Over the weekend, over 400 Nigels gathered at the Fleece Inn in Worcestershire to celebrate ‘Nigelness’. The gathering was organised by the landlord of the Fleece, Nigel (obvs) Smith, in response to the dearth of babies being named Nigel or Nigella: in 2016 no new-borns were officially registered with the name according to ONS statistics, and only 20 have been since.
Nowadays we are more likely to call our little bundle of joy Noah or Nathan. Or North, if you’re Kim Kardashian and Kayne West.
So have Nigels effectively been rebranded, or are they just taking a break?
Baby names are cyclical – right now we are exposed to a far wider range of influences, such a social media, and the trend is to reflect individuality and creativity.
Yet more traditional names, such as Henry, Oliver, Amelia and Ella are also very popular right now.
From an article published on science research website Phys.org last October, Stephen J Bush, Research Fellow at the University of Edinburgh's Roslin Institute, opined: "Collectively, shifting patterns of name choice provide a fascinating insight into changes in societal values, personal tastes and ethnic and cultural diversity”.
But we shouldn’t take our liberal naming conventions for granted.
In Germany, your baby’s name must be approved by the Standesamt (Civil Registration Office).
And if you ever wondered why there are so many Lars’ and Magnus’s from Denmark, that is because parents are restricted to an official list issued by the Ankestyrelsen.
Renaming or rebranding is nothing new.
Talking of Denmark, earlier this year Carlsberg allocated a considerable portion of their marketing budget telling us that theirs is probably not the best lager in the world.
The FMCG sector is big on rebranding and renaming.
This month to celebrate more than 85 years of making chocolate in the UK, Mars is recalling the name Marathon for its Snickers bars, more than 30 years after Marathons last graced our shelves.
There are lots of things to consider when branding or rebranding. You need to know who your customers are, your values and history should be reflected and the tone should resonate with your audience.
Jeff Bezos famously once said "Branding is what people say about you when you're not in the room."
What is certainly true is that no amount of corporate branding can replace delivering a quality product or service: actions will always speak louder than words.
And renaming doesn’t always work out so well: just ask Anna Soubry.
At Cooper Golding, we pride ourselves on delivering a quality service. And we think our branding isn’t too bad either:
Cooper Golding: Your Link To Success.