Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Branding or Blanding?

I read that Japanese speakers learning English have trouble distinguishing between “r” and “l”. Branding gets pronounced as blanding, which seems appropriate considering how some brands behave. 

Earlier this year I was surprised to read that office supply firms Office Depot and OfficeMax had merged last November. Both were pretty bland rather than compelling brands. As shown above, I thought of them like Tweedledum and Tweedledee.

All I could remember about them was both names started with office. But, which had a single word mashup name (on one line), and which had two words (on two lines with the second all in caps)? When I couldn’t remember which one I’d bought an item from, I just would head over to the Franklin Towne Plaza where both had stores.

After the merger Office Depot finally began running 30-second commercials Where Did You Get That? featuring interesting products they sell. 

Some people take their branding more seriously, like Fred E. Miller, whose name I always associate with his “No Sweat” brand.  

Tweedledum and Tweedledee come from an old illustration from Alice in Wonderland.

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