What’s in a Name?

October 27, 2021

“Why is it a Yellow Lime? Why don’t you just call it a lemon?” asked my 8-year-old son, Oliver. “Because,” I said, “that’s what makes it fun!” In this blog I’ll share the story about how the name Yellow Lime came about, in case you’re asking. It’s a bit of a train of thought, but here it is:


The brand name and logo train started after my father had very recently passed away in a car accident. He was an entrepreneur and one of my biggest encouragers throughout my life, and I wanted to make my business name an homage to him and his influence on me.


My dad always talked about his favorite things, including his favorite color: yellow, so I knew I wanted my logo to be yellow.


He also was an amazing cook, and lemons were a staple at our house while I was growing up. He also used to always use the French word for lemon, le citrón, because my little sister had an adorable dress that had a pattern with that on it. Ok, so the logo had to be a lemon. But what about the name?


I didn’t want to go with anything boring like, “Lemon Marketing.” Also, a lemon is used to describe a car that doesn’t work. And the marketing I do DOES work, so let’s not conjure the image of a broken car. Or maybe we do conjure it, in a fun way? One of the names I played with was Nottalemon Marketing (like, not-a-lemon, because it works… you get it). And it was fun, but I didn’t love that it started with a negative. I wanted a make-lemonade-out-of-lemons kind of feel, not an it-could-be-broken-but-it’s-actually-not kind of way.


I liked the juxtaposition of two opposites, so I kept thinking. Then, a lightbulb! I am fluent in Spanish and spent a college semester in the Dominican Republic. There, the word for lemon and lime are the same: limón. And they’re described as limón dulce (sweet limón, or a lime) or limón agrio (sour limón, or a lemon). And there was my idea! Incorporate my love for Spanish and the DR, with my dad, with a way to describe an object a little differently than we’re used to: a yellow lime.


The thing I love about this name and imagery is that it makes you pause for a second when you hear it. Like Oliver did. And then you say, “Ohhhhhh, I get it!” It’s like a fun inside joke that makes you feel included. It’s like a cheesy dad joke that you roll your eyes at, but it gives you a little bit of joy. It’s like taking the traditional ideas you have about marketing and creative, and turning them around so you can look at them in a new way. See what I did there?

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