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There must be more to say than “Ditto”

By Mark Skoultchi

July 15, 2008

20406687256_1a599a4d51_bThe recently launched Safeway store brand CSD is marked by a distinctly generic name for its Sprite look-a-like: Ditto. Apparently the design firm responsible for this new brand name (we think we know who created this name, but will keep that info to ourselves to protect the innocent) didn’t think that this was too much of a cop-out. Here at Catchword, we have to wonder: Why not just go ahead and name it ‘Knockoff’ or ‘Copycat’?

Let’s give credit where it’s due. At least they settled on a name with a good sound, and it’s even a real word. But it would seem that no one bothered to think about what the word actually means! The name doesn’t allude to any of the particular aspects of the product, instead opting to simply categorize itself as a copy of some other brand name. I can’t think of a better example of why folks should hire a dedicated naming specialist when a new brand name is warranted. Let the designers stick to design. (Although I have to give them props for the other store brand CSD: “Go Cola” is great. The energy and tone of the name position it well for a youthful demographic seeking a better value than the traditional Coke or Pepsi products.)

We’ve done our fair share of these store brands ourselves, so we know there are some challenges in getting the right word for the product. There’s a bit of art to creating the perfect store brand: you want to emulate the national brand but still sound different and desirable. Catchword’s balance of creativity and strategy has resulted in a litany of strong CSD store brands that include “Quist” and “Ramp.” These names have the charisma required to compete with the national brands without sounding like knock-offs.

Just because the visual identity mirrors the Sprite can doesn’t mean the name has to.

“Ditto!” You can say that again.

Name Grade: C

Grade:
C
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