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Re: Re: names good for marketing

>Alvin Smith writes:
>> To put it bluntly, the issue is whether white people will accept a
>> product with a Black African "sounding" name or not.

>What a loony notion.
>John Hasler

Why loony?  It hits the nail on the head.  As I understand the original 
question was whether "Ubuntu" is a good marketing name.  Most 
definitely it is not, if fact so bad that it had not even occured to me 
that they were trying to "sell" it until this topic came up.

Mainstream marketing professionals are unashamedly racist in their 
appeals to the public.  For example, we (in UK at least) are led to 
believe that Danes are racially superior when it comes to making lager, 
Italians at ice cream, Germans at car making, Swiss at clocks, 
Scanadanavians at furniture, Indians at spice, Japanese at consumer 
electronics, and Americans at software.  Informed people know that any 
of this stuff could be made anywhere and often is (except for some 
agricultural products) - look at a can of that Danish-sounding lager 
and you will see it is really made in North London.  Nevertheless, most 
of these advertising notions are based on some factual origin - 
clockmaking was indeed first perfected by the Swiss even if they no 
longer have the skill monopoly.

However the idea of computer software emanating from Black Africa, as a 
marketing ploy implied by the name, will leave most members of the 
public baffled - probably even in Africa itself.  I am not aware of any 
particular Black African tradition in this respect - nothing equivalent 
to the Swiss clock making for example.  Probably the only connection 
between computing and Black Africa that will be made in most people's 
mind is the Nigerian 419 scams.

Japanese cameras today are regarded as second to none, but Japan 
originally failed to break into the World camera market because they 
used their Japanese names.  It was only when "Nippon Kogaku" rebranded 
to "Nikon" and "Asahi" to "Pentax" that they made the breakthrough.  
Similarly the promoters of Ubuntu are mistaken to have associated it in 
people's minds with a cultural niche.


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