Patagonian Toothfish, Slimehead, Mud Bugs, Spiny Dog Fish. Sound appetizing?
But how about Mahi Mahi, Chilean Sea Bass, Crawfish, and Red Snapper? Each of the names mentioned above has been re-branded to change the way people perceive the species based on edibility. The power of a name applies to everything, even the food you choose to eat.
The invasive Asian Carp is next on the list for re-naming, as carp is not the most appetizing fish in the sea. However, Asian Carp is not anything like the common carp. It is a clean, top-feeding freshwater fish, very low in contaminants and heavy metals that compares favorably to Tuna, Cod, and Orange Roughy.
Being an invasive species, the Asian Carp, if not controlled, will take over Lake Michigan and other Great Lakes. This means that if this specific type of carp is not seen in a different light, then it could be detrimental to the Great Lakes’ ecosystem, considering they can eat up to 3 times their body weight (averaging 100 pounds) in a single day. So, a strategic marketing plan must be used to make the Asian Carp more desirable for consumption.
The importance of a name in the culinary world is much more important than it may seem and can impact whether consumers want to add it to their food of choice. This applies to more than just fish. For example: the Chinese Gooseberry is now known as Kiwi. Incorporating goose in the name wasn’t commercially viable stateside and didn’t speak to anything special about the fruit itself. Kiwi is a rendition of the Japanese word “kawaii,” meaning cute. This proved to be successful, as kiwis are now among the most loved fruits around the world.
The re-naming of things to become more popular has also applied to celebrities. To be seen by the public more attractively, many celebrities will change their name. For instance, Reginald Dwight is better known today as Elton John, Katheryn Hudson goes by Katy Perry, and John Stephens uses his stage name John Legend.
A name is more than just that; it is the most valuable asset of a product, company, or person. It can gain credibility and set certain expectations for the consumer. Without a name that can be seen positively on a global scale, re-branding will likely be inevitable for future success.