How Zoom’s name helped it become synonymous with video calls

By Anjala S. Krishen 3 minute Learn

What’s in a name? For Zoom, it’s quite a bit.

One of many the explanation why Zoom grew to become so fashionable, and the reference level for digital conferences and video conferences amid a yearlong pandemic, is as a result of the model name itself is a powerful promoting level. It’s helped Zoom become the “BandAid” of pandemic life.

An early pioneer within the video conferencing market, Zoom employs the sound symbolism onomatopoeia, which is when a phrase describes a sound by imitating the precise sound. In accordance with the sector of linguistics, sound symbolism is a concept which hypothesizes that there’s a relationship between sound and which means in a number of types.

By definition, zoom means: (for an individual/factor) to maneuver or journey in a short time, (2) (of a digital camera or person) to vary easily from a protracted shot to a close-up or vice versa, or (3) to precise sudden quick motion. Therefore, the phrase itself takes on the which means of “quick” and “sudden” and lends itself to the motion of adjusting the main target of a digital camera. The model name immediately connects with the which means of the phrase. Plus, manufacturers with names that symbolically match their objective—like by onomatopoeia—are extra memorable, in line with a 2017 research by Colby School psychology researchers Melissa A. Preziosi and Jennifer H. Coane.

The name Zoom can be profitable as a result of it fairly merely begins with the letter z, which is a fricative: a consonant sound that blocks the passage of air shifting by the mouth, producing audible friction. Model names containing fricatives are perceived as smaller, sooner, lighter, sharper, and softer. A 2014 research by enterprise researchers Richard R. Klink and Lan Wu notes that the letter communicates efficacy.

The genericization of Zoom’s providing within the market and elevated demand brought on by the pandemic has additionally contributed to the corporate’s success. When utilized to manufacturers, genericization is a time period that refers to a socially embedded linguistic course of whereby model names become consultant of a product class itself—resembling Xerox, Google, Kleenex, and BandAid.

When the pandemic hit numerous components of the world, workers started working from residence, triggering companies to buy corporate-quality video conferencing choices. In the meantime, people began in search of methods to socialize and keep away from loneliness, so on-line searches for affordable or free video conferencing choices soared. When the demand elevated, these manufacturers that already had exhibiting within the market and a dependable product had been in a position to get “seen.” Actually, googling the phrases video convention, video conferencing, and group video assembly, to name just a few, all result in an commercial for Zoom on the very prime of the outcomes. Clearly, the corporate paid for search promoting, search engine marketing, and Google Adwords.

At its worst excessive, genericization can result in genericide, or an entire dilution of the model itself, which means that buyers not affiliate the product class with the precise model and its particular and distinguishable traits. When that occurs, the model might be changed by a very generic product whereas the time period utilized would possibly nonetheless be the trademark model name. However this extraordinarily detrimental end result is just not the norm. As a substitute, entrepreneurs argue that Zoom, as a comparatively early mover within the market, can achieve aggressive benefit from genericization, if coupled with a strategic advertising and promoting method.

However, even with all the benefits of changing into a model chief, Zoom now has to contend with the downsides of video conferencing on account of a yearlong pandemic, resembling Zoom fatigue and Zoom bombing. Zoom’s success sooner or later would possibly depend upon whether or not it can fight the stagnation related with video calls. I consider that when manufacturers innovate methods to fight their merchandise’ potential negatives to humanity, they will obtain long-term success. Corporations needs to be asking, How can we make people higher? How do we offer them with a service that may assist them with out hurting them?

Zoom mixed a number of approaches to changing into a dominant chief within the video teleconferencing branding house, first by pioneering a simple-to-use providing and advertising it to each companies and shoppers. This simplicity together with strategic search advertising led to genericization of the model name. However the name itself and its use of sound symbolism concept can be a key and neglected piece of the corporate’s success.


Anjala S. Krishen is a professor of selling and director of MBA applications on the College of Nevada, Las Vegas.