Bad Arse Branding

naming wine and alesMy son and I stumbled across these two bottles within a few hours of each other and needless to say both caught our eye. Ben even asked what I thought of Bad Arse Branding – as he called it. Obviously only some providers have the personality to pull off such brand programs. But how do you know it will work for more than a very small percentage of consumers? More importantly, how do you not corrupt the rest of your offerings?

The Arrogant Bastard Ale pictured here goes to great lengths to explain their brand story – as if they feel really guilty and have to defend it.  But it starts with “You will probably not like this ale…” They were right. It is awful. So are they are just trying to market a bad product by playing these name and brand games?  I don’t know.  But what a waste of everyone’s time.

Secondly, it is hard to believe that Fat Bastard is actually a French Wine (well a Frenchman and an Englishman). Took me a while to find the name of the winery. Maybe they purposefully hide it in the small print so they don’t offend their loyal followings. Nice to see how they do tell the story behind the name though, even though they confess no one remembers where the hippo came from. Is it sitting on pedestal? Is that a chain arrangement below for him.  Or just a hippo taking a leak in the pot?

All I can say is Proceed with Caution.

Posted in Branding, Consumer Goods, Wine Names

When Good English is Bad English

Awkward slogans need help from Brighter NamingWhile recently walking in the ultra ritzy Ocean Ave, Carmel, California  I saw this sign on a gateway. Yes, I always notice strange and interesting names even on a mini vacation day. What I especially like is when they are paired with a really nice tagline, slogan, motto or promo sentence.

However, when I stopped to read this one, my first thought was “What a shame. Great story, but didn’t they check the grammar before having it made in bronze?” Then I saw the author’s name and did a double take. Ralph Waldo Emerson is surely better at English than me. So I studied it some more until I realized it really is correct English grammar.  But oh how awkward.


With due respect to the master, wouldn’t this correct English be so much more effective if it was rewritten as

"The ornaments of a house
 are the friends who frequent it."

As for name Liv De Life.  A simple way to add some class to your humble adobe trying to keep up with the rich and famous. Why not?

(C) Copyright 2017 Brighter Naming®

Posted in Consumer Goods, Famous Quotes, Hospitality & Travel, Naming News, Public Site Naming, Strange Names

When a V sounds like a W and a W sounds like V or Do as DU

This may cause both embarrassment and offense when words, names, actions and abbreviations can be misconstrued, through pronunciation and misinterpretation. And it all depends on your home language.

I recently had a tutorial with an ESL Post-grad student.  He apologized that he needed to break off the call as he needed to do Wudu.

Inernational Naming HelpComing from Africa I thought he said, due to his accent, he needed to do Voodoo.

Between laughter I asked him: “On whom?” He replied seriously, “On myself, of course!”  I continued: “So why are you going to stick pins into yourself?” I asked him to Whats App me the spelling as we were obviously crossing wires here.

When I received it as: WUDU, I still mentally associated it with Microsoft W.U.D.O.

I didn’t at first connect the orthographic difference as the phonological sounds were so similar.

I wonder how many other people mix them up, with no insult intended to our Islamic friends.

It sounds perfectly clear to Microsoft Marketers and Namers – Window Update Delivery Optimisation when said as a phrase. Due to its length, these things get coined and shortened with people only then using the acronym it has evolved into- WUDO. The ‘Do’ Part sounds like (I) ‘do’ or to some languages as a vowel sign of U. Thus, confusing WUDU with WUDO and the W sounded like a muffled ‘V’ to which I had concluded VOODOO with the long ‘O’.

It is therefore so important to ensure cross-lingual enunciations are practiced aloud when choosing the name or taglines or even your marketing phrase.

Aside: They use Wudhu / Wudu / Wudo –I’m not clear whether this is a variance with the Arabic dialects or not.


By Rosie Reay

(C) Copyright Brighter Naming® and the EbroVoice 2017
Posted in International Naming, Name Origins, Naming Education, Naming News

Nota releases Scrapbox with a flourish

It is refreshing to see that a software company called Nota Inc stayed true to its origins and finally released an absolutely magic note organizing product. The surprise is because for years since they were created by some Stanford Grad students they have been bootstrapping themselves with the strangely named Gyazo product line ultimate screen grab utiliity program(the ultimate convenient screen grab utility). And the fact that Gyazo and Gyazo Pro have reached such big penetrations in the marketplace it must be hard to go back to the original vision.

Anyway, Scrapbox is a new style of note taking right where ideas connect. They are featured today on the Product Hunt site. And this time they have a much more traditional English name – that plays off both Sandbox and Scrapbook.

They even have a great new animated logo for the product line. How many people take the trouble to do that? I can’t figure out how to reproduce it here, but fixed version is cool too: Scrapbox a new style of note taking

Posted in Branding, Consumer Goods, Naming News, Technology Names

What’s in a classical musical name?

naming of classical musical groupsI do enjoy seeing articles about naming, as long as it is not YASOI  (Yet Another Set Of Initials). Today I had the pleasure of seeing such an article as I pulled up my favorite classical radio station KDFC on my computer.

Of course, the article used the very common title of “What’s in a Name?” But apart from that it is an interesting post from Alan Chapman with photos by Marco Borggreve.  Do read the posting here and learn about some modern and ancient classical group names. A very far cry from today’s rock group names, needless to say.

I also like the fact that KDFC started in the San Francisco Bay Area, and then expanded to L.A. area and now most of California, as well as to Europe and (thanks to the internet) worldwide. Just like we have done here at Brighter Naming!

PS Radio Stations are forgiven for having initials for names. It is part of their licensing requirements.

Posted in Branding, Consumer Goods, Name Origins, Naming Education, Naming News, Trademarks

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

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:

July 2018: Sample processes from leading consultants

June 2018: 10 steps to develop a process

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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