Sugar & Spice and Monsters & Mice: On Brand Naming for Kids
Sometimes I may laugh or shake my head at a brand name that misses the mark, but it’s rare that a brand name actually gets my goat. Then the other day I ran across Honeys and Heroes in San Francisco. It’s a clothing boutique for girls (honeys, in case you’ve missed their drift) and boys (heroes), from babyhood through tweendom. Named, apparently, on the theory that it’s never too early to stereotype. Now not to put too fine a point on it, but can’t girls be heroes too? Yes, Honeys and Heroes is a catchy alliterative name and I’m sure the only reaction many people will have is “Aw…isn’t that cute.” But to see such stark sexual stereotyping in black and white (or pink and white, as the case may be) is dispiriting. So baby, maybe you haven’t come such a long way after all. And before you write me off as a party pooper: I’m all for having fun with brand names for kids. Crazy 8, for example, is a line of children’s retail clothing stores that Catchword named for Gymboree, and I like it a lot. And we’ve created a slew of playful product names for kids, including Didj and Kidget and Zippity (all LeapFrog brands). But Honeys & Heroes? Really? That sends a limiting message to kids of both sexes, no matter how you window dress it.