Name Game Revisited

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Editor’s note: Portions of this post appeared previously merged with the wrong paragraphs.  The correct copy is reposted below.

What industry would you find these items? And what are they?

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  • Purple Fiesta
  • Ruby Crescent
  • Russian Banana
  • Purple Peruvian
  • German Butterballs
  • Rose Fin Apple
  • Magic Molly
     or
  • New Girl
  • Striped German
  • Cobra
  • Valley Girl
  • Paragon
  • German Johnson
  • Yellow Pear
  • Black Prince

Partial Answer: Banana probably pointed you in the direction of the food industry, which would be correct, but if you reasoned that the items were exotic fruits of some kind..insert buzzer. The second group is a different product in the same industry. Can you guess?

Note: The answer to this quiz points to a much bigger issue for aspiring and established entrepreneurs. Details and photos below…

Answers

The first list refers to names of potatoes and the second group of names refers to tomatoes. Seed growers around the world have a reputation for coming up with colorful descriptions of their produce.  A practice that some insiders find challenging because it confuses the consumer. For instance, crops, such as tomatoes and squash have more than 1,000 different names! And often times an offbeat moniker makes it difficult to sell the product, so some industry sellers change the name.

And there are cases where foreign growers unfamiliar with the English language have coined names using canned translation services resulting in product names that don’t relate well with consumers.

For other examples, visit the employee owned Johnny Seeds company.
Check out  Spinach and tomatoes for many creative monikers.

Lessons:

  • Even a simple product has to have the right name to generate sales. A poor name will hinder sales. Ironically, seed growers create the often colorful names to get attention in the marketplace yet the practice adds to consumer confusion.
  • Not every mystery can be solved by using Google to find the answer.

Photo Credits
Note: Had I not spoken to industry members across the U.S. I would have been inclined to think some of the photos were Photoshop trickery….

  • First photo purple and white potatoes/Chiots Run Flicker
  • Second photo Bing Images
  • Pink Potatoes from Recipes for 2

References

Flicker/Chiotsrun
http://www.flickr.com/photos/chiotsrun/

Plant Sciences, U.C. Davis/potatoes
http://tinyurl.com/klb8re7

Johnny’s Selected Seed Company.com
http://tinyurl.com/lv7cqrg

Pink potatoes
Recipe for 2
http://www.recipesfor2.com.au

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