August 30, 2006

Asypta: Acela - Amtrak Speeds Ahead

Not just companies get the honor of joining the Asypta fold. Sometimes, the most ordinary-looking and most ordinary-sounding firms will debut products or subsidiaries that follow the Asypta guidelines, as Amtrak did in 1999 when they debuted their new line of high-speed trains, dubbed nothing else but... "Acela". Though clearly derived from the root word "Accel", Amtrak followed the mantra many companies do during the process of naming, throwing an "A" at the end for good measure. And try as they might, Amtrak made an attempt to explain just what "Acela" stood for anyway.

From the March 9, 1999 announcement:

"Acela is more than just a name for Amtrak's new high speed trains, Acela is a brand representing a whole new way of doing business," according to Amtrak President George D. Warrington. "A combination of acceleration and excellence, Acela means high speed and high quality - we are changing the journey for every customer on every train with faster trip times, comfortable amenities and highly personalized service."

In an era of commuter jets, carpool lanes, and telecommuting, it's no wonder that Amtrak had to do something to juice passenger statistics on trains - more-commonly associated with the 19th century than the 20th or today. While other countries have lapped the US in their ability to roll out highest-speed transportation, including "bullet trains", Amtrak and its new Acela line has seen very limited success. As Wikipedia states, "Technical difficulties have led to a joke about Acela standing for "Amtrak Customers Extremely Late Again" trains."

Now there's a fantastic acronym we can get behind.

It's always interesting to see when a company does such a poor job of naming itself and identifying the name with the brand that consumers go out of their way to apply their own definitions. Acela clearly falls in that category.

For going through the process of announcing a new name that fully meets the Asypta criteria, and introducing confusion into the marketplace, Acela is the second entry to the hall of fame!

Overall Asypta-Meter Score: 10.0

Listening to ''Miami Sunset 2005'', by DJ Irish (Play Count: 1)