Season 10 Episode 7

How Do Names of Foods and Brands Affect Your Perception of Them?

In today’s episode, we take a closer look into food brands and why their names and products are so carefully chosen. How big of a role do these names play when we go to the Supermarket – are we tricked into buying things because they have more appealing names? After all, rainbow trout outsells brown trout 5:1! From food shopping to dining out, we uncover the importance of names and how consumer purchase habits are influenced by this. We also have a good laugh with some real rebranding failures… Pasta Hut, really?! How important is a name for you? Based on what you read on a menu or on packaging, are you really influenced by what you see? Comment below!

Best soundbite: “Salad cream is one of the most universally applicable lubricants known to man” – Jamie Spafford

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Something to make you think...

We delve into the world of PR and marketing in relation to branding, looking particularly at popular brands that change their name for short periods of time – is this a big whopping branding mistake or a clever PR stunt?

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    • theanita1

      also, the rebranding of home brands is MASSIVE in Australia, with multiple different brands for the same item. In Coles the majority of items on the shelves are Coles items, with independent brands (i.e. not Coles ones) being pushed out.
      For example, you go to buy tinned tomatoes, and there are what appears several brands, but when you look on the back it says “packaged for Coles”.

  1. Dtenduis

    Jamie mentioned that he prefers the premium products because they are of better quality. I saw some episodes of Eat Well for Less on YouTube and I learned that this is not always the case. You really need to look at the ingredients to see what is in it and how much sugar, salt, fats, are in there. I was surprised how often a cheaper version was more healthy. This certainly made me look at the labels more and hopefully make better choices.

  2. BeefTheAlch

    So, I did a bit of research on Daim bars. It was changed from Dime to Daim in the UK in 2005 to bring the brand all under one name, like Jamie was saying about Cif/Jif. However, it appears to have always been pronounced as “dime”, even in its origin country, Sweden.

    • Sorted

      Thanks for your detective work we have always called in Dime – before and after the name change 😂

      • kristinlohse

        Swedish person here! It is indeed spelled Daim in Sweden, but we pronounce it like Dime 🙂

  3. Bigstan1888

    I have a couple of observations from this podcast.
    Firstly, Jamie’s point regarding a controversial rebrand being as good as free advertising: I don’t know what the figures would be but rebranding is an extremely expensive exercise. The relatively small company I work for (500-600 personnel) rebranded a few years ago and the rebranding cost around £500k. I would expect rebranding something as popular as Coco pops would be considerably more expensive. I’d be interested if anyone had any insight into whether rebranding costs were lower than a marketing campaign (both ways in the case of Coco Pops).

    Secondly: James queried whether it was legal to rename a fish (or any other food item) in order to make it sound more appetising/desirable. I was wondering if a convenient loophole was available in the form of regional nomenclature of flora and fauna. I was born and brought up in Shetland and we have different names for fish and other animals/plants than the rest of the country: e.g. In Shetland, Saithe or Coley are called Piltocks, Ling is called Olick and Razor Clams are called sports (there are many more examples). If you can claim that a Patagonian Toothfish is known as a Chilean Seabass in some remote corner of South America, it could be possible to circumvent any laws regarding the renaming of things.

    • Sorted

      You’re right, a rebrand can cost silly amounts, then there is the marketing budget that is required to communicate the rebrand too. It’s an expensive exercise!

      An interesting rebrand is the British clothes brand Burberry, they did a rebrand in 2018 and it didn’t go down too well.

  4. tjmarskbb

    When I used to live in Wisconsin there was a sub chain called Big Mikes. One day I went in and everything had been rebranded to Milio’s Sandwhiches. I asked them why everything changed, they said that corporation decided to start expanded outside of Wisconsin and the name ‘Big Mikes’ conflicted with another business so to expand the chain they had to change their name.

  5. GingeSarah

    You must of heard of Stinking Bishop cheese from Dynock, Gloucestershire? Lives up to it’s name (it’s actually named after the pears used to make the perry it is washed in during ripening)

    • Sorted

      Yes we have heard of Stinking Bishop! Thank you for that fun fact, we love fun facts.

  6. jessica312430

    I think that is crazy why people don’t want to buy Corona because of what is going on right now. They haven’t changed anything in their beer. It was an extremely popular brand and unfortunate that they might have to change it for it to sell again.

    I knew a guy who would not shop at Aldi here in the US because he did not know any of the brands and had the perception of it being a low quality store. For me personally, I would say that the name or brand of a product is about 50-60% of my decision to purchase it. My sister and I just talked about this a few weeks ago, but it is too long to share here….

    • Sorted

      We know! It’s such a lovely beer too, we’re all still drinking it, hopefully it will pass, but they may just have to change their name.

  7. Powerfulweak

    I think the idea of rebranding “Generic/store brand” products with *fancy names* is really intriguing (I remember growing up, our local supermarket store brand was “President’s Choice” which as a child I thought was classy). Target in the US has done this multiple times and has multiple different names for whatever their store brand of product is, whether it’s the organic version or the gourmet version of a product. I when I see a brand name change like that, my gut reaction is that the store thinks I lack object permanence.

    Related to this topic, something I heard about several years ago, was Tesco’s lack of success in the US. Considering that their reach does expand outside of the UK, and other non-US stores such as Aldi have found a footing here, it really is curious why it didn’t take hold. The fun connection to this conversation is that the US Tescos weren’t “Tesco”, they were “Fresh & Easy.” Not saying that the name change was reason for them not catching on, there are many other factors that could be argued in this matter, but I do find it interesting to consider

    • Sorted

      We didn’t know that about Tesco in the US, that’s so interesting why it didn’t work. Thanks for sharing with us!

    • Annie1962

      Creamy. luscious, exclusive, rare, unique blends, limited, sumptuous,

      Often a description of the ‘farm’ helps sell a product.. ‘rolling hills, countryside, fields, farm fresh ‘ all make you see the country side and assume that if it’s farm fresh that a lot of care has been taken to assure quality.

      What I’d like to know is why ‘Burger King’ is called ‘Hungry Jack’s’ here in Australia.
      I also noted the change from Kentucky Fried Chicken to KFC.
      People need to get over the name Corona.. it means ‘crown’
      Are astronomers going to be asked to rename the term corona around the Sun?

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