the product naming blog

May 31, 2012

Five Wives Product Naming Too Much for Idaho, But OK in Utah

FiveWives.jpgSo "Five Wives" vodka has been banned in Idaho as being offensive to both Mormons and women, although the product is made in Utah, home of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

The label depicts five women in 19th century garb holding kittens in what may (if you squint and sort of tilt your head) be suggestive poses.

The Idaho State Liquor executive says sniffily "Products that we feel are marketed toward children, or are in poor taste with respect to our citizens will not be authorized for distribution."

Okay, but if the name and imagery is fine in Utah where Mormons comprise 62% of the population, why is it offensive to the state of Idaho where Mormons make up just 23% of the population and where right this moment Idahoians are buying "Free the Five Wives" t-shirts?

In addition to the sale of Five Wives, a brew named Polygamy Porter is made and consumed in Utah, and interestingly, Polygamy Porter is sold in Idaho.

An Idaho State Liquor executive sheds more light on this mystery saying that the vodka product space is crowded and, "There was nothing that really differentiated [Five Wives] other than its name and its label that had five women with cats in their crotches covering their genitals. We make decisions all the time in what we can fit into our stores."

But is differentiation really necessary? And what other vodkas offer similar labels?

Plus, the name, according to its creator in Utah, has nothing to do with polygamy: "The person who came up with the name, she really liked the idea of five wives sitting around having a drink. There really is no pointed meaning to it and everyone can bring what they want to it... it's not about making fun of Mormons at all. Quite simply it's a name that seemed to fit."

To make matters more interesting, the five wives on the label aren't even wives!

According to ABC News "They were sisters: the Barrison Sisters, a vaudeville troupe of dancers whose appeal was that they titilated by asking if audiences would like to see their female organs. They then would lift their skirts, revealing pussycats."

The head of marketing at Ogden's Own Distillery, maker of Five Wives, had this to say when he was told of the photo's history, "To us it's just an image. We love the fact that there was a mystery to where it came from. And so what? They're cats."

Have to agree with that.

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May 24, 2012

Social Media Might Help Country Time Put Arnold Palmer Naming in a Sand Trap


The drink recipe of half lemonade and half iced tea was created by the famous golfer Arnold Palmer, he has a licensing deal to market this product, using his name and image on packaging.

Marketing Daily presents an interesting naming dilemma to the world today, as Country Time promotes its new lemonade and iced tea mix.

So how do they name their new drink?

By enlisting celebrities such as Drew Brees, Kristen Chenoweth and Michael Waltrip to push for their own name using social media and crowd sourcing.

It's called the "Campaign for the Name."

Consumers are asked to help campaign for the name they like best. And by the end of the summer, a new brand, for Country Time's version of the drink, will be born.

There are videos galore that add an emotional, funny angle to the whole thing.

What we have here is a move to make celebrities' fans into consumers.

This may work for Country Time, as the relevance of Arnold Palmer is fading.

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May 3, 2012

South Africa Needs to Protect Rooibos Product Naming

RooibosTea.jpgCNN is reporting that South Africa's rooibos tea is a hit worldwide.

Grown only in the Western Cape of South Africa, this "red bush" (rooibos is the Afrikaans word for "red bush") tea has turned into a $23 billion industry, not least because the sweet red tea tastes good and has more anti-oxidants than green tea.

It also helps with colic, allergies, asthma and acne.

The growing area for the tea is tiny, centered in the mountainous Cederberg region just north of Cape Town.

Since the trade has quickly become so lucrative, producers in the small region are trying to protect the "rooibos" name.

Many feel the rooibos tea should be given a geographical indication status, similar to what the French government set in place for the word "champagne" - Champagne can only be used on wine from the Champagne region of France.

A producer of the tea, Willem Engelbrecht was quoted saying "I think it is the responsibility of government to make sure that legislation come in place, because we need to protect our cultural assets."

Indeed. The rooibos product name and heritage should be protected, and a regional indication status would most likely be the best way to do it.

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March 19, 2012

Starbucks Separates Its Name From Its New Evolution Fresh Brand

StarbucksFruit.pngStarbucks has gone and done it. They have opened up their first Evolution Fresh juice store, in a bid to find out just how much can be squeezed out of a new brand.

This departure for Starbucks comes four months after the company acquired the Evolution Fresh juice brand and began work on its "supersecret" new outlet in Bellevue, WA.

The Evolution Fresh acquisition was hailed by the Wall Street Journal as a means through which the ubiquity of the Starbucks brand was becoming ridiculous as new stores cannibalized old ones.

Now, Starbucks is going after a piece of the $50 billion world of "health and wellness," as juice plays a $5 billion part in that.

The new Starbucks managed Evolution Fresh stores will be pricey - think $7.99 for a 16-ounce juice. Starbucks believes consumers will pay a premium for the juice because of the healthiness of the product.

Consistent with the juice strategy there is hardly any indication that the Evolution Fresh brand relates to Starbucks. There is no similarity in the logo, nothing on the cups or decor, just one mention of the Starbucks Pike Place Roast on the menu.

Starbucks believes this is a "brand concept that can stand on its own." They've even replaced the baristas with "juice partners."

Still, Evolution Fresh is a new brand name so Starbucks has its work ahead of them.


The opening of the new juice store comes just before the Starbucks annual shareholder meeting on Wednesday, March 21st. This will be good news to shareholders who have seen the stock "soar" since 2010 - from $10 to $53.21 as of Friday, March 16th.

But $7.99 for 16 ounces of juice?

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March 15, 2012

Sara Lee Leverages Douwe Egberts Coffee Brand Name

SaraLee.pngAfter sifting through thousands of possible names, Sara Lee has named their international coffee and tea company "D.E. Master Blenders 1753."

This nostalgic name leverages the Sara Lee Douwe Egberts coffee brand, which was started in 1753.

The coffee and tea business will be based in Amsterdam and will sell "popular tea and coffee brands such as Douwe Egberts, Senseo, L'OR EspressO, Marcilla, Pil√£o, Moccona, Pickwick and Hornimans."

The Press Release from Sara Lee states:

Since 1753, Douwe Egberts has been a name synonymous with exceptional coffee. This has made Douwe Egberts one of the best-selling brands in Europe. D.E. Master Blenders 1753 places great respect on the company's heritage while placing a strong emphasis on the future. D.E. Master Blenders 1753 is a dynamic expression of the new company's marketplace positioning as a bridge-builder between the traditional and breakthrough innovation.

This comes from the decision by Sara Lee to split the company into to two publicly traded companies, one international arm covering coffee and tea (D.E. Master Blenders 1753) and a North American "retail, foodservice and specialty meats business."


The Chief Marketing Officer wants to reassure everyone they can expect "an aggressive global campaign that will reinforce our marketplace positioning and introduce the new company to our customers, recruits and the public at large."

Adding "1753" to the name reminds consumers that the company is built off a tremendous heritage.

Sara Lee stocks have risen an impressive 33.5% since October, and the name company comes on the heels of news that investors will receive stock valued at $4.55 billion as part of the spinoff.

Sara Lee seems to have made a good move.

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