Lyrica is a very musical name

If you are someone like me in marketing who actually listens to the names mentioned in advertisements, then there comes a point when you wonder why so many pharma and health and beauty products have such strange names. Yes I know they need to be coined to be unique to be trademarked and drug cleared worldwide. Yes many will want to have the sticky consonants in the name (k,q, x, z and hard c) to ensure good recall. Or the hard consonants like d and g to make them sound strong. But, ironically, the other style of names that are memorable to a consumer public are soft, melodious names.

Naming neutraceutical and pharmacutical productsAnd a great example of these musical names is Lyrica®. It is being promoted a lot nowadays and yes it is for people who suffer from some hard to pronounce pain problems. But I notice how the spokespeople never hesitate or slow down to say the name. It simply rolls of the tongue and is relatively  short and sweet.

Congratulations to Pfizer for leading the pack in smoother sounding names.


(C) Copyright 2017 Brighter Naming®

Posted in Branding, Consumer Goods, Naming Education, Trademarks

Loews vs Lowes vs Lows

The last time I was in the property fixup business, my favorite local store was Home Depot. My kids even christened it “Daddy’s Toy Store” because I was there almost every weekend loading up lumber and paint and whatever. At one stage they even gave me my own contractor’s card! Now that is a real customer reward card.

But now my neighbors and friends kept telling my about Lowe’s®. Except of course they told me verbally so I would go to my computer and type in Loews and wonder what financial rabbit hole I had fallen down.

Naming industrial products and retail storesAfter 3 months I have finally figured out which is which and can say that I know Loews as the high end hotel chain (or financial institution), and my new toy store is Lowe’s – and how impressive it is I can’t start to believe. So big, so helpful, yet I can go online and they ship in a day or two up to me in the foothills, or have product brought in to their store specifically for me. Even better still, when I urgently needed some new windows to meet new fire codes for a rental property, I could look online late at night and see how many they had in stock and even where in the giant store to find them. Wow. That is real branding for you, because as I have often said, A Brand Is a Promise of Service.

But who is this other behemoth with the phonetically equivalent name and trademark? Of course, Loews and Lowe’s can both exist as registered trademarks because they are in different international trademark categories. But what about Loews Corp® and Loews Hotels®? There logos are not the same,  though there does seem to be some similarity.



The answer here is simple. Loews Hotels is a subsidiary of Loews Corp so they can do whatever they think is right for their different divisions.LoewsHotels

And finally, since all these names are originally family names, there is no literal meaning to them and no connection to anything high and low. Except they have come to be great strong brands for big companies in different fields.

(C) Copyright 2017 Brighter Naming®

Posted in Branding, Hospitality & Travel, Industrial Products Naming, Naming Education, Trademarks

Mooboo – The Best Bubble Tea for You

MooBubble drink naming consultants
“MooBoo Bubble Tea” has been hitting the headlines lately but not as a great product name. Instead there are the controversial issues regarding alleged unpaid hours issues (thankfully now resolved legally.) I wonder whether this burst the bubble of MooBoo as the logo looks like a tea stain thrown at a wall – I sincerely hope not. More likely the great British tradition is to sit around a table and a cup of tea always puts the world to rights!
Jokes aside: this chain of teashops is gathering momentum across the UK for its variety of Cha’s proving the residents of the UK are still great tea lovers who are now daringly trying other brands than merely Earl Grey or Ceylon tea.


So where did this name come from?
Moo Moo went the cow, (tea with milk);
Boo! Is a sound of surprise in children’s game of hide and seek;
BooHoo is a sound of sobbing.
Surely none of the above!
Bubble tea (aka known as boba or pearls) was first developed in 1980 in Taiwan with some obscure reference to a Chinese slang term for large breasts, as it enunciates phonetically to the English word for bubbles . Yet, they are simply tapioca balls added to the drink of tea as a mixture of beverage and dessert.
So it is curious how the name was coined into MooBoo  and only gained significance by adding the manacle “Bubble Tea” as a descriptor or for .com availability along with trademark approval.

MooBubble2 drinks namingIt doesn’t matter how many times I see this logo, or how many times I read the name correctly, in my head I’m still hearing the sound “BooHoo”. So when I’m feeling sad do I ring up my friends and say: “BooHoo! Let us pop down to MooBoo for a cup of bubble tea.”
Somehow, I prefer my bubbles in a glass of Cava on Costa Darauda

By Rosie Reay
© Copyright 2017 and all rights reserved worldwide – Brighter Naming®

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Posted in Branding, Consumer Goods, Domain Names, Food Names, Name Origins, Naming Education, Rotten Names, Trademarks

TranQuini relaxes you just by the name

Tranquini Drink products namingBorn in the beautiful high Alps and rivers of Austria, TranQuini® epitomizes the image of relief you look for in a refreshing,  revitalizing and calming drink. Even their tagline Positively Relaxed is prominent on all their packaging to help drive this message home.

