When a naming says nothing and everything

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What characteristics make a naming a good one? Short, loud, descriptive, original, evocative…. In branding we know there are just few brands that make it into the consumer mind-set and that are able to conquer his thoughts and, most importantly, his wallet.

However there are brands that at first sight are unpronounceable but that still make history and are great sellers; Häagen-Dazs, is a perfect example. Its Brand name might be pronounced differently depending on the country you are in or the language you speak, but there’s no question it is one of the brands on the top mind of ice-cream lovers.

But what was the brand creator thinking when he came up with this ‘Scandinavian’ name? The truth is that the first store of this particularly named brand was actually opened in 1960, in New York by Reuben Mattus.

When asked for the meaning of the brand and why he used a Scandinavian sound-like name, Mattus made clear the name itself had no meaning, he invented it as a tribute to Denmark thanks to the help this country brought to Jewish in the WWII.

Since Mattus was Jewish himself and he as well wanted to give the best to all families, he believed creating delicious ice-creams he would somehow bring some happiness to the world.

Actually, the first brand design had a representation of Denmark on the pack with a subtle outline of the country. It is a shame, though, that through the years and with many rebrandings done, the brand has lost this very iconic and symbolic touch.

So going back to our first question, how did Häagen-Dazs manage to make history with such a name? The answer is simple: they care for the quality and standards of their products, which makes consumers make an effort to remember not only the product but also the tricky name of the brand.

We may not know how to accurately write or pronounce Häagen-Dazs, but who doesn’t know this brand today? We are sure you do and we are more convinced if even that you are now thinking about having an ice cream. Don’t you?


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