Some names I like: Home Instead and OnRoute

Some great brand names I’ve seen in the past while:

Home Instead Senior Care: Saw one of their cars in downtown Toronto last night. This is an excellent name because we can instantly understand what they’re all about.

OnRoute logo
Driving on the 401 east of Cobourg recently, I noticed a few of the roadside gas station/Tim Hortons/Wendy’s combination outlets had been flattened and that new construction on a brand called OnRoute was in process. An interesting development because rest stops along the 401 have never (to my knowledge) been presented under an umbrella banner.

OnRoute is a joint venture between Canadian Tire Gas+, which will run the gas stations at the eight OnRoutes planned and HMS Host – licensor of Tim Hortons and Burger King, among others. Backing them up financially will be the Kilmer Group, the private investment company of Leafs owner Larry Tanenbaum.

It takes a high degree of cooperation and brand understanding among JV partners to develop a meaningful name they will all wear. So I admire the OnRoute name chiefly because it indicates the venture’s seriousness at creating a brand that strongly resonates with long-suffering 401 travellers.

The name itself resonates because of a short (two-syllable), clever construction that conveys more than one level of meaning, thereby planting itself in our brains and succeeding on one of the conceptually-simple-but-hard-to-execute jobs that all strong brand names must do: be memorable. Especially when viewing the OnRoute logo, one can see that the On portion of the name references the province of Ontario, differentiating the offering from whatever you might find on highways and biways elsewhere. OnRoute is also clearly derived from the French enroute, a word so commonly used in English that anyone who doesn’t speak French will easily understand its meaning nonetheless.

Compare Home Instead and OnRoute with this name I also noticed last night: Info Tech. Which manages to be bland and confusing at the same time, and could mean a hundred different things.

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