As we descend into a holiday weekend here in the US, we thought we’d keep this week’s New Brand Post on the light side. A great time for our second Punny Brand Name Showdown. This time we chose two brands named after their founders, with an added pun.
An added pun with a dash of sugar in this case. Sugarpova is tennis star Maria Sharapova‘s step from endorsements into entrepreneurship with a line of gourmet candy. The 25-year old is targeting a market “that doesn’t have a premium segment” (Bloomberg Businessweek) and she has translated her own brand name into a sugary pun. (How they got away with using ‘Lips like sugar’ as a product name remains an open question. Did Echo & The Bunnymen receive tons of free sugar power to keep them awake at their age on stage when performing their biggest hit by the same name?)
What you might not know is that the established greeting card company Hallmark was actually named for its founder, Joyce Hall. Hallmark also means a mark indicating quality or excellence (Wiki). Voila, an excellent punny brand name has been born.
But there are winners and there are losers and you can’t be both, or can you? In our second Punny Brand Name Showdown we have two winners and two losers. Sugarpova is a great pun, leveraging the person behind the brand in a memorable and fun way. Yet, it does feel a bit bittersweet by elevating sugar to become the new star of the fun, but not quite healthy brand. Hallmark is a great pun with a personal touch, but if it was a brand launch in 2013 we would stray away from it based on online search and IP ownership difficulties.