02 April 2009

Garfunkel and Simon

So I've been knee deep working on my dissective thesis about the success of brands with a distinctive syllabic formulaic pattern for the past few months.

When you're naming a business or a product, you look at words through a different lens than a novelist or historian and I am attempting to prove and thereby uncover the psychological prowess of stores/chains companies/brands and bands with names like “Dean & DeLuca” , “Crate & Barrel”, “Hale and Hearty”, “Belle & Sebastian”, “Guy & Gallard”, “Penn & Teller”, “Barnes & Noble”, “Smith & Wollensky” and so on.

There is something about a simple monosyllabic word followed by a more unusual or exotic multi-syllable word. I mean none of this happens by accident. Maybe back in the day when it was “Smith & Wesson”, but even then, they decided to put Smith first because they liked how it sounded best. Imagine if it were Davidson Harley? or Garfunkel and Simon? or Hardy and Laurel? These names become phrases which become woven into the lexicon of our everyday psyche by repetition and memory... and that's how they make money.

They make money by brand recognition. They start selling you shit before you even step foot in their store. The key to opening your wallet is opening your mind, first. They start by selling you the name, a select cult of personality of their products and the people who buy/like/use their products, etc.

The cadence and rhythm of these percussive phrases becomes so woven into your skull, you may not even know what such-and-such place sells but you know the name; you know the name because you remember the succession of words.

It's a lot like that mix tape you made back in 8th grade. On that tape you put “Loose Nut” right after “Pictures of You” and now everytime you hear “Pictures of You” when its over, you're waiting to hear “Loose Nut” because your mind has memorised it in that order.

I knew the name “Belle & Sebastian” for a good few years before I even heard a note. I'd heard a friend mention it in passing and from that day on I was intrigued. The name of a band I'd never heard had burrowed its way into my hippocampus.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You have such style, Diego.
This is beautifully written and so clever.
F.K. (no, not from Bar4) hahaha xo