A family of product names for the oldest name in the business

AO Smith

The Challenge: Naming an entire line of water heaters

When AO Smith reached out to us, they had a fragmented line of stand-alone “brand children” with little rhyme or reason as to how they related. The immediate pain point was a line of energy-efficient hot water heaters that needed to present as a cohesive brand line.

The "Ah-ha" Moment: "Ex" marks the spot





Having already named one of their strongest performers, the Vertex, we borrowed on the “ex” suffix to create the Cirrex, Voltec, and Effex series. The “ex” underscored their commitment to excellence and had the cool “x” factor to boot.

AO Smith returned to us again on several other projects involving naming strategies and consumer research into their big-box line of heaters, as well as additional water heater names for current R&D projects.

The Vertex model is now one of AO Smith’s top performers, and combined with the other “ex” members, represents a substantial bottom-line contributor to their product portfolio.

AO Smith Case Study Small Image

“We are about to launch our product in the next few weeks. The A. O. Smith “Voltex” will be the name. We are also using “Effex” for our high-efficiency gas model and “Cirrex” for our solar product line. Your work has been very instrumental in our new product portfolio, and everything is coming together very nicely. Thanks again for all of your input!”

David Chisolm
Vice President of Marketing AO Smith

Scope of Work

Name Development

Name Architecture


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