from John Dodds, consultant, Nomen

Sir; Amid the recent talk of childhood obesity, one of the more startling revelations has been that regularly eating breakfast increases energy and attention span.

But how do you make children excited about breakfast and particularly healthy eating options? This was the issue that naming consultancy Nomen tackled as it created the name Muddles for Kellogg’s new
cereal launched this month. Nomen has realised pester power is based on oral communication much more than the written word. Kids don’t write shopping lists - they just shout out the name of what they want you to buy.

The linguistic science of sound symbolism lies behind this. Brand managers must consider the links between the sounds of consonants and vowels and the emotions and meanings they conjure in the consumer’s brain. So, in addition to supplying Kellogg’s with a list of potential names, Nomen also provided an audio selection featuring children from the target demographic.

It was obvious which names enthused the children by the way they said them.

Muddles was the clear winner, not only because of its links with the variety of shapes and colours, but also because of the children’s enthusiasm.