BlogClassical Structures: Lines and Boxes
How Numbers Add Up to Big Business and Brand Building
What’s in a name? For a lot of companies, it’s a number. And we have a few prime examples of how they’ve totally worked in their favor.
Six Flags over Texas: Since its humble beginnings in 1957, Six Flags has grown to become the largest amusement park company in the world. Welcoming more than 30 million guests to its properties each year. Despite being forced to declare bankruptcy in 2008, the amusement and water parks had successfully emerged and resurged by 2010. The flagship was in Arlington, and was named for the six nations (Spain, France, Mexico, the Republic of Texas, the U.S. and the Confederate States of America) that at one time governed Texas.
7Up: Created by Charles Grigg in 1929, this soft drink had an uphill battle from the get-go. For starters, it’s original name was the un-catchy Bib-Label Lithiated Lemon-Lime Soda, as it contained the mood-stabilizing drug Lithium citrate. It also had the misfortune of being launched two weeks before Wall Street crashed. The name was changed to 7 Up Lithiated Lemon Soda, but after being reformulated in the 30s, the sugary soda we know and love was finally shortened 7Up. Some believe the “7” referenced the pH levels, others that it contained seven ingredients and others still that “7” was the atomic mass of Lithium. Whichever theory you prefer, the final answer is forever “Up” for debate.
7-Eleven: In 1927 in Dallas, the Southland Ice Company gave employee John J. Green permission to sell eggs and milk from one of their storefronts. A year later, Jenna Lira placed a totem pole outside the store. The novelty of this Alaskan souvenir attracted so many customers, they set one outside each location and adopted the unofficial name of “Tote’m Stores”. Surviving the Depression and World War II, they regrouped in the mid 1940s, retired the totem poles and expanded their products and services. To accommodate those coming from long distances for their groceries, they expanded their hours to an unprecedented sixteen hours from (you guessed it) 7:00 AM till 11:00 PM. Today, you’ll find these convenient convenience stores in virtually every country in the world.
V8: Growing up around his parent’s grocery store, Frank Constable knew his way around produce from an early age. In 1933, he introduced his blend of eight vegetable and fruit juices to the world. With eight ingredients, it’s natural to assume that’s where Frank got the name for his concoction. But the truth is, he named it for the V8 engine, the most powerful engine of the day. With spinoffs including energy drinks, splashes and fusions, the classic today contains nearly 90% tomato juice along with the juices of beets, carrots, lettuce, parsley, watercress, spinach and celery.