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March 13, 2007

Connect With Consumers Employing Brand Name Contest

ritas.jpgNet 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.”

do_us_a_flavor.jpgBen & 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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Posted by Diane Prange at March 13, 2007 8:19 AM
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Thanks for the news and the insight.

Invitation to participate at some small level like a naming contest does create ownership.

When I was at Saturn we always invited owners to tells us what could be different or better about their car.

Then when we made a change that came from an owner we were always careful to attribute that change to owners when talking to new car buyers.

We wanted them to know there was a sense in which they were participating in making of Saturn.

Maybe a small matter but it did contribute to a sense of ownership among Saturn owners.

I always learn something from you here. Thanks!

Keep creating,

Did you hear about the Doritos X-13D naming contest? It is a lot like the Rita's contest, kind of. Details here:

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