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September 23, 2008

Does Brand Naming a Restaurant Freshii Make Sense?

lettuce eatery logo.pngLettuce Eatery seems to be facing one of the same problems that many companies in the United States face - a company name that is consistent with their offering.

freshii.jpgThe company, which originated in Canada, is now operating under the name Freshii in the US. The name change is mainly due to Matthew Corrin, who originally wanted to be the "Starbucks of Salads," but slowly widened his positioning to offer healthy meals and snacks. In short, he outgrew his name. Now, Corrin is changing the naming of the entire franchise to Freshii.

Let's put aside possible criticisms of the name Lettuce including the fact that lettuce is not just lettuce anymore and examine the obvious question: Did the Lettuce name really have to go?

Our proprietary research has shown that more than 300 companies in the US change their name over the course of a year because they have outgrown it. This can often be a smart move, especially if the business has moved in a totally new direction, such as The Flower Valet's move to Seaside Exploration, Inc.

But even when Lettuce was just Lettuce, it seems unlikely that every customer who went in there expected to buy, well, just lettuce. Starbucks offers far more than just coffee and Burger King offers more than just burgers.

freshii menu.png

Gaining any brand name equity in the restaurant business is tough and a bad naming choice can be deadly.

I am not sure if Freshii, with its odd spelling, is a better name than Lettuce for a restaurant, because Lettuce is something that carries firm connotations for us all.

Freshii simply refers to a much more nebulous idea.

And I have to wonder what was wrong with trying to be the Starbucks of salads?

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Posted by William Lozito at September 23, 2008 8:28 AM
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