Coming up with a name for Driftaway was, surprisingly, much harder than we had imagined. The name had to be meaningful, and not just for the two of us, but for everyone who interacts with the company. It had to be easy to say. It had to be something you could say with pride, not something you wince as you almost embarrassedly say it. It had to live forever. And of course, the website domain had to be available. The name had lofty expectations, which completely intimidated us. (To add to these naming fears, I still had memories of Suyog “creatively” naming our foster pup “Woofy”. Sigh!)
So we ignored it, for a while at least. We instead started working on other things, one of which was packaging design.
First came the labels
I was looking for ideas on the internet (google, pinterest and instagram) for designing the label. And I came across some vintage baggage tags – they looked so simple and beautiful, and I could completely see the destination acronym be replaced by the origin country of the coffee. What a great way to be reminded how far coffee was traveling from, and the many different people across the world involved in every cup! So I started designing the tag. With that, the rest of the coffee bag started coming together – the type of pouch, label material, color…..except the NAME.
Brainstorming the name
One evening, when we couldn’t put it off for any longer, we sat down and decided to come up with a name. While working in marketing, Suyog had worked on naming projects for brands & apps, so he led the process. He setup two axes on a whiteboard – one axis had emotional on one end and rational on the other. The second axis was about the directness of the name – should it be super direct in it’s meaning (i.e. coffee related) or should it be implied? For about an hour, we wrote all sorts of names on post-its and stuck them up on the whiteboard. By the time we were done, we had 150 different names up there!
As we started discussing the names, we realized that we wanted the name to be connected to the labels we had just created. We wanted it to continue to celebrate the journey coffee had taken. In fact, even the name Journey Coffee roasters appealed to us. But the website domain wasn’t available. So yeah, on top of all the name expectations, the website domain needed to be available. After all, this was an e-commerce company! For a couple of hours, we discussed all the options on the board, but we just didn’t find one that we both loved AND the website domain was available for.
We decided to sleep on it, hoping that inspiration would strike us the next day.
Late Night Inspiration
But fueled by the naming discussions, I just couldn’t fall asleep, and continued to look online for ideas. During the brainstorming session, we had also talked about connecting the name to the morning ritual of making coffee that we had both grown to cherish, so that was another thing I was looking for. And then I came across the word “driftaway”. And Driftaway Coffee sounded perfect — it hinted both at the traveling of coffee AND how you driftaway to that first cup in the morning. AND the website domain was available. WOOHOO!
I emailed Suyog that night with that name, and his response was:
Driftaway Coffee was born!