What is Amazon thinking? When something in the corporate creative sphere occurs that is difficult to fathom, I like to think of the approval process, how the brand managers heard the concepts and ended up, either initially but certainly eventually, saying (softly, I hope) “yes…yes”.

So they come up with this product. They named it Echo. And it was good. But the core functionality of Echo requires you, the user, to interact with it, via voice, via its AI interior, its personality. And this the powers-that-be at Amazon elected to name, no, not Echo, no no no. What, they perhaps said to themselves, does the iPhone awaken Siri by having the user bark “Hey iPhone!” No they do not. They (Apple) created Siri and named it Siri and it was good.

But I have to tell you: Echo is not an iPhone. Perhaps this is the answer to why — as you’ve guessed my complaint by now — they didn’t have us call out “Hey Echo” or just “Echo” or, as I call my cat (who is named Echo, I kid you not) “Echo Echo”. Yes, they think, just like the iPhone, they have created a hardware platform in this thing called Echo. And as a platform it would be absurd to invoke it by the platform name. No, you need something living inside the box, something (someone) to call out to.

Of course, I disagree with all this. Not only is it unlikely that the Amazon Echo will become a successful hardware platform, but they’ve created what to me is an absurd brand naming disconnect. I buy the Amazon Echo. And I turn it on. And I say, “Hey Alexa”. Huh?

At least give us something to lean on. Amazon Echo starring Alexa! Yes, I hate it too. But at least it makes some sense.

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