Püd and Gü – a sticky naming issue?
One cool brand name inspires another
Watching a new Müller TV ad the other day, the name of their new luxury-style dessert range – Püd – immediately reminded me of the established (and successful) British luxury dessert brand, Gü.
Needless to say, one name contains three letters and one contains two. Apart from their brevity and the letter U, they’re made from different letters making different words.
But it’s the umlaut that creates a sticky issue. For me, those two little dots draw a subliminal connection between these two brands – a connection that doesn’t actually exist, but could be made when the products are side by side in the supermarket chiller cabinet.
What the names also have in common is a very particular style – they’re cut from the same cloth, and create a similar impression. Although they’re different words, they feel the same. It’s also unfortunate that Gü’s domain name is GuPuds.com …so they already use the word ‘pud’ in their branding.
Müller’s assertion would, I guess, be that their own trading name already contains an umlaut, so they’re just using a part of the parent brand’s DNA to name one of their product lines. They may also argue that ‘pud’ is (at least in the UK) a universal term for desserts, and they’re simply harnessing its ubiquity and familiarity, and turning it into a brand name. And why not – Püd is a strong product name, although perhaps a risky strategy and strictly speaking not brandable; surely any manufacturer could start branding their products ‘Pud' without the umlaut?
The name Püd conveniently ignores a significant brand name already established in their target space. Gü got there first. Only a trademark lawyer would know if there’s a case to answer here, but whether there is or there isn't, I'd be upset if I was Gü.
I haven't tried the new product, but Müller’s branding approach on this one leaves a rather bitter after taste.