The big ‘O’: could one letter be the secret to brand success?

Could the key to naming a top brand be as simple as using an ‘O’ as the second letter? asks Paul Harpin of brand consultancy Harpin & Waring. Surely not?!

“Yes” (1954). The Coca-Cola Company

“Good God!” said my boss. “What’s going on? ” — “Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, Good Food. Woman, Woman’s Own, Company, the ones that fly, and most of the new launches — Loaded, FourFourTwo, Mojo, Total Sport, Total Film. All have a letter O as the second letter.” It was the late 80s, I was creative director of Redwood, myself and Christopher Ward, my editorial director (boss/partner-in-crime/company owner/friend), had made a strange discovery. We were musing over the recently released list of the best-selling 100 magazines. Weird. A quarter (yes 25%!!!!) had the letter O as their second letter and we wondered why? What the hell was going on?


Milton Keynes