the naming too far. Instead, once attention has been garnered from the name, focus on features.

The Big Ass Fan has a lot of cool features. It has Whoosh®, a proprietary algorithm that simulates a natural breeze to keep you feeling up to 40% cooler. (Would have liked to have been in that study!) This fan was recognized by Popular Science and ENERGY STAR as being the world’s quietest and most energy efficient ceiling fan, respectively. Its patent-pending LED module is 80% more efficient that traditional bulbs. Basically this means you don’t have to borrow the neighbor’s ladder to change the bulbs very often! This type of innovation is fantastic.

The Big Ass fan has proven to be a winner with its branding and features, but let’s regard this as a branding decision that didn’t go too far and hope others follow suit.


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About the Author
Cindy Wendland has a background in marketing and finance. She is the creative director for an online men's health magazine, BrainBrawnBody.com, and she gets to write their leisure/travel blog. She is also a web designer helping her clients with online community engagement, websitesbywendland.com. Prior to her web years, she worked in pharmacy consulting.
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