Tranquil or tranquillity image – a perfect name with an international flavor that travels well across the globe and nestles in well throughout Europe, mingling among roots from all the romance languages – tranquilo(a), tranquilidad, (Sp. & It.) or tranquille(Fr.) where the mountains kiss the Mediterranean shorelines.

This product name is so easy to pronounce and remember, even though it is a coined word.  The drink has such a smooth name, that easily rolls off the tongue.  Indeed, a  memorably named new drink. I wonder if it tastes as good as it sounds!


TranquiniTwoPackFull of herbal extracts, tasty teas and natural fruit juices oozing with Vitamin B12 it delights, excites and re-enhances your positive energy levels while encouraging relaxation. Thus, it is a very clever marketing ploy that that they package two cans in a gift box with a pair of flip-flop sandals, that silently shouts “beach time-lets go unwind.” The alliteration expands more with the thought it creates of Tranquini – bikini time.

This is where a blend of product naming doesn’t fall far from the apple tree – the company name!

 by Rosie Reay

© Copyright 2017 and all rights reserved worldwide – Brighter Naming®

Posted in Branding, Consumer Goods, Food Names, Trademarks

Who owns that consumer brand?

UncleBens food brands and namingRecently there have been another spate of questions on Quora and other online forums about product brand vs company brand, especially from new marketeers or entrepreneurs wrestling with these issues. Admittedly it is different in small startups from the big consumer brands, but it always amazes me that they don’t just look around their own kitchen or bathroom and read the labels. They might also be surprised where some of their goods are produced.

In fact, in this day and age of mega mergers, takeovers, buying and selling of brands, you can even do this exercise each year and get different results. But in the meantime, consumers remain loyal to the names and brands they trust.

I had occasion to try this recently myself as I reached for the curry the other night. I never would have guessed that my favorite Uncle Ben’s curry was actually owned by Mars Foods UK Ltd (aren’t they the well known US candy company?). Plus my particular bottle was made by Mars Foods Ireland. Wow, Irish made ethnic food with a very ethnic name! By the time I eat it on the West coast of USA, some of the ingredients, like coconut and curry powder and peppers, must have traveled a few times around the world.


© Copyright 2017 and all rights reserved worldwide – Brighter Naming®

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Posted in Branding, Consumer Goods, Food Names, Naming Education, Naming News, Trademarks

Just Watch Me – Fun name of the week

JustWatchI do love a name that brings a smile to your face early in the morning, which is when I discovered this jeweler with a business named Just Watch Me.  And no, he doesn’t just sell watches. In fact, he mostly recycles old watches into new jewelry and ornamental art pieces. A fun name for a fun and clever business concept.

Many of their recycled themes are animal or bird related, which is why I found him exhibiting at the South East Wildlife Expo – another subject close to my heart because of my involvement with Safari Gold, best known for their artificial elephant hair knot bracelets.


© Copyright 2017 and all rights reserved worldwide – Brighter Naming®

Posted in Branding, Consumer Goods, Strange Names

Even AARP supports trademarking

In a recent article, AARP News wrote about elderly people still having time to come up with million dollar inventions. And yes, of course, they talked about patents – and often how unlikely that would be.

But in a sidebar (shown here) that warmed my heart, they did encourage all to come up with a unique name, as those are more memorable. And then to trademark it, of course. There need be nothing unique about your product for it to have a trademarked name and/or logo.  But the name has to be unique in its product category and you do have to prove you are using it.

registering trademarks for all

btw Trademarks can endure for many, many years if properly renewed, unlike patents that usually only have a 17 year lifespan.


© Copyright 2016 and all rights reserved worldwide – Brighter Naming®

Posted in Branding, Naming Education, Naming News, Naming Resources, Trademarks

Why you need to register your trademark

USPTOfactsA lawyer once made it very clear to me. He said if you ever have a dispute over a name, and you end up in court, then the party with the registered trademark stands up and says: “Judge, I have registered trademark number 9999999 – here is my certificate from the USPTO. I rest my case.” The he sits down and the opposing party has to prove that the registered trademark was issued in error, despite all the checks by the client, his lawyer and the government’s examining attorney.

Of course, it seldom gets this far. If everyone is doing their due diligence then one party will see that someone else is already using the name in a similar category of goods or services and they will go a different direction. Or the filing will have been denied on other grounds like “too generic”, “too broad a set of claims”, “no proof of usage”. Regardless of what the Intellectual Property office of your local government says, many names are still used and many are common across the country. But only by small businesses who don’t care what happens three states over until they get the dreaded “cease and desist” letter.

