Monday, 17 November 2014

Will a rose by any other name damage your brand?

I am intrigued by an article in the Saturday Independent: 

Now we all know that mayonnaise is a sauce or dressing made with eggs and olive oil, a whisk and a strong right arm. For some reason our cousins in the USA call it mayo.  Unilever make Hellman’s Mayonnaise and a feisty start-up business, Hampton Creek, has produced a dressing called Just Mayo which does not contain eggs.

Unilever is suing Hampton Creek, saying that this egg-free product (which brings joy to those who can’t or won’t eat eggs) has caused “irreparable harm” to their brand. It shouldn’t be called mayo as it doesn’t contain eggs.

Pur-lease.....  I am reminded of someone who always said she was “deeply offended” for some trivial comment. With all due respect (a phrase which indicates no such thing) Unilever – mayonnaise is a generic term and by default so is mayo.

If I said “ketchup” to you – you would automatically think “tomato” but recipes have used mushrooms, oysters, walnuts and other foods and are still ketchup. I am all for Cheddar coming from Cheddar, Champagne coming from Champagne and Parma Ham coming from Parma but unless Unilever can convince me that mayo originates from County Mayo and that’s where they produce their stuff I think they should get over it.

If you want real mayonnaise – it doesn’t come out of a jar.

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