Brexit, Brangelina, and Our Love for Blended Names

  • By Appella
  • 14 Sep, 2016
By now, you’ve certainly heard of Brexit and instantly know that it’s a combination of two words: Britain and exit. You also know it refers to the EU referendum vote held in June 2016. While this combination of words is clever, blended words, the technical name, exist throughout our culture. Everything from brand names to politics to celebrity couples has been blended.
For example, once Brexit went mainstream, people everywhere began wondering what other countries would be called if they, too, were to succeed from a union. Rife with creativity, some notable examples include Byegium, Noraway, Czechout, Italeave, Splitzerland, as well as Texit for our American friends.
In popular culture, blended names have become a norm with every new celebrity couple. Also called supercouple nicknames, these blends include Brangelina for Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, Kimye for Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, and Billary for Bill and Hillary Clinton.
But, this trend isn’t anything new. Hollywood couple Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford were referred to “Pickfair” back in the 1920s. Similarly, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz were dubbed “Desilu” in the 1960s.
There’s a reason that these names work: in just a few syllables an entire and exact schema can be portrayed – all in a single word. We use some everyday blended words, too, and not just because it makes conversation easier but because new products or concepts have been invented. Consider the spork (spoon+fork), glamping (glam+camping), smog (smoke+fog), and even motel (motor+hotel).
It is because of these neologisms that brands all over the world have employed blended words to create brand and product names. Fruitasia fruit bars, developed by Appella, combines “Fantasia” and “fruit.” Fantasia is, of course, an animated Disney film but it also means fantasy in a variety of European languages which is the target market. FT top 250 company Essentra – named in conjunction with Brand Union – combines global words essential and central for a company specialising in engineering ingredient manufacturing. A good company name that started out as one of a host of business name ideas. Similarly, Nescafé, the coffee brand by Nestlé, is a blended name that features the brand name as well as the globally recognisable word “café” or coffee.
However, some cultural blends can be difficult to work out if you’re not up to date on the latest celebrity gossip. On the other hand, with the correct research, blended brand names can be quite successful as they are not restricted to certain words or names. Appella employ a thorough research process that captures the intended brand essence and proposition for each brand and product. From there, we ensure the name passes multiple cultural and legal tests which include global reach and pronunciation.
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