Monday, November 29, 2010

A yarn by any other name.....

....would knit as well - maybe; but, might not sell as well. I have just finished reading an article about a couple in Sechelt, BC who created a super new vegan breakfast cereal that tastes great.  They originally named it HapiFoods. The first day it went on-line, they sold 10 bags. A little later, based on customer reaction - most customers couldn't remember the name but just kept saying, "Holycrap, this is good," they decided to change the name to Holycrap - voila!  That day, they sold 100bags on-line.

Lugnasadh from Goddess Knits
Since then they have sold their cereal at the Olympics and appeared on Dragon's Den. They had no trouble securing a $120,000.00 investment from Jim Treliving (Boston Pizza) who tasted their product on the show! The rest is history. The Mullins can't keep up with the demand. Holycrap is going gangbusters!

Once a friend of a friend came to me with a chunky yarn that he was importing and asked my opinion about the name. He was going to call it ____'s Fat Yarn, after his wife who was very slim - this apparently was a family joke. He was also fixated on these funky new names for wine - "Fat Bastard" comes to mind.

I really didn't like the name, particularly given the sedentary nature of knitting and the tendency for knitters to put on weight because of their hobby. Well the yarn sold OK; but soon disappeared. I have since heard of a dyer - Indigo Dragonfly who has some really unique names for her yarn colourways, such as, "OMG WTF Pink" and "Enid Goes to the Movies". I'm still not sure about these. Perhaps famous lines from movies - "Shaken, Not Stirred" for a silver grey or "I'm melting...melllllting" for a bluey purple mix. Then there's all those fancy cocktails - Scarlet O'Hara for something spicey, or great songs - Eye of the Tiger - for something really grrrrrr!. I think that the message is to try to harness as much sensory and emotional impact as you can, by association, with the names you choose.

I know that I am remiss in this area of naming. I tend to give colours singular names, such as Pond, Reed, Meadow. Perhaps, I need to use more of the colourful language at my disposal, to create more interest in my products!

Fhomhar from Goddess Knits
Dinner - well it has to be pasta. Why, because I remember another story about a salesman who used to work for an Italian import company.  In the beginning, as he tells it, he had one product - Spaghetti, which he sold to the major food chains. Suddenly, though, the market changed and he was no longer just selling Spaghetti, he was selling pasta and he had 10 or 12 products to sell to the chains.  The product ingredients had never really changed.  The only thing that changed was the shape and, of course, the name. He now sold - penne, tagliatelle, cannelloni, fusilli, rotini - the list goes on. My husband swears that they all have a different taste - keep this in mind when you need to re-invent yourself, maybe you just have to change your name!

The pictures are of shawls from Goddess Knits with unusual names - in English, that is.

1 comment:

  1. I am with you hubby! Different shapped pasta taste different - I dislike spaghetti but like other pastas.