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March 28, 2014


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Flyte - thanks for the reminder to read or watch "Brideshead Revisted" again (the one with Lord Larry, natch).

This is truly an excellent illustration of a comprehensive brand story. If only others took the time and effort to make it sing like this.

Great post. I really like the name Oiselle, it resonates with me right away. I could also see this working well in the Canadian market as most people would recognize the word but probably be intrigued by the spin put on it.

Very interesting post.

I had (have) a similar issue with my blog, which I called 'Lexicolatry'. For me, it's the perfect name, as similarly minded word lovers instantly get its meaning. But ... people forget it easily and sometimes find it hard to spell (pronunciation never seems a problem, but for a blog that doesn't really matter).

I have considered changing it, but I've come to love it and I don't think it would be the same for me if it was called something else - it would kill some part of it. And if that happened, if my enthusiasm was dampened, that would do far more damage than a slightly obscure name ever could.

Thank you for the post : o )

The reference to "damsel" made me think of "mademoiselle," which I'd never examined before. Does it translate literally as "my damsel"? If so, then "Oiselle" may resonate with those of us who know some French, even if the only Frehch word for "bird" we know is "oiseau." (When I first saw this post I asociated "oiselle" with "oiseau" and thought vaguely "Oh, an obscure or archaic variant of a familiar word.")

I'm guessing that the long run of Mademoiselle magazine -- last published 2001 -- helps a lot in making "Oiselle" a less mysterious word. And Elle, of course, is recognizable female, what with Elle magazine and Elle Woods etc. Anyway, I agree that it's a nice name, fresh but perhaps not as foreign as it first appears.

Really nice post, Nancy, and I agree with the preceding two commenters. My only quibble is with " suggests “gazelle,” a fast, graceful animal that lives to run." That may be so, but most assuredly it runs to live!

Hi Nancy! Thanks so much for your great post on our brand name. You hit the nail on the head as to why I chose the name. What most people don't know is that before Oiselle, I was a professional product and company namer. Clover (the Starbucks single cup brewer) and Plan B (emergency contraception) are my two most well-known brand names (my old website is still up...waywords.com). For Oiselle, my mission was to own an "empty vessel" and fill it with meaning, the same advice I had been giving my clients for 10 years. I actually wanted to own Oiseau initially. But it was already taken in our TM class, IC 25 (apparel), and thus I had to revert to my giant old Larousse dictionary...scanning down through the variations, I found this antiquated version. That's when it dawned on me that it was even better than Oiseau, which after all, is a male word. As for the many mispronunciations, I do take a quirky word as a point of pride, and don't mind the variations. In fact, one of these days, we're going to do a video where we ask people on the street how to pronounce it so we can capture as much of the mishaps as possible. Should be fun. Thank you again for the shout out!

Great story, great name, and it makes total sense that the woman behind it used to be a professional brand namer!

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