Discover more from Sala
You won't forget my name, n.3
The third edition of the sporadic selection of brilliant naming cases.
Following up on the last post on brands in the series, we bring here a curation of new and established brands that have caught our attention in recent times. Their names deviate from traditional naming and open the way to new possibilities when it comes to brand names. Understanding why a name is strong is key to creating ours — we hope this list will serve as a tool for you too.
1. Crown Affair
The word Crown in turn comes from the slang term linked to hair—crown, a direct description of its niche. Which for this reason creates a more relaxed and emotional air. In addition, a brand that has "affair" in its name is pure sexiness. And this is true considering affair with its different meanings, from a subject of interest, a type designation, a romantic affair. There is a tone of invitation and amusement to the word. The full name reaches its most beautiful meaning when seen in the visual identity, which gives lightness to possible previous excess.
This niche product design by name can be indicative of accuracy or cause limitation, depending on the long-term business strategy. An eventual expansion into skincare products for the face or nails, for instance, could be supported by a name adjustment, or the creation of a sister brand (in an illustrative example: Surface Affair or Derma Affair, for skin products).
The Museum of Peace and Quiet states itself as "A contemporary label committed to a clear state-of-mind, enabling you to focus on what matters by designing simplistic objects and apparel for everyday use". It's the materialization of the founders' inspiration: desert landscapes of the United States, and how the environment made them feel. Its identity and product colors seem to have been taken from a Californian postcard from decades ago: earthy and dusty tones, with greenish and brownish nuances tied by a certain warmth and freshness. Their products are always presented in the context of inspiration, and used by models interacting with the background.
The name guides the construction of a visual identity rooted in photography, an unusual approach that is masterly applied. The word "museum" in the name creates an environment, a space that can be pictured in the mind, where a common activity is to reflect and contemplate in silence. The word "peace" would be too strong if it had been used alone with museum; it could have created a sub-meaning, an extreme counterpoint with war (every extreme tends to be harsh, even peace). "Quiet" then comes to give a perfect balance: it harmonizes the force of peace, making it less divine, but attainable. Altogether, we have a sensory experience that involves a place and a feeling.
Poppy America features a special ingredient in the naming: a fresh approach to a common format. It's happy, fun, and friendly, as it has open sounds and a pleasant rhythm. The construction in two names resembles the names of Western culture (name and surname format), commonly used by artists and celebrities. The result is an easy-to-remember brand that connects on a more human level, with a person-like presentation. It's worth noting the quality of the visual identity of Poppy America, which symbol is the poppy flower represented in a gestural design, as modern as it is seductive (and which further clarifies the name). So, "poppy" is about the flower and perhaps an affectionate nickname.
The brand follows the luxury model, a market in which the connection to the place of production is key to communication, such as Paris or "Made in Italy" written on a package or product. Poppy America attracts attention and brings its location to the central function, in the compound name itself. This creates a quality reference, but also a deeper connection with other fans and clients: wearing the brand t-shirt is almost like wearing a team t-shirt.
To wrap it up, this is how the brand describes itself:
"Poppy America stems from a global perspective on American streetwear and culture. Underlying the metaphor between Poppy and what America is depicted as it resituates the made in America mentality to a boundless one. The brand merges an appreciation for sharp codes and a joy for eccentricity and individuality by using clothing as identity language and cultural context."
The brand is currently present in the US market, but it is worth mentioning the possible misunderstanding or problematic localization if there is an expansion to other countries in Central and South America. In these regions, America is considered a unitary continent, and not necessarily synonymous with the United States. Thus, the meaning of the name and the set of brand codes may seem disconnected and less relevant.
Sala is SCHARF's newsletter, an invitation to the curious ones.