Name That Sticks

Food for Thought

This is called “Coconut” made with guava, roasted pineapple sorbet, and piña colada bubbles. Nigel told me I had to try it. Sure enough, it was amazing. I’m not going to bother describing how it tastes because I suck as describing what is. I can only explain abstract ideas. And, don’t ask me why it’s called “Coconut”. Although coconut is in piña colada, it plays a minor role.

This restaurant/lounge, Intersect, was created by Lexus. At the bar, I got confused and wasn’t sure if it was Lexus, Acura, or Infiniti because no logo was in my view. I just remembered that it was one of the Japanese luxury automakers. I assume one of the reasons they decided to build this space was to differentiate their brand, particularly from the other two Japanese brands, but obviously, it’s not working. If they swapped all the logos in the space to Acura’s, I don’t think people would notice or care, although they would likely get confused for a brief moment.

Most of us do not remember information per se; what makes us remember is the emotions it evokes. Without that emotional investment, we wouldn’t try to interpret what we experienced. But even if the experience successfully evoked strong emotions, when people process it, it may not make any association to the name “Lexus.” There must be a reason the word “Lexus” is useful in understanding their experience.

Suppose, for instance, you are at the opening of the very first Apple Store. Even though you’ve never seen a computer store that looks like a museum before, the whole experience is decidedly... What word would you use? The most useful word is likely “Apple.” Any other way to describe it would require many more words and sentences. So, the word “Apple” gets tied to the emotion the experience evokes.

What is clever about the name “Coconut” is that it’s puzzling. Because it makes no sense, we had to expend our emotional energy thinking about why it’s named “Coconut.” And, because the dessert itself was such a unique experience, we needed a name to remember it by. We are now compelled to disseminate the name enclosed in double-quotes, “Coconut,” because it’s actually a pineapple.