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Last Update: Sunday July 25, 2021

Key Idea: Choose A Meaningful Name

Names make a difference and they should telegraph some intangible value.

Key Question:


The fact that  Altoids were being sold in health food stores was important to Debra's success.  She didn't have to convince the stores to sell a breath mint.  She only had to show how she was different.  

Selling a healthy breath mint in health food stores is a way to get in the flow and this is easier than swimming up stream. The health food stores define themselves by the product mix and pride themselves in making statements like: processed white sugar is bad. Debra is a health food expert and was shocked to see that a fine store where she goes regularly was selling a product that basically slaps the store's history in the face. She figured that the demand for a strong peppermint breath mint was so great that the health food buyer gave in and bought Altoids because they had no other choice.

Debra did not have to convince health food stores to start selling a breath mint. She only had to convince them to replace Altoids with her mint. This is what we mean by getting in the flow rather than swimming up stream.

Debra also talked about her interest in making and selling a product that is easy for people to understand. This is another way for her to "go with the flow." She has spent 20 years trying to convince her customers and potential customers that herbal medicine works and that certain foods are better than others. She has been swimming upstream, that is going against conventional attitudes. With the organic sweets, she is giving people what they want.

The breath mint, in a way, sells itself because it doesn't need a complicated explanation. Have you ever been in a health food store? So often there are little flyers and even hand-made signs explaining the benefits of products. The breath mint is simple and simple sells.

Think about it

Does your name make it easy to market your product and services? Does your name have deep meaning?

Clip from: St. Claire's Mints & Organic Sweets (EcoNatural Solutions)

Boulder, Colorado: Debra St.Claire started her business, EcoNatural Solutions in 1993 to begin manufacturing  a totally organic breath mint and a healthy candy for children and adults.  She is an herbalist, naturalist, and vegetarian. When she learned that there was beef gelatin in her favorite peppermints, she was so disappointed, she said, "I'll make my own!"

Today St.Claire's Organic Sweets are on thousands of store shelves around the world.

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St. Claire's Organics started as EcoNatural Solutions, Inc.

St. Claire's Organic Sweets, a global business

6235 Lookout Road
Boulder, CO 80301

Visit our web site:

Office: 303-527-1554

Business Classification:
food processing

Year Founded: 1993

Choose A Meaningful Name

HATTIE: OK. So this is the first tin...


HATTIE: ...and it doesn't have your name.

DEBORAH: Right. Hattie, when I began, I wasn't sure I wanted to run a company and I certainly wasn't going to put my name on it until I found out if people were going to like it.

HATTIE: All right.

DEBORAH: And so the peppermint started out as `Organic Peppermints,' period. No brand name. There was this empty space in the blue sky up in the corner of my tin that didn't say anything because I thought, `Maybe I'm going to want to sell this product, once I prove that it works, to another company and they'll want to put their own brand on it.'

But when I started designing the follow products--the following flavors to the peppermint line, that's when I decided, `Hey, now where's my continuity? This is where I have to decide, am I going to sell this product to another company and let them do the marketing and sales and me just manufacture or whatever, or should I put my name on it and make it go through the industry with my name?' And that's when I put the name on it.

HATTIE: All right, but, why St. Claire and not EcoNatural?

DEBORAH: EcoNatural Solutions would be hard to fit. It had to be simple.

HATTIE: It wouldn't fit on the corner.

DEBRA: It wouldn't fit on the corner. What would fit and what was nice and what was classy? St. Claire's -- it was classy.

HATTIE: It is a nice name.

DEBRA: And the reason it's St. Claire's is because my patron saint is St. Claire of Assisi that worked with St. Francis of Assisi.


DEBRA: And so I thought ...

HATTIE: So you have a spiritual connection to your name.

DEBRA: Absolutely, as well, and she did wonderful work in the world, wonderful philanthropic work. And when I see that name on those packages, I remember that this product has a reason, these are peppermints with a purpose.

HATTIE: OK. Trademarks, brands, copyrights...

DEBRA: Trademarks, brands--first of all, that's the brand name now. The brand name is St. Claire's Organic Sweets because, once I got the other products, they had to have something that tied them all together. So that was pretty easy. So, in terms of trademarking, trademarking works by--you get the product in the marketplace, and if it's successful in the marketplace and no one challenges it after a certain amount of years, then you can make it registered.

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