What’s in a name? That which we call a Transit by any other name would keep your coffee just as hot… right?
Sorry Shakespeare, but we’re on different pages here. Sure, we’re designers and engineers first and foremost, but believe it or not, your favorite travel mug didn’t get the name “Transit” just because we opened the dictionary to a random page.
At the Contigo® offices, we dedicate time during the initial brainstorming phase of a new product to choosing the perfect name for it; after all, as Mark Twain once said, “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter; ‘tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.”
We couldn’t agree more. Here’s a look at how we name our products — and how that process has changed over the years.
In the beginning…
When we first hit the beverageware scene, one of our biggest points of pride was the city we lived in: Chicago. The Windy City, the Second City, Sweet Home Chicago — whatever you want to call it, we love it.
We’ve talked about The Contigo Way a little bit, but we take a lot of inspiration from watching the movers and shakers in the city around us. We scope out the people sitting next to us on the bus in the morning to see what they’re using to carry their coffee (in the most non-creepy way possible), and we’re always thinking about how we can make that experience better.
So when we started naming our products, we paid homage to the inspiration surrounding us by naming our products after notable Chicago streets and areas. The West Loop, the Ashland, the Cortland, the Randolph — all of these travel mugs and water bottles pay homage to the city we love so much.
Once we started growing on a global scale, we realized that not all of our customers would understand the significance of our naming strategy — and we didn’t want anyone to feel left out. Plus, we realized that we wanted our calling card to be the thoughtful engineering behind each product, and how our designers and engineers solve your everyday problems.
So, we went down a new path: now, we name products by drawing inspiration from their purpose — or as we call it internally, their “reason for being.” The Transit, then, gets its name because it’s the perfect travel mug for commuters, thanks to its spill-proof CleanGuard™ lid and ability to stay hot for hours. And it makes perfect sense that the Purity is a BPA-free glass water bottle that gives you the purest tasting water around.
This “new” method of naming actually isn’t all that surprising; our company name, Contigo®, came about in a similar way.
“Contigo is actually a Spanish word; it means ‘with you,’” says Todd Starr, vice president of marketing and product development. “So this whole idea of reusable beverageware always being with you really personifies the use of the product.”
At the end of the day, we want our products to be intuitive, from the way they feel in your hand to the name you see on the packaging. So, to answer Billy Shakespeare’s earlier question, what’s in a name? At Contigo®, its innate reason for being.