THE NORMANS - 2016 WINNERS
Best New High Tech Name
Alphabet™ is a fitting name for Google’s holding company. It is broad, all- encompassing, consistent with their unstated desire to rule the world, and a liberal arts counter to the STEM oriented Google brand name. Furthermore, it is consistent with the company’s taxonomy that favors real words that are generally descriptive of the product.
Best New Name in Food or Beverage
NewPrimal™ is a boutique meat jerky brand out of North Carolina. While grammarians and other sticklers might quibble with a potential oxymoron, Primal captures the world of paleo and protein and hunters while New modernizes and softens that imagery rendering it palatable for every consumer.
Best New Name in Consumer Durables
Samsung’s AddWash™ isn’t going to win a MacArthur Genius grant or an Edison award, nor will it go in the pantheon of great brand names, but it does earn a Norman. For what it lacks in pure creativity it makes up for in elegant simplicity. It is descriptive of course, but more than that it calls out to everybody who has ever found the one last sock under the bed after the load has started.
Best New Proprietary Drug Name
Cinqair™ is an asthma drug that navigated the FDA’s gauntlet of proprietary drug naming guidelines to actually signal to the consumer what condition it addresses.
Best New Medical Device Name
While it is unclear when this product launched, it’s a name so powerful, the judges are making an exception to the rules. Arguably less used these days then when baby boomers were booming, this medical device restrains new born males so they can be clipped. The name? The Circumstraint™.
Best New Name in the Automotive Space
Savari™ develops and deploys short-range communication systems that let vehicles “talk” to other vehicles and infrastructure. Savari gets the nod because while it is an invented word, it looks and feels real. Additionally, it telegraphs safari, a relevant idea in the space, and it is linguistically strong employing an alive and vibrant sound in the letter “v” and its consonant-vowel-consonant construction will be familiar (and thus comforting) to any Romance language speaker.
Best New Name in Sports Equipment
Vert™ made its debut at the 2015 CES with the singular feature of measuring one’s vertical leap. While the obvious choice would have been vertical, the company has chosen a name that is expansive enough to encompass many new products. Vert stands out in a competitive landscape that is cluttered with alphanumerics and for that reason is taking home a Norman.
Best New Name in Apparel
Marine Layer™, born, where else but in San Francisco, is image laden on many levels. For those living far from the coast, the name evokes cool, foggy, misty weather virtually obligating the donning of Marine Layer. For the rational minded, layering clothes is simply the smart way to dress. And for everybody else they can self-select that Marine harks to the salty sea or is a member of the few, the proud, the brave. In any scenario, we want to wear it.
Best New Name in Beer/Wine/Spirits
While Jameson’s new Caskmates™ doesn’t blow the doors off from a pure naming perspective, it is exemplary in its expansiveness. It is descriptive enough for the casual stroller of the aisle to understand, yet mysterious enough to engage. What is a cask mate? What kind of cask? What might it taste like? But more than this they have expanded on the idea via hyper local partnerships with craft breweries who will release limited edition beers aged in Jameson barrels. If you like the beer, and you know you will, there is no doubt you’ll seek out a dram of Jameson Caskmates as soon as you put down your pint glass.
Best New Name in Consumer Electronics
Amazon’s Echo™ is everything a great name should be. It immediately places the product in context, i.e., something to do with sound, speaking, communicating, and at the same time brings to mind the child like wonder of shouting across the canyon and hearing your voice call back to you.
Best New Retail Chain Name
Everything about Lemonade™, the name, reinforces everything about Lemonade, the brand. This new restaurant chain is fresh, honest, simple and bright, just like its name. While Lemonade conjures nostalgic imagery, the restaurants counter balance that with a fresh contemporary experience.
Best New Financial Service Name
Seed™ represents one of a few bold moves in the otherwise staid and conservative financial sector. It projects visions of spring, growth, birth, newness and everything vital and alive.
And... The Worst Name of 2016 Goes To:
It is clear that all of ninety seconds of critical thinking was given to the worst name of the year, Tronc™. Derived from Tribune Online Content, Tronc is the name of your Cro-Magnon cave-dwelling neighbor that just hit you in the brain with a mammoth bone. A linguist will tell you that back vowels and hard consonants suggest something heavy and slow, the wrong suggestions for a digital media company. Everybody else will tell you it just sounds stupid.
And... The Second Worst Name of 2016 Goes To:
Scion™, the new hotel chain from Trump. If we know anything about Millennials’ purchase habits it is that they don’t want to be sold to. Not only does Scion say “hey Millennial person, this brand is for you because, get it, you’re young, like a scion.” But it gets worse because it stands for everything that contemporary youth rages against; privilege, unearned wealth, conspicuous consumption, idle living. But of course, it will be a spectacular success.