|Background:We were walking around wondering what Buick was thinking, when we actually overheard teenagers yelling at the TV screen when they saw this car name in a commercial! We are still shocked. Surely this name couldn’t have been another one from a New York (or European) branding agency who thinks the most common usage of the word Lucerne in the U.S. is associated with a lovely city in Switzerland? (See Naming Biases and Influences for story on Tribeca name). Or was it named after the small boutique hotel in New York?Someone wrote on the Auto Week Forum: The name “Lucerne” sounds like the name of a great aunt I don’t have. It sounds like a name from the 1930s. What’s next, the “Agnes”?We hadn’t even got as far as lady names. We were still stuck down on the farm with mud and lucerne on our boots. Can you imagine what happens in the countryside when Pop yells, “Go get the Lucerne”? Junior won’t know whether to get the car or get the fodder for the livestock! And we can just see the farmer doing the math late at night to figure out how many bales of lucerne he has to sell to buy a Lucerne. He’ll probably shake his head and wonder what the city folks are up to now – and Buick no less, whose main customer base is aging dramatically (except Tiger Woods..and he gets paid to drive one).
For more details on this automobile (not animal food) please visit www.buick.com/lucerne. Perhaps they are just feeding it up to be fodder for the Mustangs, Broncos and Colts!
For Lucerne Dairies, lucerne for your horses, lucerne for your barnyard, etc., you now have to wade past Buick’s marketing links on Google. Of course, there are millions of actual usages….not quite as common as grass or hay in farming, but way up there never the less.
We have given this visual identity a rating of 3 – which is fairly typical for automobile names as they have to be subservient to the auto family and auto company brand names. The name/logo is therefore seldom stylish or unique, and we do not think it is our position to comment on the style of the vehicle itself. The farmers who buy it will decide that in the marketplace.
Note: At the time of this writing, the name Lucerne was not, strictly speaking, a registered trademark of General Motors as their registration number had not yet been issued. However, the USPTO had approved the name, and had already published the name for opposition, so full approval appears imminent. Of course, the USPTO does not pass marketing comments along like the name critic. They do allow you to take words that are generic in one field (lucerne in agriculture) and use it as a specific in another (Lucerne in autos).
All views expressed here are the personal, subjective opinions of the staff of Brighter Naming.
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