58 DEALING WITH
When the dust had settled, Excel was the preferred
Windows spreadsheet product, and it was trench warfare in
spreadsheet land. Alas for Lotus, it was time to think about
moving on, or as we like to say, shifting the battlefield.
The first efforts to move beyond the spreadsheet were pur-
chases of other types of software, such as word-processing and
graphics. But two problems haunted Lotus. Other products
already dominated these categories. And Lotus made name
assumptions that weren’t accurate.
Management assumed the company name to be Lotus and
the brand name to be “1-2-3.” And with this assumption in
hand, they continued the pattern of naming.
They presented Lotus as a company with other brands
such as Improv, Ami Pro, Freelance, Notes, and Symphony.
(As well as 1-2-3.)
This made eminent sense inside Lotus. But the real ques-
tion is whether this made sense in the minds of their
prospects in the marketplace.
Needed: A Big Name
The name reality is that in the mind they don’t have a big
company name like IBM or Microsoft.
What they really have is one big brand name, Lotus 1-2-3.
This is the case for a very practical and simple reason. In
the mind, numbers can’t stand alone. People don’t think in
numbers, they think in words. “500SL” and “914” and “1-2-3”
all have to be connected to a name if they are to register in
the mind. You see, numbers conjure up a name. It’s a
Mercedes-Benz 500 SL. It’s a Xerox 914. It’s Lotus 1-2-3.
Sure, you’ll use the numbers as a nickname, but you can