Friday, May 21, 2010

Having a product named after you

It is many people's dream - buying a product which is named after them, people will often pay a premium for personalisation at this level. Some people even change their name to show allegiance to their favourite products (is that why he is called Meat Loaf?). However it does seem that not everyone is happy about having their name used by manufacturers.


(quick apology here, it is another motor industry related story)


Renault are currently developing a range of electric cars to go on sale in 2012, and one of these is currently referred to as the Renault Zoe ZE (zero emission). A Parisian called Zoe Renault is not happy about this, and is trying to stop Renault from using her name on the car, and is joined by a group of people also called Zoe.


Now, whilst it would be possible to suggest that Zoe Renault is getting her 15 minutes of fame, or Renault are getting additional publicity for the car, she may have a valid point. But I struggle to see how this could really cause offence, but then no one has ever suggested that they name a car which could break down after me!


Of course, Renault could offer to give her a car once they are in production (I hesitate to suggest that someone I know nothing about would try to find a way to get a free car), and may well do so. In many ways it would be a good way for Renault to get more publicity for the car by using her in promotions, saying how much Zoe loves her Zoe. A great way to manage corporate reputation - find a way to ensure the customer is happy and gain positive publicity from it!


Details of the story are here