What’s in a Name?

Ford Taurus SHO

billroseMy theme this year is, “Oh the places you’ll go.” Being part of this community and working in the social media space has already helped me go many places-figuratively and literally. This week I took I a drive and it inspired me to think about Shakespeare and branding.

In William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet he wrote, “What is in a name? If a rose were called by any other name it would smell as sweet.”


Last week the folks at Santa Margarita Ford invited me to drive around one of their new cars, the 2010 Taurus SHO, and tell them what I think. [Disclaimer: Santa Margarita Ford is where I take my Lincoln Navigator for service, to get it pimped out on occasion--and SMF has also sponsored one of our events.]

When the Ford guys asked me to drive the Taurus, I have to admit I was not that enthusiastic. I’m more of a Ford Truck or Mustang guy. I had seen pictures of the SHO and even did an interview inside the new Taurus at BlogWorld with Ford’s head of social media, Scott Monty. But it wasn’t really on my radar.

For me, the name Taurus instantly conjured up a vision of my father-in-law’s Taurus from 1991. It was a bland, boring sedan. Something you’d see your grandma drive-and as I recall, it broke down after a couple of years. I bought a Honda Civic the same year instead as my commuter car.

The SM Ford guys told me that the new Taurus was the personal project of Ford CEO Alan Mulally and when I saw the car and drove it I can honestly say I was blown away.

190189This was not the car I remembered. And it made me think about branding and how important a name and naming convention can be.

So what is in a name? I think a lot. Since this isn’t a BMW, Ford might have some hurdles to overcome with brand and label conscious SoCal people. Doesn’t Taurus also sound a little like Tortoise? Not the fastest of animals…

I’m told the SHO is selling well in the mid-west where people are more loyal to Ford and buying American products. That’s cool, but this is SoCal.

If I were naming this car I would have called it “The Executive” or something like that. Because that’s how it made me feel. It was luxury meets sport handling and speed. It had torque and guts, big tires and a good sound system. I did get second looks when I went places that made me feel proud to drive it-even though it says Taurus on the back.  I mean this in a positive way, but this is NOT a Taurus-at least not the one I remember. It’s a total make-over and super nice.wahooswahoos3

I drove the SHO all over town. Here’s me getting some food at Wahoo’s-2 spicy fish tacos to go.

The SHO is very fast. You could kick some serious butt and take names if you wanted to.

I didn’t do any racing (that I would want to make public-no I can’t say I got it up to 140 mph on the 241 toll road…) but it apparently can beat the Audi and BMW in the same class which could come in handy since I live in South OC.

The Ford website says that the SHO has a 3.5L EcoBoost™ 24-valve DOHC V6 engine.

192I really liked the little things like the Sony sound system and the Microsoft Sync which lets you talk hands free on your phone thru the car speakers and listen to music on your ipod or iphone. There’s a USB and ipod port and multiple sockets to plug in any electronic accessory (like digital camera) you want. It also has key-less entry with push button start, air-cooled and heated seats in front and back with temp control at everyone’s fingertips. This is a great car.

Here’s me in front of Chapman University. I was at Chapman meeting with some of our on-campus students who are part of our street team, focus groups, student bloggers club etc. chapman2

It was a typical busy day…but a lot of fun to drive this car.

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  • JOY aka Pixel Girl

    That was really kinda RAD hmmm Well done Sir.

  • http://www.linkedoc.com/blog/santa-margarita-ford-let-me-drive-a-escape-hybrid/ Ford Escape Hybrid

    [...] the first time the Ford guys have given me a car to test out. Last month I drove the new Taurus SHO and it blew me away with its power and luxury-in spite of being a Ford. Maybe that’s [...]

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