2

The Titan X is Nvidia's latest top-of-the-line enthusiast graphics card built on the Pascal architecture.

"Titan X" is also the name of Nvidia's last-generation top-of-the-line enthusiast graphics card, built on the older Maxwell architecture.

To be clear, these are both high-end Nvidia graphics cards, but are very different products. They have different looks, different internals, different specs, and different costs.

It appears that the newer card is technically billed as "NVIDIA TITAN X" while the older card is billed as "GeForce GTX TITAN X" (though I'm sure they are both colloquially referred to as plain "Titan X"). However, the "NVIDIA" and "GeForce GTX" qualifiers apply to both cards. Both cards are made by Nvidia. Both cards are in the GeForce GTX line of graphics cards. So their primary distinguishing feature, their architecture, is not present in their official names.

Is it good user experience for a company to name different products the same thing, as Nvidia has effectively done with their Titan X's?

I would say definitely no because it will only confuse consumers and make SEO a pain. It's not like Maxwell Titan X's have suddenly stopped existing or stopped being sold. It could not have been that much more work for Nvidia to call the new card something like "Titan X2" or "Titan XP" or "Titan Y". Are there pros to such a naming convention that I am missing?

(Note that I'm sure Nvidia is not the only one to do this. I just couldn't think of other examples offhand.)

  • 1
    I think that this branding scheme is precisely why used Macs which are several years old can still be sold for a significant price; nobody knows which year that computer came from so silly people pay silly prices. – MonkeyZeus Sep 23 '16 at 19:52
2

I would say that while there's the potential for confusion, in many cases the name recognition alone is worth it.

Companies pour tons of money into getting people to instantly recognize a certain name as a quality product. Throwing that away every year or two for every new product would be counterproductive. If the original was successful, that is.

For instance, what's the first thing that pops into your head when you hear Corvette? The technology, appearance, and performance characteristics of them have changed dramatically over the years, but everyone has an image of a Corvette in their mind. It's associated with a long history of cars, and if you want one, you want one. You don't want whatever Chevrolet is calling some other vaguely-Corvetteish car this year, you want a Corvette.

The same applies to consumer hardware. Pretty much everyone knows what a Thinkpad is, since it's 20+ years old. Not the same model, of course, but it's still a Thinkpad. The name even survived the sale from IBM to Lenovo, simply because the name Thinkpad sells laptops.

0

Ultimately the name itself, of the model, becomes a sub-brand of the parent company. And a focal point of discussion. That's the power of this approach.

The entire car industry called, they'd like you to know about model years.

The 2017 range of General Motors, in particular. They're doing great things with great cars, cars built on legend, myth and the fables of advertising.

The Yukon, for example. And the Escalade. Apparently they're not the same!

And this model year they're better than EVER!

The strongest point of using the same name, over and over, is that sense of entitled legacy. The brand is so dominant, so consistently the best, so utterly committed to the field its in, and so confident that it's products represent what's best for consumers that they make named models. Those models are then refreshed.

Consumers are honoured with a nod to their ability to tell the updated versions of an array of models apart. The consumers are recognised as astute and intelligent, wise choosers of what they need, and when.

Look at classified ads for any and all old models of anything with a naming convention that's similar from update to update. Ultimately consumers find ways to differentiate them, and these become colloquial references to the best and worst of a lineage. But they're always referencing a name that remains the same.

0

I would be prepared to bet that the 'titan' and the 'x' have their own relevance within Nvidia's product ranges. The may signal some specific hardware or software architecture that are present on both cards. Without checking myself, there is a strong probability that you will find other 'titan' models (e.g. they might have a 'titan Z') and other 'x' models (e.g. they might have a 'razor x') - thus you could argue that this is actually good UX since, by simply looking at the name of the card, you know the capabilities of each card.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.