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May 7, 2008

Cold Spring Name Change Not a Hot Idea

coldspringpaleale.pngOn the State of the Brand 2008 blog this week, Jason Voiovich is lamenting the loss of the Gluek’s Brewery brand name, which was replaced by the more pedestrian Cold Spring earlier this year.

The copyright notice on the company’s website still says Gluek Brewing Company, but it appears not to have been changed since 2005.

Not that Cold Spring is meaningless. It’s the name of the city where the brewery is located. And the idea of brewing your beer from cold local spring water is attractive enough. But here in Minnesota, we’ve got Cold Spring This and Cold Spring That all over the place.

There’s nothing really wrong with it, but there’s nothing really right with it, either. Nothing distinctive. And if you brew craft beers, you need distinctive. Likewise if you’re trying to break into a new and already-competitive market. (Cold Spring now produces energy drinks.)

Admittedly, those not from Minnesota might be unsure how to pronounce Gluek (which is Old German for luck), and it’s usually a good idea for new product names to be easy for English-speakers to pronounce. But Gluek is not a new name.

cluek'srestaurant.pngThe 1902 Gluek House is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and Gluek’s Restaurant is the oldest in downtown Minneapolis.

Around here, at least, the Gluek’s name has equity. Abandoning the name, and potentially confusing existing loyal customers, seems like a far greater risk than keeping it.

Viel Gluck!

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Posted by Diane Prange at May 7, 2008 8:58 AM
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