What’s in a name? Sometimes nothing…

After watching yesterday’s Superbowl and its entertaining commercials (way to go Big Ben!) it’s fascinating to think about companies who spend millions of dollars creating a catchy, memorable new name for their hot new item…and compare it with businesses whose brand success comes from, ironically, having no name at all.

I remember studying this topic in one of my marketing classes at Miami of Ohio. Actually, I think Roethlisberger’s desk was next to mine, although I don’t remember seeing him in class very often. Hey, I wouldn’t have gone to class either!

Still, quite a few examples of this trend pop up:

  • Puerto Vallarta’s Nameless Cafe
  • Hardcore punk band No Use for a Name
  • Harvard Square’s The Nameless Coffee House
  • Anime favorite The Page with No Name
  • And although it’s a stretch, I always chuckled when I passed I-70’s The Nameless Creek outside of Indy

    There’s a marketing term out there for this trend, but I’m not sure what it’s called. Generically eponymous? Anti-genre? Ironic? Inverted?

    Who knows. But in the rare instances that it’s used, it seems to work in terms of memorability and humor. Although, you have to wonder how many times names like these can be used before, ironically, the anti-genre become a genre in itself.


    What’s your favorite “no name” product or company?

    * * * *
    Scott Ginsberg
    Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag

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