What The Heck Is Going On?

I’m beginning to think the world is losing it. This month we have witnessed incredible stupidity in name development. As a professional name developer, I am appalled.

Let’s play a game. This is the name of a new company: Mondelez International. What does Mondelez International make? Give up? Mondelez International will be the corporate home for existing brands like Oreo, Cadbury, Nabisco and Trident. Yes, Mondelez International is the new name for Kraft Foods’ Snack Division. Kraft said in a statement that the new name — pronounced "mohn-dah-LEEZ" — comes from a combination of the words "monde," derived from the Latin for "world," and "deliz," short for "delicious."


I have a general rule about names. The more you have to explain the name, the worse the name is. In this case, I’d say even Kraft knows this is a lousy name because their explanation is lengthy and contrived. Sorry, Kraft—you could have done so much better. This name change still has to be approved by shareholders. Let’s hope they have more sense than the people who picked the name!

OK, here is another one. This is the name of a new company: AbbVie. What does AbbVie make? Abbott Laboratories will spin off their pharmaceutical division into a separate, publicly-traded company later this year. AbbVie (Abb-vee), is a mashup of the parent’s moniker and the Latin word for life, plus, an endearing diminutive.

Again, my rule prevails: the bigger the explanation, the worse the name.

I’m sorry, but I can’t believe that this is the best Abbott could do. I am sure some high-priced name development firm created this name, although Abbott has not volunteered the name of the company. Or maybe they went into the “Name Developer Witness Protection Program” which happens when name development companies refuse to admit that the selected name came from them.


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