July 3, 2006

Worst Branding Idea Ever

In what is possibly the worst branding make-over in modern retail history, Cost Plus has begun to focus on itself as World Market. And to top it all off, the stores look, feel, and smell a lot like their primary competitor, Pier 1. If you think long and hard about it, you probably can not come up with a more generic, replaceable, and ineffective name.

Your name is... well, your name! It is the thing the world uses to talk about who you are and what you do. The more memorable and unique, the better. Would you remember Target, if it were called Slightly Better Than Other Mega-Stores Mega-Store? Or would your friends remember to look up the Old Fashioned Pharmacy you recommended to them?

Consider Ritz Carlton or Wild Oats. Their names alone convey their place in the world and begin to tell their stories. Before you choose a name, think about your story, your values, what you want to accomplish, and who you want to attract. If you have yet to set those outlines, you may have even more work to do.