Sometime in the past few weeks, I read about an Intel processor platform codenamed “Skulltrail.” This bad boy has two quad-core microprocessors, resulting in a total of EIGHT processing engines running at 3.2GHz on a 1600Mhz system bus.
The result? Blinding speed and incredible graphics quality, which Intel rightly understands that gamers will pay dearly for. (A fully equipped PC gaming system will run between $4,000-$5,000.)
While most of the technical details went in one brain cell and out the other, the name “Skulltrail” stuck in my head, making random appearances in my thoughts from time to time. Its energy, memorability, and hand-in-glove fit with its intended audience of young male super-soldier-wannabes had me mentally high-fiving Intel for their brand naming chops.
And then comes a press release from Intel:
Intel Corporation has introduced the Intel® Dual Socket Extreme Desktop Platform. Formerly codenamed “Skulltrail”…
Oh no they didn’t! Tell me they didn’t broom “Skulltrail” for “Intel Dual Socket Blah Blah Blah!” Aughhhhhh…. If you’re lucky enough to come up with a great codename during development, why not go to market with it?
Sadly, Intel has sucked the life out of a potentially great brand name and left an empty husk. They’ve traded a lusty brute of a name for a poseur from a corporate cubicle.
There has been enough pre-launch buzz about “Skulltrail” that I predict gamers will continue to use the name when referring to their systems. Unlikely anyone in that crowd will ever say, “Dude, this Intel Dual Socket Extreme Desktop Platform is wicked cool!”
Found your blog via minnpost (10 best minnesota brands). Really awesome stuff.
I know this is way old now, but I agree that Skulltrail is an amazing name. Just for the record, even though it’s a ‘code name,’ most people who pay attention to these Intel processors refer to them by the codenames, as they are not secret. Just saying the Skulltrail name hasn’t died in marketing, nor have any of the other cool Intel processor names.
Subscribing to your blog now!
Good point, pdg. (And welcome to our blog!)
While gamers and techies are the coveted first adopters and litmus test for how well a processor will be received, they comprise a small segment of the market. It’s great that they still refer to products by code names–but imagine how much more branding power this product would have if the entire audience referred to it as “Skulltrail.” A name like that would spread like wildfire via WOM through a business community.
Other than throwing a wrench into Intel’s predictable (and bland) nomenclature system, it’s hard to see the downside of marketing this product as “Skulltrail” to the general market, which does not necessarily keep track of code names.
Thanks for your comment!