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Navigon Simplifies Product Names


While Navigon is no longer selling PNDs in North America it is still worthy of noting they are taking steps to simplify how they name their product models. All kinds of companies across various segments of consumer electronics have struggled with product name strategies and it is good to see Navigon make efforts to simplify model names.

The approach they are taking is to split their product line into three categories… Easy, Plus, and Premium. We don’t need to tell you which line goes where in the lineup– and that is largely the point. About once per week I’ll see a message from a GPS customer wondering why their Garmin Nuvi 1200 has fewer features than their Garmin Nuvi 760 despite the “larger number”. Likewise people don’t immediately recognize the order of TomTom’s lineup having historically used categories like One, XL, and GO. (Although the new TomTom Ease is a step in the right direction.)

After Navigon splits the lineup between Easy, Plus, and Premium the devices will be named according to display size with numbers starting with 20, 40, and 70. So you end up with names like “40 Plus” which tell you it is the middle of the lineup in both screen size and features.

I remembered when Apple struggled with a similar issue. Every computer they shipped had a seemingly vague product name with an incomprehensible number appended. The name and number had little meaning and made product selection a daunting task. Today their models are broken down only by major product names which immediately give you an indication of what you are getting… MacBook versus MacBook Pro and iMac versus Mac Pro with sideshow products of Mac Mini and MacBook Air also being very descriptive of the product being offered.

As near as I can tell Garmin has shipped over fifty variations of the Nuvi just in North America. There are additional models shipping in other parts of the world and don’t forget the StreetPilot devices (series: i, c, 2000) which were also for auto navigation. While on one hand having such a variety of products is good for giving the consumer choice and the ability to get exactly what they want, too many choices can also turn them away and leave them frustrated. Of course then they turn to a site like ours to help sort it all out. I applaud Navigon for their efforts to simplify product names.

6 Responses

  1. “…devices will be named according to display size with numbers starting with 20, 40, and 70.” This is where I think they fall short. My first thought was 2″ screen, 4″ screen, etc. I would think given current units on the market that 3.5 (or 35), 4.3. 5.0 etc would make more sense. Since there are 3.5, 4.3, 5 and 7″ screens out there this naming convention does not make sense to me.

    patruns - May 5th, 2010
    • I agree– they could have taken this one step further. Though at least there is some logic to the numbers.

      Tim - May 5th, 2010
  2. It doesn’t appear that the numbering is related to screen size as the newly announced 70 series have 5-inch screens.

    Jim - May 11th, 2010
    • I thought the 2’s were 3.5″ screens, the 5’s were 4.3″ screens and the 7’s were 5″ screens.

      Tim - May 11th, 2010
      • I guess I was misreading your statement and was thinking patruns was saying that the series numbers would be construed as being directly related to screen size, i.e., 70 = 7 inch. I don’t see the correlation of series number to screen size myself. My simple mind would have appreciated a simple Series 1, Series 2, Series 3 approach. No confusion with screen size. You say they are logical. How? Or are they just arbitrary numbers on Navigon’s part?

        Jim - May 11th, 2010
        • The “logic” in screen size is mostly sequential. 20, 50, and 70 corresponding to the smallest, widescreen, and XL sized displays.

          Tim - May 12th, 2010

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