Today’s email greeted me with news of the launch of Gilt Groupe’s new shopping site for men, Park & Bond, “the New Intersection of Men & Style.”
As fellow bargain-loving fashionistas know, Gilt offers online flash sales of designer clothing and accessories. Beyond the main Gilt site, the group owns Gilt Taste, a gourmet food site; Gilt City, a location-based, Groupon-like offering; and Jetsetter, an invitation-only travel community.
According to the Park & Bond site the new “name references two of New York’s most stylish streets—Park Avenue and Bond Street—which together embody the mix of classic and contemporary that defines men’s style right now.”
Fair enough, though as a non-New Yorker, I confess I did not know of the Bond Street half (the Park Avenue piece seemed obvious). My train of thought as a namer went like this: Strong, masculine sounds referencing Park Avenue + another stylish-sounding, possibly fictitious location (with a hint of James Bond). Slightly reminiscent of Gap’s ill-fated Forth & Towne, but few people will remember that. Also slightly reminiscent of a jail bondsman with convenient parking, though such an outfit of course would shun the ampersand in favor of “Park ‘n’ Bond”.
There was also my reflexive namer’s recognition that securing a domain name in the retail space is incredibly difficult (as a quick aside, Catchword was very happy to secure Crazy8.com, Gymboree’s children’s store. Compare this to a name like Piperlime, which surely was an eleventh hour domain-name Hail Mary….)
Finally, there was the lingering question: why not call the new site Gilt Man, in keeping with (most of) the existing nomenclature? There’s a pretty logical answer: aside from the fact that the main Gilt site already houses a men’s collection, Park & Bond offers only full-price merchandise. The Gilt name appears to be reserved for discounted, high-end merchandise, though I can’t quite figure out if Gilt Taste is in keeping with that protocol.
Net net? Park & Bond gets good (but not great) marks for messaging, tonality, and nomenclature consistency, and a namer’s nod on securing the domain. B+.