Not long ago a lady called me in tears from the midwest. She had used a name for over three years and then woke up one day to one of these letters. If only she had spent the few hundred dollars it takes to get a registered trademark in the first place, she would probably not have been forced to change a successful name and marketing strategy. these reasons, and a number of others, I strongly recommend you get a registered trademark on all your key brand names. You can even file an application online yourself if you can prove usage of the product. But first do a proper search or you will lose your money. And if you can, check with a trademark attorney.

Yes you have trademark rights the minute you use a name, even if you never checked anything. Even if you did not put a ™ after the name (this is really for emphasis only until you can put an ® next to the name and then really put all the country on notice.  But why take the chance?

Your name is your most important weapon in the battle for the mind, as Ries and Trout so eloquently said years ago. Treat it right from the outset. Even if you are very creative, use a naming agency or consultant (or lawyer when you can afford one) to do a due diligent comprehensive search in advance. Read the labels wherever you go. Notice how Kellog’s uses trademarks over breakfast. See McDonald’s on all their packaging at lunch. And, of course, Starbucks at any time, even though you would have to be nuts to copy such a prolific name.

PS Just because a name is trademarked, doesn’t mean you can’t use it. Their are hundreds of registered trademarks with words like National, or United or Insight in them. But they are all in different categories or are not “confusingly similar”. This is where you especially need professional help.


© Copyright 2016 and all rights reserved worldwide – Brighter Naming®

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Posted in Biotech Naming, Branding, Industrial Products Naming, Name Origins, Naming Education, Naming News, Naming Resources, Technology Names, Trademarks

Slick as a whistle pig

The title of this blog is taken directly from the heading of an article in a recent copy of Business Week – with thanks and acknowledgments. And I have used it since it was clearly authored to attract attention to a subject they usually don’t cover – nor do I.

But a long time ago I told my sister that if I ever opened a British style pub I would call it “The Pig and Whistle”. Of course, she would break my bubble by pointing out there already was one by that name. In fact, later we found more than one.

British pubs seem to be one class of establishment that do not need help from naming agencies. Maybe it is because they have been around so long, and many have farmyard like names – or names borrowed from the farmyard.

Naming wines and spiritsAnyway, in this case, Whistle Pig is the name of a new whiskey distillery with an irreverent Canadian founder/partner with one singular goal in mind: To make the world’s finest rye whiskey. A very serious product direction – for a company with a very non-serious name. But when you want to attract attention with both your taste tests as well as your marketing, why not?


© Copyright 2016 and all rights reserved worldwide – Brighter Naming®

Posted in Branding, Consumer Goods, Domain Names, Hospitality & Travel, Strange Names, Trademarks, Wine Names

American Express – Perfect name for a credit card

I can’t imagine anyone nowadays saying American Express isn’t anything but a perfect name for a high class credit card. But in reality, this was originally a name for a freight company along the lines of other Pony Express services. Yes, they delivered packages between New York and Chicago or St Louis and all the stops along the way.

Naming financial institutions and servicesAnd many of these packages contained money or gold. So they had many holdups until they cleverly conceived the idea of travelers checks.  This foiled the bandits and got American Express into the money business and eventually out of the parcel express business. But the name did not change. Goes to show you how continued good execution on a brand promise leads us to believe in a brand, regardless of the words in the name or the change in services offered.

Of course, today American Express is a mega big valuable credit card company known around the world, and most of us don’t need to move money explicitly or carry travelers checks. We can just whip out our gold cards.

In an ironic twist, what if you really do want to move hard cash money (or gold or diamonds) around the world? Before you jump to Federal Express, read their standard forms insurance statement:  Maximum coverage for cash or jewelry is $500.

So what about UPS? Well they will carry any amount and insure it. Problem is the insured value is right their on the outside of the old shipping form – for any handler to see (and maybe salivate over).

naming shipping and freight companiesWell there is a big secret here.  Federal Express does move a fortune in cash and jewelry every day. They even have metal lock boxes that just happen to fit snugly inside their standard box sizes and in many cases only the receiver and the sender have a key to the lock (or know the combination). But you have to have a special account and be approved by FedEx before you can do so. Remember however, for money movement, call FedEx and not Amex. For credit cards, call Amex and not Fedex.


© Copyright 2016 and all rights reserved worldwide – Brighter Naming®


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Posted in Branding, Consumer Goods, Hospitality & Travel, Naming Education, Trademarks

Naming Articles

New brand insider articles from an experienced marketing team. Learn all the basics of naming, branding and trademark registration from these free reports:

August 2016: How to select a naming agency.

July 2016: How to get International Trademark protection.

March 2016: You received a cease and desist letter. Now what?

May 2015: How can one product line have many trademarks?

Jul 2014: What roles do copyrights and patents play in protecting names?

Jan 2014: Predictions for 2014 and Free Offers.

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