Wednesday, May 31, 2006

What's in a name?

Brand names have always been a matter of fascination for me.

Why Levers? Why Procter & Gamble? Why Wal-Mart? Why McDonalds? Why JWT?

* Founded in 1885 by William Hesketh Lever
* William Procter, a candlemaker, and James Gamble, a soapmaker, formed the company known as Procter & Gamble in 1837 (they were brother-in-laws who came together at the insistance of their father-in-law)
* Founded by Sam Walton in 1962
* Began in 1940 with a restaurant opened by siblings Dick and Mac McDonald
* Originally founded by William James Carlton in 1864 and renamed by James Walter Thompson in 1877 to the J. Walter Thompson Company (not many would know about this WJ Carlton bit!!)

Like these every name of a brand / company or commercial establishment has a reason. It signifies something. Some of the names in Dubai & Sharjah found my fancy, particularly of restaurants, internet cafes and billiards parlors.

These are some of those interesting names in Dubai & Sharjah.

1. Traffic Jam restaurant – This place is next to an important junction. It is also a traffic bottleneck. And maybe therefore this name.

2. Decent restaurant – In one of the most congested localities of Sharjah. Next to a big dust bin. May be the owners wanted to stand out of this clutter and wanted some positive energies to flow.

3. Radio restaurant – Another significant name in Sharjah. I told myself maybe they must be only playing radio in the restaurant and hence the name.

4. Airport restaurant – This name is anybodies guess. Yes, you got it right. This is on one of the roads that lead to the Dubai airport.

5. Automatic restaurant & cafĂ© – I wonder what is automatic here. The preparation? How they serve? The billing? The payment?. It’s an unique name but.

6. Public Cook – Must be this restaurants main business comes from bulk orders - marriages and other functions.

7. Daily restaurant – I am wondering why the restaurant is named so. May be they want their patrons to be back on a daily basis?! Let me know a reason if you could cook one.

8. Golden Finger internet parlor – May be the owner is a James Bond fan! He gave a twist to the old 007 classic and made his parlors name Golden finger instead of the original.

9. Blue Door Ladies Salon – This is situated in a building painted white. But I managed to see a blue door that leads to this salon. May be that is why they have named it so.

10. Eject rent-a-car – A tricky name to have for a rent-a-car business. What happens if the car I rented ejects me out in the middle of Sheikh Zayed Express way. When every one around is moving at 120kmph. Scary!

11. Automatic Technical Laundry – These people in Dubai are obsessed with the word “Automatic” & “Technical”. I leave deciphering this name to your imagination.

May be sometime these grow as mammoth as an Apple or Linux or a Virgin and then people who mocked at these names (including me) would run to do case studies on their success or for having them as one of their clients.

God Bless them!

No comments: