Thursday, April 14, 2011

What's in a Name? Marketing Gobbledygook

Stryon, which was spun off from Dow not too long ago, is changing it's name to something that only a marketing firm could have thought of: Trinseo.

The rationale is provided by the company's PR release:
"(according to the CEO, Chris Pappas): The name Styron is strongly tied to the styrenics chain – particularly polystyrene and styrene monomer, which are an important part of our company – but we are much more than that."
Fine, I do agree that Styron strongly suggests styrenic materials of all ilks (PS, ABS. SBR...). Maybe they even have some marketing data suggesting that engineers only think of the company in that vein, so that a name change might be o.k. But here's where it gets funky:
"Our new name of Trinseo will communicate that we are leaders in a broader range of businesses, products and technologies, and it underscores our commitment to growth."
I'm sorry, but that completely goes over my head. "Trinseo" says all that? Well, maybe the next sentences will clarify this.
"The word Trinseo comes from “intrinsic”, which means belonging to a thing by its very nature, or belonging to or lying within a given part. The root of “trins” is combined with “eo”, the Latin verb root meaning “to go”."
STOP RIGHT THERE. The word "intrinsic" is not based on a root of "trins", but is based on the two words "intra" and "secus".
"Together these convey the concept that the company’s products and technology deliver “intrinsic” value to our customers. Styron products, technologies and expertise play an intrinsic role in our customers’ products, and are integral to their success. The name Trinseo also captures the vital role that Styron people play in collaborating with our customers to enable their next generation of products."
So overlooking the butchering of the Latin language, how does "To go intrinsic(ly)" come across as suggesting all that they were sold on by the company suggesting this name?

In all honesty, compared to some of the other horrendous names that the plastics industry has come up with lately (Lanxess tops the list of course), Trinseo is not that bad of a name. Just don't try and make it into something that it isn't, o.k?

1 comment:

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