Does Your Name Tell Your Story?

There are lots of ice cream store chains in the United States. But there’s only one Big Gay Ice Cream.

Doug Quint and his Big Gay Ice Cream Truck

Photo Credit: *Bitch Cakes* via Compfight cc

The company began its existence in Manhattan as the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck in 2009, and quickly took off. There are now two shops in Manhattan, along with a “permanent pop-up” at the Ace Hotel in Los Angeles. The web site indicates that more stores are planned for Los Angeles and Philadelphia.

As a marketing tool, the name has three important things going for it:

  • It is so far from the expected that it forces  people (i.e. potential customers) to pay attention.
  • It establishes a genuine point of differentiation. That differentiation doesn’t have to be the product itself to be significant, which is likely similar to ice cream you can buy elsewhere.
  • It implicitly accepts the risk that some people will be offended, and will refuse to buy ice cream from this truck because of the name. Owner Doug Quint is willing to sacrifice that business in return for a (presumably larger and more loyal) customer base that will seek him out. (For more on this concept, go here).

Question: What’s the most unusual name you’ve seen for a (reasonably mainstream) business? Please keep it PG-13 for a family readership. You can leave a comment by clicking here.



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