March 13, 2007
Connect With Consumers Employing Brand Name Contest
Net Plus Marketing has garnered kudos from Marketing Sherpa due to the “Sweet Success of [its] Product-Naming Promotion” for Rita’s Water Ice.
Rita’s introduced a new mix-it-yourself product in Pennsylvania and asked the taste-testers to name it by entering suggestions at the Rita’s TBD website. According to Net Plus, customers came up with more than 1200 product names. The winning name, “Blendini,” is a fitting one for a mixture of Italian ice, frozen custard, and cookie bits.
Naming contests are not new. Crayola’s 1993 “Name the New Color” contest resulted in 16 new crayons, and a 1999 contest replaced “Indian Red” with the more politically correct “chestnut.” A 2003 contest produced “inch worm,” “jazzberry jam,” “mango tango,” and “wild blue yonder.”
Ben & Jerry’s “Do Us a Flavor” contest calls for recipes as well as names, but the winners don’t necessarily go into mass production.
In all of these cases, the real goal is not so much finding a name as connecting with consumers and creating a sense of brand ownership.
Net Plus doesn’t even list finding a good product name among the campaign’s stated goals:
- Promote the new test product in this limited geographic area.
- Encourage customer interaction with the product and brand.
- Capture customer feedback about the new product.
Plus, not everyone has a budget for a naming company.
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