Admission: I'm your typical consumer who gets tricked into buying things simply because I like the way they're packaged. If I'm shopping at Whole Foods and I come across the pasta aisle--and there are three different brands of organic vegetable spirals--I'm going with the one that expresses itself in a way that makes me feel vaguely good (for lack of a better word). Call me fickle, but like many other citizens in this global economy, conscious or not, I recognize the importance of effective branding in the arena of modern business practice. Your product is supposed to be your vision manifested, so every detail and nuance counts.
Here are five popular chain-restaurant brands that, in my opinion, nailed the naming aspect of the game:
What exactly is a Ruby Tuesday? Who even cares? I like it, because it juxtaposes a very beautiful image with a day of the week that most people hate as much as they do Mondays. There's a reason they didn't name it Tin Foil Tuesday. Tuesdays tend to be lackluster for people as it is, so why not make them Ruby? There's serious power in that. Finding beauty in the mundane is American branding at its finest. The gem among rocks; A Diamond in the rough. Ruby Tuesday.
Get it now? Good!
Incidentally, Ruby Tuesday is also a song of the same name by The Rolling Stones --a song that was popular around the time of the restaurant’s inception in the early 1970s--but according to The New York Times, Ruby Tuesday founder and former CEO Sandy Beall was never much of a Stones fan.
Bahama Breeze sounds like a wonderful place to be. It's hard denying that. And if you're trying to get consumers to engage with your product, wouldn't it be sensible to make it wonderful sounding? Alliteration certainly helps. It wouldn't tickle as much to hear your friend say, "hey! come meet me at Bahama Wind." The latter sounds like a nondescript strip club.
Rainforest Cafes are hands down my favorite places in the world to eat out besides my local diner. And maybe a few other places. They offer one of the most exciting and dynamic eating experiences around for sure. For those unfamiliar, Rainforest Cafes are novelty restaurants where everything is made to feel like you're in a rainforest, and they're pretty successful at capturing that vibe in my opinion. The insides are wildly elaborate. There are waterfalls, greenery, mist, animatronic figures of various rainforest animals, and everyone who works there pretends you are actually dining beneath the canopy of a jungle.
I visited the one at Disney World once as a kid, and it's one of my fondest memories so I am a little biased.. Rainforests are some of the richest, most diverse, vibrant places on earth, so this one deserves to lead the list as much as any other. The imagery it conjures up is amazing. Imagine sipping coffee on a hammock under the stars. Falling asleep next to ladybugs. Dancing in the rain with your forest friends and mixing colors, laughing. Yep, I think Rainforest Cafe wins. #Sorry Ruby Tuesday and Bahama Breeze...
Long John Silver’s
Jesus. Why isn't Long John Silver's the moniker of a West Coast Rap collective with remarkable drive and a penchant for expensive jewelry? Say it out loud and tell me that it doesn't exude that kind of swagger You would think that it was the name of an upscale banquet hall, or fine-dining establishment; not some sketchy fast-food joint that sells crusty fish patties. Should they call themselves Sketchy Fast-food Joint That Sells Crusty- Fish Patties instead? I think I'd rather eat at Long John Silvers. I could always dig some fries.
Bees are beautiful creatures. Apples taste good. This means that Applebee's, by basic reasoning, must be beautiful inside and taste good. And although I'm not sure that's what the creators had in mind, it works in crafting a very specific and colorful image--at least in me. So kudos to Applebee's everywhere for that. Hard to explain why it's such a fitting name. You'd have to go to Applebee's to know what I'm talking about. Applebee's is just so Applebee's. I'll leave it at that. Oh, and half-off appetizers after 10 PM aren't bad either.
Starbucks (could’ve easily led the list, but suffice it to say the name speaks for itself)