What does the X stand for in product names?

Started Sep 11, 2012 | Discussions
zoranT Contributing Member • Posts: 916
What does the X stand for in product names?

To thought-minded forum members – I have a question:

NEX, GX1, RX1, RX100, LX5, GX100, NX100 -- and so on. The letter X appears to have a prominent position for specific products.

What does the X stand for? What does it symbolise (if it does)? Excitement, mystery, innovation, professionality – or is there a more trivial reason? Who began this fashion? (independent of industry), or is it no fashion, ie. one company starts with specific letters, and others follow with similar letters to indicate competition in regard to the initial product (e.g. Samsung's NX and Sony's NEX)?

I am interested in your knowledge and speculations about this matter.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 Ricoh Caplio GX100 Samsung NX100 Sony RX1 Sony RX100
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Deleted1929 Forum Pro • Posts: 13,050
Re: What does the X stand for in product names?

It's the letter of choice for the lemmings in camera marketing departments this season.

It has absolutely no significance to anyone outside those marketing departments.

What does it symbolise (if it does)? Excitement, mystery, innovation, professionality – or is there a more trivial reason?

Could there be a more trivial reason ?

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StephenG

happysnapper64 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,417
Re: What does the X stand for in product names?

How about "X-pensive ?
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hotdog321
hotdog321 Forum Pro • Posts: 19,099
Re: What does the X stand for in product names?

Snort!---that is what I was going to say!

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happysnapper64 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,417
Re: What does the X stand for in product names?

If I thought of it before you, Hotdog, you must be having a REALLY bad day!!!! LOL
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Zone8 Forum Pro • Posts: 17,276
Re: What does the X stand for in product names?

zoranT wrote:

What does the X stand for?

Simple! It's because the design manager cannot write and spells his name with an X.

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TrapperJohn Forum Pro • Posts: 16,488
Depends on the company

NEX: Sony's marketing department ran out of T's. Dang, these budget cuts are getting drastic.

Leica X2: eXpensive.

Fuji X-Pro1: we eXpect it to get AF lock some time soon.

Sony RX100: eXtending the life of the high end P&S.

Panny GX1: Geez, the street price on it dropped eXtremely quick.

Samsung NX: eXactly when are we going to get any respect for this very good little system?

scorrpio
scorrpio Veteran Member • Posts: 3,595
Re: What does the X stand for in product names?

Same reason it's 'Generation X', X-Men, X-files, X-ray, etc etc. In math, X is commonly used to represent an unknown. In adventures, 'X marks the spot'. And in general, far as symbology goes, a cross is a very powerful symbol in about every culture. Mystery, conflict, precision, resolution, multiplication, etc.

raylob Regular Member • Posts: 229
Re: What does the X stand for in product names?

its multi-lingual!!!
Ray

OP zoranT Contributing Member • Posts: 916
Re: What does the X stand for in product names?

scorrpio wrote:

Same reason it's 'Generation X', X-Men, X-files, X-ray, etc etc. In math, X is commonly used to represent an unknown. In adventures, 'X marks the spot'. And in general, far as symbology goes, a cross is a very powerful symbol in about every culture. Mystery, conflict, precision, resolution, multiplication, etc.

Yes that s what I gathered, but I also believe that competitors mimic each other, so the names; also they go for the simple recognizable scheme, eg Nikon's 1.

Cars on the other hand, have names (Safira, Kadett, Twingo etc.), so I wonder if Sony came up with a new model called Henry or Takako or the like. Or, say, Takako X.

dodgyexposure Regular Member • Posts: 240
Re: What does the X stand for in product names?

sjgcit wrote:

It's the letter of choice for the lemmings in camera marketing departments this season.

Ahh, if only they would do what lemmings do best . . .

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Damien

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Darrell Spreen Forum Pro • Posts: 10,458
A long history

zoranT wrote:

The letter X appears to have a prominent position for specific products.
What does the X stand for? What does it symbolise (if it does)?

Many years ago it was observed that several very successful products had an X in their name (Clorox, Windex, Xerox, Fed-X, etc). It also conveyed the feeling of an advanced product (xperimental?). There were even speculators who picked stocks based on whether there was an X in the name. The mystique is still there.

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Darrell

nelsonal Senior Member • Posts: 2,464
Re: What does the X stand for in product names?

Kodak got it's name because Eastman liked the sound of K (he thought it sounded strong and incisive). So I guess X is the new K.

From Wikipedia, hard consonants are generally preferred (especially consonant sounds where airflow stops because it's perceived as a more attention getting sound). X N and Z are generally perceived as masculine letters while L, V, F, and W are perceived as feminine.

ZorSy Veteran Member • Posts: 3,482
Glad it's X, not W

because in all cases (apart from Sony) it would be just ridiculous to pronounce them....and "www." was more than enough for humanity...

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Braxton7
Braxton7 Contributing Member • Posts: 882
Re: What does the X stand for in product names?

Used to stand for experimental. Maybe it still does

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T3 Forum Pro • Posts: 20,358
Y does it matter? (nt)

zoranT wrote:

To thought-minded forum members – I have a question:

NEX, GX1, RX1, RX100, LX5, GX100, NX100 -- and so on. The letter X appears to have a prominent position for specific products.

What does the X stand for? What does it symbolise (if it does)? Excitement, mystery, innovation, professionality – or is there a more trivial reason? Who began this fashion? (independent of industry), or is it no fashion, ie. one company starts with specific letters, and others follow with similar letters to indicate competition in regard to the initial product (e.g. Samsung's NX and Sony's NEX)?

I am interested in your knowledge and speculations about this matter.

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jon404 Senior Member • Posts: 2,229
Re: What does the X stand for in product names?

Back when, in the late 1940s and 1950s, America built and tested some very advanced aircraft. All had X-names, for Experimental. The X-1 broke the sound barrier; the X-15 flew to the edge of space. As noted in an above post, product martketing people jumped right on this -- adding X to a otherwise-boring tube of toothpaste implied 'right stuff' quality.

There was a slight interruption in the X parade after one of our domestic revolutionaries, Malcolm X, chose the letter as a way to dump his old slavemaster last name. But he died, and the Air Force kept making X-planes, and X became locked in as a way to infer that your product is advanced, fast, the latest thing. Although there are probably a few aging guys, like moviemaker Spike Lee, who use the X as symbol of their struggle against racism, or whatever.

X. As I'm writing this, there's an ad toward the top-right of the Dp screen. An ad with a big X, and the words 'The xx Coexist'. Apparently for an album we can order, at $9.99.

But today, I'm looking at K. As in Pentax's K-5 II, but the one without the AA filter. Very curious if that makes it better for landscape photos!
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panela
panela Regular Member • Posts: 139
Re: What does the X stand for in product names?

Well - XXX denotes three little kisses - so these cameras with only one X have a ways to go.

Bruce Miller Senior Member • Posts: 2,438
Re: Depends on the company

Ha ha ha! You must have thought hard to come up with those...
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happysnapper64 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,417
Re: What does the X stand for in product names?

This is a good thread & I have read all the replies. However, this product branding reaches new heights [??] when something like a toothbrush gets branded as "Turbo".Ridiculous. Oh! while i'm here, any news about the "Canikon XXXX Turbo Sub Atomic Super Nova Hadron Pulsar Mk !" It comes with a 5-200,000 f/0 lens. Second thoughts, think I'll keep my 7D.
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