Brand Name Lessons – From Indi Commandos to Kochi Tuskers

Indi Commandos – That’s the name chosen for Kochi IPL T20 team last month. Right from the day one the owners announced their team name, fans started protesting against the name massively thru social media.

When there are IPL team names like Kings, Devils and Warriors the owners would not have expected such an angry reaction for the name Commandos from their fan base. Again Indi Commandos being a very generic name they might have thought it would fit perfectly even if they decide to move their base out of Kerala in the future.

“INDI stands for an independent Indian cricket team that will go ahead to win a billion hearts. COMMANDOS stands for an elite fighting squad, renown for attacking with speed, stealth and deadly power.” That’s the explanation given for the name in the team’s official facebook page.

But fans had other reasons to hate the name. One main reason for the fans rejecting the name is the word Indi that in the Malayalam lingo meant something abusive. And the other irritant to the fans is the logo for Indi Commandos, which they felt resembled like the popular mosquito repellent brand Mortein. Kochi being known for mosquitoes, they were quite upset with that logo similarity.

With the fans expressing their displeasure thru social media tools like Facebook and Twitter continuously, Kochi franchise owners were forced to change their team’s name. This time they decide to listen to the fans and they conduct an online voting and chosen the name Kochi Tuskers Kerala. Elephant being the state animal and also in the emblem of Kerala Government, fans have chosen the name Tuskers for its cultural linkage with their state over other options like Titans, Commandos, Tigers, Heroes and United.

Though the name sounds good and the idea behind is perfect its better to check with the local sensibilities before finalizing on the brand name. That’s the one big lesson for the media agencies from this Kochi IPL team naming controversy.

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