What’s In A Name? Apparently A Lot

In a move that probably doesn’t come as a surprise to most the energy drink Cocaine has been pulled from store shelves over concerns about it’s name. While the drink itself does not contain the drug, the FDA wasn’t happy about the way the company was marketing the beverage.

The Food and Drug Administration issued a warning letter last month that said Redux was illegally marketing the drink as a street drug alternative and a dietary supplement.

The FDA further

cited as evidence the drinks labeling and Web site, which included the statements “Speed in a Can,” “Liquid Cocaine” and “Cocaine — Instant Rush.”

Redux Beverages LLC pulled the drink to prevent potential jail time and has plans to change the name within a week and get the product back on shelves within a few weeks. They do plan on fighting to keep the name.

The lesson here is to be careful when deciding on a name for your business or your products. Most assumed the name Cocaine would eventually cause the company problems when they first promoted the energy drink. No doubt the name helped gain mindshare and appealed to a specific market for the product, but did the initial benefits outweigh the rebranding that will need to be done along with changes like new labels, a new or at least tweaked website, a new marketing strategy, etc.

In the end Redux may very well be fine and sales of the renamed energy drink may continue as before after a brief hiatus. A rose by any other name is still the same product. Or is it? Your perceptions of a product do impact your buying decision.

Redux obviously thought the name Cocaine was important. They thought it would help sell their beverage and they built marketing around the name. With another and more subdued name will it be any different than Red Bull? Will there be a compelling reason for anyone to buy? Those are the challenges Redux now faces for the second time.

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