Want your start-up to succeed in the U.K.? Just call it Brooklyn.
Want to know how cool David Beckham is? Not only is he a famous footballer, rich, and married to a Spice Girl but he was cool enough to spot a trend. He named one of his kids Brooklyn after the New York City borough almost 18 years ago. Today, that kid’s got a cool name. So cool that more than 100 businesses in the United Kingdom use the name too.
“Brooklyn” is cool. Brooklyn is hip. And according to this article in The Times, Brooklyn is fast becoming one of the most popular brands in the U.K.
So what exactly does Brooklyn personify? It’s the “hipster aesthetic of exposed brickwork, vintage lighting and distressed timber.” It’s beards, tattoos and oversized, asymmetric coats. It creates a business brand that a growing number of entrepreneurs in Britain are hoping will reflect their own company’s coolness and hipness.
The takeaway? Seems that if you want to start a business in the U.K., then make Brooklyn part of your company’s name. You know the image. It’s a place that has gone “from decrepit to achingly fashionable in little more than a decade.” That’s Brooklyn to the Brit consumer and hopefully that’s you too! Let’s just not tell them about the rodents, the high taxes, the skyrocketing rents, the miserably crowded commute into Manhattan and the $20 pitchers of beer most residents contend with on a daily basis, OK? The Brits don’t want to know about that. They just want to buy your cool products from your cool company.
For the British, it’s a romantic idea of a place 3,500 miles away. But unfortunately, the romance may be fading. The Times article suggests the Brooklyn love affair is likely nearing the end of the typical trendy seven-year naming cycle. Branding and marketing experts say that the image is reaching “peak hipster.”
The best evidence? Glen McCartney, who owns a Northern Ireland garden shed business called Brooklyn Shed and Co., named his business because of its location. “I’m on the river and Brooklyn means ‘beside a river’ ” he explained to the Times. He’s correct. But I did some quick research and it seems that the source of Brooklyn in the U.S. comes from the Dutch word Breuckelen (the original name of Brooklyn), which means “Broken Land.” That doesn’t sound too cool.
Perhaps it is better not tell that to your future British customers.