Chip-making giant Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) is changing how it telegraphs what's "inside" its components. For many years, the bottom line has been the speed of its microprocessors, expressed in gigahertz -- such as in the "Pentium 4." It has just announced, though, that its Pentium chips will soon be sporting new model numbers, such as the 300, 500, and 700 series.

The new labels are designed to call attention to other features of the chips beyond mere speed. Don MacDonald, vice president of Intel's corporate marketing, pointed to, for example, "improved security, less power consumption and how fast data can move in and out of the microprocessor." He also said, "The approach from Intel, as we brand these products, is that we're no longer obsessed with the CPU level." ... "It's about usage models.... Frankly, we're a world of difference away from Intel 10 years ago when it was all about the megahertz alone."

Matthew Yi of The San Francisco Chronicle, pointed out that, "The Santa Clara company's move also validates the strategy of its archrival, Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE:AMD), which began using model numbers more than two years ago." He quoted an AMD executive saying, "We definitely led the charge with this one. We were talking about the megahertz myth 2 1/2 years ago.... The (clock speed) thing really is a marketing gimmick."

This new development makes one wonder how some other companies might change their product names. What if McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) focused on calories more explicitly in its offerings? Imagine, for example, the Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese 770. Or the Egg McMuffin 300, the Hash Browns 130 or the Medium French Fries 450. Perhaps Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) might transform the drug industry by labeling its medications with names that suggest some of their benefits. For example: Celebrex might become Arthritis-B-Gone, or less revolutionarily, Celebrex Anti-Arthritis. Merck's (NYSE:MRK) Propecia might become Hirsutia (based on the word "hirsute," meaning hairy).

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Longtime Fool contributor Selena Maranjian owns share of Pfizer.