DuetsBlog posted this fascinating look at product naming in the nations top three drug retailers, it is a nice analysis of the various naming conventions used by the big three (Walgreens, CVS, and Rite Aid).
If you are unfamiliar with DuetsBlog it is written by attorneys form the Minnesota law firm of Winthrop & Weinstine. Take a moment and check it out. Here is an excerpt from their “About Us” page that sums up their purpose.
DuetsBlog was born out of the chasm that can divide legal and marketing types. Sometimes this separation can be explained by the difference between left and right brain dominance. Sometimes it is driven by arrogance or rigidity. Sometimes Dr. No is the root of the problem, standing in the way of progress and stifling important business goals. Other times, simple oversight is the culprit. Whatever the reason, this divergence can be a formidable obstacle to early coordination, planning, and dialogue between legal and marketing teams. When this happens, most certainly the opportunity for an organization to be strategic, create and own great value, and protect it, is diminished, if not lost altogether. DuetsBlog is our effort to facilitate a more ambidextrous approach and promote early—and very graceful—collaborations among legal and marketing teams.
I have dealt with many trademark and copyright attorneys over the years so I can certainly attest to the chasm they speak of but when the partnership is successful it can create some great brands.
Naming the Store Brand
Every Sunday I go through the circulars in the paper looking for new products. I usually spend a lot of time with the ads from the national drug store chains (Walgreens, CVS, and Rite Aid). Recently, I observed that each chain seems to have a radically different philosophy on store brand naming. And while this observation isn’t earth shattering, it exposes the marketing strategies (or lack thereof) of each chain.
For example, check out the allergy section. The big brand names like Benadryl®, Claritin® and Zyrtec® all have store brand/private label competition. Walgreens naming protocol for its store brand is pretty straightforward and seems to be designed to help a consumer find the Walgreens knockoff of the branded product. You can buy Wal-dryl, Wal-itin, and Wal-zyr, and the packaging is color coded to make it easier. This is a very consistent strategy that is designed to make life easier for the consumer and also designed to build the “Wal-“ prefix as a brand.