So you're browsing the net looking for an exercise bike, treadmill, rowing machine or any bit of fitness equipment that's going to give you the body you've always wanted. Perhaps you're prepared to spend over a $1,000 if you think it would help you achieve your goal. You check out the review sites, customer comments on Amazon and the health and fitness forums to get some good recommendations.
And then.... you get bogged down and confused with all the brand and model names!!!
Here's an example. Stamina make some pretty good budget rowing machines, but boy do they come up with some oddball names. Take the Stamina 35-1405 ATS Air rower! I mean, what the heck does all that stand for? Where do they get the 35-1405 from? And what does ATS stand for? They also have a model called the Body Trac Glider - so far not too bad - but then they have to go and put '1050' on the end. For the price it's a pretty good machine, but what's with the 1050? Pssst... you can see the review here.
Now I fully appreciate a company has to have a catalog of its inventory, but you can still do this with some decent, imaginative names. Plus, a good name can make a difference.
Let's put my theory to the test. Which of the two rowing machines below would encourage you to investigate further based on the name?
Both the above are excellent rowers that I'd be happy to own, but doesn't one jump off the screen while the other just sounds like an ordinary run of the mill machine that the office junior named?
Try another one.
I know that the Obsidian Surge is a better machine, but why add all the blurb after? Why not the Sunny Dolphin, or Shark, or Riptide, something else water-related (it is a water-resistant rower after all!)
Another example. Stamina have done much better with their model the 'Avari'. This isn't an English word but if you google it you'll find it's a dance in Azerbaijan based on the name of the people who invented it. It doesn't mean anything (unless you like to dance in Azerbaijan) but it sounds good and conjures up a feeling of motion or could suggest it's a something that might get you fit.
Some companies spend thousands (even millions) of dollars on brand experts to come up with names like iPod, Lexus, Walkman (there's an old one!) or Blackberry. They don't necessarily have to mean something but at least they can evoke a positive response, and they're easier to remember.
My favorite brand name in the fitness equipment world has to be.... Nautilus. Even the sound of it sounds strong. You know when you buy a 'Nautilus' machine it will damn well get you fit. They make some excellent exercise bikes, elliptical trainers and home gyms (well they couldn't be bad with a name like that!) but sadly they don't make rowers - now they would be good.
So which of the rowers I've mentioned above can you remember? Was it the Stamina 35-1405 ATS or the First Degree Neptune, or perhaps my made up Riptide? I was quite pleased with that :0)
So come on you fitness equipment manufacturers! Get thinking and give us model names that will inspire us to buy one and use it - plus one that we can remember 5 minutes after reading it!
Do you have a personal favorite or a model name you dislike with a passion? Please share your thought below.
Roy Palmer is an athletics coach, teacher of The Alexander Technique and a rowing fanatic.