They’ve got it all backwards

Backwards clockFlicking through the careers page of The Guardian last weekend, I stumbled across an ad for a job with a company called Evitavonni.

“Hmmm,” I thought, “I’ve not heard of them before.” The name made me think that perhaps they were Italian, or maybe founded by someone called Evita. The look of the ad suggested some kind of design company.

Read it backwards

However, after studying the name a bit more, it hit me. Have you spotted it yet? The company is “innovative”, spelt backwards. Evitavonni. Innovative.

I’d love to know what process the company went through before coming up with that particular name. Because I’m struggling to see how backwards innovation can be a good thing.

A new trend in naming?

To me, writing a word backwards implies the opposite meaning. So by that token, Evitavonni suggests a business that’s old-fashioned, change-resistant and set it its ways. Doesn’t it?

Thing is, I don’t think they are. You certainly wouldn’t expect an uninnovative company to sell striking products like this expensive outdoor fireplace.

So, what gives? Why pick that particular name? Is backwards spelling a new trend in branding that’s yet to take off? (I can’t think of a single other company named in a similar way, though I’m happy to be corrected.)

Honestly, I’m stumped. But I do think if you’re going to pick a word and spell it backwards, you should at least choose one which will create a positive impression of your company.

Update: Since posting this, I’ve discovered there’s a good list of backwards brand names over at Fritinancy. I found it most interesting to learn that Trebor is the reverse of the company’s founder’s first name. Seems it’s not as uncommon as I thought.

3 responses to “They’ve got it all backwards”

  1. Vreli says:

    Loved the line… and it’s interesting seeing some who simply can’t make their mind up if backward is better than forward and settle, well, settle for both… oh those whacky insurance guys at… AXA!!

  2. It got you thinking and even blogging about it. Can’t be such a bad name…

  3. Kristina says:

    Hi read your post – I was chatting to a rep at a trade fair and I understood that the name came up because it was printed on a black see through card. The guy turned it over and hey presto they decided that it was interesting to use the name backwards. Maybe its true?!

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