I first learned the power of a name more than 25 years ago working the Sunday brunch buffet line at a suburban Minneapolis golf and country club.
The head chef served up a bland concoction of meat, potatoes, onions and carrots and called it “Hunter’s Stew.” Our nice but moderately snobby members made their way through the serving line asking what each hotel pan held and generally turned up their noses at Hunter’s Stew.
Inspired by nothing I can recall except maybe a lasting interest in consumer psychology from an undergrad class, I started calling this pot of brown mush “English Stew” figuring that our middle of the road Midwestern membership might respond to something foreign, but not too foreign.
The results were immediate and amazing – we plated up more of it than every other item on the line combined.
We share this short story as a simple example of the power of a name. A small change delivering a large impact.
I wonder what would have happened if we called it a medley?