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In America if you wanted to premium dairy products you would buy anything Danish as it was perceived that the Danes produced the best dairy in the world.Playing on this and using the public’s perception of Danish letters and words, two men set out to create Häagen-Dazs, the name implying that its heritage was from Denmark.It’s quite funny that Coca-Cola and Pepsi now pitch themselves as fun loving family products despite their origins.But that’s the power of Towards the end of the 19th Century we see a massive shift in attitudes to products and purchasing of things.Poor old Clarence went from being a quiet shy cowboy to world-wide famous celebrity. Still his memory lives on in the form of the most successful cigarette brand of all time. Semiotics and word play start to become more apparent and incorporated in the branding, advertising and even in the naming of products.Traditionally most company names were derived from the founders surname or place of origin of the company.The use of characters had always existed in design and branding before but by the 50’s we see start to see the use of characters moving from being merely decorative illustrations on the packet to become the face of a brand with their own story and mythology.
The transition from “This belongs to me, so leave it…” to “This was made by me, so buy it” started to evolve in the 1800’s.By the 60’s we see a change in the naming of the product.Sometimes it would develop into the mission statement or in other cases deceiving the public completely by playing on their stereo types.Once it enters that spirit and establishes itself as unique, it transcends from being just a brand to something much more.One clue to see if a brand has achieved this is parodies and association.