Why Are So Many Brands Named for a Fruit?

There are definite trends in brand naming. Some become faddish and others earn iconic status. Think of the advertising industry. While at DDB we would joke about changing the name to Tartan Elephant or Lollipop Attack. This was to sarcastically compete with Big Spaceship, 72 and Sunny, and Blammo, and others.

Now you have dropped vowels businesses like Tumblr, Flickr, and Grindr. Twitter began as Twtter but then thought better. Then there is the -ify movement that includes Adify, Crowdify, Mobify, Navify, Optify, Shopify, Spotify, Storify, Topify, and Soapboxify.

Last week on airplane I got to chatting with my seat mate who after hearing what I do asked, “Why are so many brands named for a fruit?” This topic has come up before. There is Apple (twice actually given The Beatle’s recording label), Blackberry, Orange, Tangerine, Raspberry Pi. It is a stretch to include Fruit of the Loom but there was Greenplum and Apricot Computers too.

My answer is that fruit names are fun, friendly, recognizable, mostly borderless, succinct and “colourful”. Weirdly most of them are used in the technology sector. This got me thinking of a related question, “Why aren’t more companies named after vegetables?”

There are some great vegetable names. How about Arugula Systems? Fiddlehead Enterprises? You could just have plain ‘ol Kale or Broccoli. Vegetable names sound sustainable, ‘grounded’, earnest, and ring of being good-for-you. I would love to see companies named Chickpea, Lemongrass, Celery, and Turnip. They sound like stand-outs. Perhaps this will prompt IBM or Sephora to rebrand as Asparagus.

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