Salad cream is dead, long live salad cream.

What’s in a name? 

The decision by Heinz to consider changing the name of its ‘Salad Cream’ to ‘Sandwich Cream’ is somewhat perplexing. They claim that a name change is appropriate because the name no longer “fairly represents the product’s ingredients or usage occasions.” Apparently, they believe people are just too stupid to know what salad cream is, or what to do with it.

So, in their infinite wisdom, the brains at Heinz decided the name of a product should clearly indicate its common usage. Their reasoning goes: fewer people are using it on salads, and most put it in a sandwich, therefore how about calling it Sandwich Cream? This is clearly a stroke of marketing genius, and will undoubtedly be rolled out across their range. We await the announcement of their mayonnaise being renamed ‘Sandwich Cream’, and their mustard being renamed ‘Sandwich Cream’. Using this convention, their Tomato Ketchup will soon be renamed ‘Chip Sauce’, which in turn could lead McCains to rename their chips as ‘Chip Sauce Dippers’. This, however, will lead to Heinz having to rename their Chip Sauce as ‘Chip Sauce Dippers Dipping Sauce’? It’s all such a can of worms. Where will it ever end?

But, if this marketing move pays off, other brands are sure to follow suit. It can’t be long before we hear news of Nutella being called ‘Body Paint’ and Prosecco becoming ‘Giggly Bint’. Will Nike’s next incarnation of its Air training shoes be ‘Stinky Festering Sweat Absorbers’?
Apparently, the manufacturers of Vaseline are also working on a new name for their product. There is no definite news yet, but insiders talk of having something in the pipeline.

Salad cream is dead, long live salad cream. A Marketing masterclass.

What’s not in a name? 

Some companies take a different approach to labelling, but rather than telling customers what is in the product, they refer to what isn’t. Tesco sell a sandwich which is a ‘Ploughman’s (no mayo)’. I await correction on this matter, but as far as I am aware, mayonnaise has never been listed as a constituent part of any ploughman’s lunch. Some of the more adventurous of you may add mayo to a ploughman’s, but in doing so, it is no longer a ploughman’s. Essentially, to say Ploughman’s (no mayo) is merely a waste of space on the label, and conveys absolutely no information to the customer. It could just as easily be a Ploughman’s (no engine oil) or Ploughman’s (no panties). There is just no point.

The name game.

The positive outcome of this marketing madness that we all get the opportunity to play the Naming Game. The next time you’re going through the motions of the weekly shop, why not put on your marketing hat (or ‘hair flattener’ as we marketeers call it) and try coming up with some new names for everyday items. I wait your suggestions.