Turn! Turn! Turn! A Branding Trend That is Out of Season
I’ve always believed that there is a time for everything. If The Byrds taught us anything from Turn! Turn! Turn!, it’s that to everything there is a season (and if they taught us one more thing, it’s that they were world-class plagiarizers, ripping off King Solomon like that without any share of the royalties).
The same should go for design. What once gleamed brightly as a shiny new trend eventually should be cast away. Unfortunately for us, design trends tend to stay way past their appropriate end-point, and we all have to suffer for it. I’m not just talking graphic design either, this rule tends to apply across the design world (see: pallet wood).
So, in the spirit of The Byrds, here’s a branding trends that clearly need to end their season in 2019. Whether this year will be “a time to laugh” or “a time to weep” depends on our collectively ability to turn turn turn away from this replicated branding “process”:
(Quick side note before I dive in. If The Byrds plagiarized King Solomon, wouldn’t his estate have terms to sue for royalties? I mean, his family lineage is kind of a big deal…)
Two Noun Brand Names
If you’ve started a business in the past 3-4 years, apparently just calling it two on-topic nouns is enough to call it a day. You all know what I am talking about: Grain & Goose, Oak & Barley, Thread & Thimble. It’s everywhere, and I think it’s been exhausted. What started out as a fun new idea has turned sour and effortless. And to be clear, these are all my made-up sarcastic names, I have not looked into any of these being legitimate businesses or not – but the fact that I’m worried that they could be completely supports my point.
Basically, you find out what your business does (i.e. gymnastics studio), and then you just start listing things. Equipment, techniques, the uniform – and then you trim those nounds down to their most simplest forms. The same first letter is always great, bonus points for rhyming.
Then you are left with the hardest choice of all. Do we spell out “and”? How about “+” or of course, the almighty ampersand. And there you have it, your new gymnastics studio: Beam & Backflip.
Here’s a quick story to sum it up. I recently noticed another “paint night” location pop up near us. Seeing the name of the establishment, I sighed and a small part of my brain withered away. I texted my brother-in-law, “new paint night place, you have three guesses to name it.”
To be fair, he actually did get both nouns correct, but not combined (I of course would never publicly call out this business, as I am sure it’s an awesome place). However, I was pleased to come out of this exchange with a list of strong candidates for your new paint night location, if you ever open own of your own:
Monet & Merlot
Brush + Brew
Van Gogh + Vino
Brews & Hues
Or, my personal favorite: ink + drink.
Perhaps I am overreacting. Perhaps I will find solice in the perfect “two noun name” for an upcoming client we are yet to engage with. Believe me, if I do I will be the first one to let my colleagues know. But in the meantime, it’s time for this trend to turn turn turn down the road forever.
(Did The Byrds steal from Jesus? I think they stole from Jesus…)