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A Bad Product Name: BelVita

October 1st, 2013 · 2 Comments

A new commercial caught my eye and ear last evening. It was for a breakfast bar named Belvita.

I was doing a crossword puzzle at the time so my concentration was split. (That’s what happens so often with most people, and that’s why most advertising is not very effective.)

The thing I first thought I heard – ie, the audio – was “Velveeta”, a mainstay brand from Kraft Foods. But when I looked up, there was a breakfast bar/cookie being pitched. It wasn’t until the end that I saw the package and the name, “BelVita”.

These names sound alike

These names sound alike

I wonder why anyone marketing an energizing breakfast bar to would adopt a name so linguistically close  to the name of a bland American cheese?

I always do an auditory test of names I recommend to clients, as well as attempt to recommend only name candidates that will steer clear of possible linguistic and legal entanglements. Might Kraft take issue? Probably not because  Mondelez International, owns both Nabisco (Belvita’s parent) and Kraft. But if  I were the “brand police” at Mondelez,

I’d sure raise a stink.

But just as bad as the confusion the name might cause is that the name is linguistically “limp”. “Bel” is first and foremost a feminine syllable. And though “Vita” leads to “vital” or “vitamin”, it certainly takes a back seat in this name. Wouldn’t it be more powerful to lead off with “Vita”?

Anyway, it’s a name I wouldn’t have recommended. How about you?

Here’s a video about naming that could be helpful. Enjoy!

 

Tags: Name Creation

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Ron MacDonald // Mar 25, 2014 at 4:59 pm

    Amen to that! I just stumbled upon your site while looking for articles and couldn’t agree more. What were they thinking?

    I should point out one error in your post. Velveeta is not cheese. ;)

  • 2 Pratiksha // Apr 4, 2014 at 4:31 am

    Great points today Nathan! I agree with you one hundred percent. Auditory test of names I recommend to clients, as well as attempt to recommend only name candidates that will steer clear of possible linguistic and legal entanglements.

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