What were they thinking?

Television ads continually amaze me.

To find one that really works is rare these days. It seems that fewer and fewer actually make sense. They tend to ignore the product and its benefits so they may display the agency’s creativity.

I believe there’s more to advertising than mere attention-gaining.

And now I’m noting that brands themselves are boarding that same rickety bus. They are branding for attention, and only for attention.

Here’s the latest, and in my opinion one of the worst, of this mongrel breed.

FishEye Wines.

FishEye wines?

What were they thinking?

How in the world do you find any relevance in a name like that for a beverage? Do they squeeze the eyes of fish to make it? Do they inspect it with a special lens? Not only is it irrelevant, it’s repulsive.

Now this is a boxed wine. It may have its appeal, if any, with a younger target market I just don’t understand. But I can’t see any of my grown children finding FishEye wine to be at all appealing. Even if the price were in the “Thunderbird” range, it is a put-off.

I’d like to hear from members of the 20’s age group, particularly if they can point out something I’m missing.

I can only guess that they thought a brand name like FishEye was so out-of-the-box that it would sell boxed wines.

Unique is prized in branding, but there’s got to be more.

My consulation?

I’ll bet there won’t be many catching FishEye.

Martin Jelsema

3 thoughts on “What were they thinking?

  1. And yet, you are talking about FishEye Wines. Tells me there is something about the name. For me personal, branding is less about name, and more about managing evolving customer perceptions about your product. A name? If it is catchy, it works. Subject to certain bounds, which IMHO FishEye has not crossed. Oyster Bay Wine comes to mind — great wine, and I do not think about salt brine or salmonella as I enjoy it one bit. Disclaimer: Rick has no affiliation to FishEye or Oyster Bay. He just likes good wine, good branding, and referring to himself in the 3rd person.

  2. I think there’s a big difference between Oyster Bay and FishEye. The connotations and associations with Oyster Bay are condusive to relaxing and drinking. There’s an elligence about it even though most have never been there (indeed, if the words are right, it could be a make-believe place). But FishEye has no positive associations unless you’re a photographer, and then there’s no relevance with enjoying wine. To say that the only requirement for a name is to be “catchy” doesn’t sit right with me. I want a name that works harder than that. I want it to conjer up positive and relevant associations that make the product attractive. I want it to strike an emotional chord consistant with the positive feelings of experiencing the product. The name is the vanguard for the product – the most important brand element. It should be grounded in the brand’s promise, and consistant with user expectations.

  3. I hear what you are saying. My comment about “catchy” was actually written in surrender — there is much more about naming than I could possibly hope to leave in a single paragraph blog comment. Yet, I think far too much attention is given to naming as it relates to brand management, to the exclusion of other equally, or even more, important aspects of branding. Branding goes so much farther than naming or advertising or taglines — although, those are all important components of a promotion plan (just one “P”). And maybe that is what I am trying to say: they are components in a much larger machine. It’s the interplay of pricing, promotion, placement (Tag Heuer at Wal-Mart?!), and product. I just think the other aspects get lost in the shuffle, to the point that lay folks think professional marketers sit around sippin’ martinis at a 3 hour lunch dreaming up names. The Brand of Marketer, if you will. Where I do agree with you is on the topic of feelings and experience. These affect customer perceptions a great deal. Ultimately, a brand is what customers tell you it is, and a brand manager is actually managing the customer experience to effect the outcome (perceptions) he/she is lookign for, lest the brand be hijacked. As a PBM, I want customers to tell me they are willing to pay x% price premium b/c they value the experience/benefits my brand has to offer. If I do that, I’ve had a good day. It’s a complicated job, to be sure. Anyway, I enjoy reading, and I’ve left you my email address if you want to continue the discussion. all the best.

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