February 13, 2007
How To Create a Successful Chocolate Brand Name
A recent irate blog post on the Measuring Up blog has Ed Moed flabbergasted over an article in the New York Times profiling the “Noka” chocolate range, which offers connoisseurs 0.9 ounces of chocolate for $39.
What makes Moed (and Damon Darlion) irate is that the stuff just has a fancy name: it’s made by a husband and wife team out off their Plano, Texas apartment using (relatively) cheap Bonnat chocolate (or so bloggers at DallasFood.org have guessed).
Fancy Name; Premium Price
Welcome to the world of product naming, folks, where a good name and brand image can warrant a 5,000% premium. This blog got me thinking about how a beginner might create a high end, super luxury chocolate brand name from scratch.
First of all, the name must sound Spanish, or possibly German and Scandinavian - anything but American or Swiss. The most expensive chocolate in the U.S. comes from a shop in Norwalk, Connecticut called Chocopologie by Knipschildt Chocolatier (this seems like an amalgamation of Belgian and German faux naming). “Noka” sounds distinctly Spanish but also reminds me of “Nokia,” the finish cell-phone company. Perhaps this was done on purpose, as LG has a cell phone that is called “Chocolate.”
Easy or Difficult to Pronounce?
Noka is easy to pronounce. As is the high end chocolate brand Amedei (great post, Victoria) which offers “Porcelana” (fairly hard to pronounce) and “Chuao” (easy to pronounce and short). Of course the names sound Spanish: “Chuao” is a kind of Venezuelan bean, “Porcelana” is the color of the white “Criollo” bean.
Vegan? Even if you are making Vegan chocolate, the Spanish naming rules remain: “Cocoa Camino” and “Vivani” are staples.
Fair Trade? I might add that you are well served to consider whether or not your chocolate should be made from “Fair Trade” cocoa beans. If you are making this stuff in your kitchen in Hackensack using no-name chocolate, it may be a reach, but it does seem to me that anything made from beans grown in the third world, be it coffee or chocolate or cocoa powder, should be “fair trade” given all the anti-chocolate feelings out there.
If you do want to create a chocolate brand that does not sound like a Starbuck’s latte, you can consider the risky business of novelty naming. Julie Burba writes that she found a “pretty darn good chocolate bar” made by Bloomsberry & Co (note the non-Spanish name, although this is of course from New Zealand) which declares itself “The World’s Greatest Pick-Up Bar” as well as one called “Instant Gratification.”
However, she does say that the best chocolate of all is from “La Téne,” a Spanish-sounding chocolate made by a one-man operation in Somerville, MA. She notes that Nirvana, Godiva (with or without Sienna Miller), Lake Champlain, and Lindt do not even measure up - and I would add that all of these non-Spanish, Swiss/American sounding names are just so yesterday (but very tasty, I must add).
I’m off for a Hershey Bar.
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