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Mar 21, 2024
(Updated on
Mar 21, 2024

Meghan Markle's New Lifestyle Brand Is Under Scrutiny By Marketers.

With no official images of Princess Kate Middleton being released for months, many are worried and curious about her recent whereabouts. Meanwhile, Meghan Markle is focused on a new business venture. However, there are some people who seem to not like the name of her brand.

Meghan Markle's latest venture into the business world with her new lifestyle brand, American Riviera Orchard, has stirred up scrutiny from branding experts and people on social media. The brand's name, which was first shown off on Instagram, sparked a wave of criticism for being too long, generic, elitarian and lacking in catchiness. Despite the buzz surrounding the launch, experts are questioning its potential for success based on its name alone.

Source: Instagram @americanrivieraorchard

When the Instagram account @americanrivieraorchard first appeared on March 14, it showcased a series of photos featuring the brand name embroidered in yellow-gold script on an off-white linen background. The account also featured the word "Montecito," the California town where Meghan Markle and Prince Harry reside. 

Although the brand's website provided little information about its offerings, a U.S. trademark application revealed plans to sell tableware, cookbooks, kitchen linens, and other home goods under the American Riviera Orchard name. With hints of an affiliated Netflix cooking show and rumours of a physical shop, the brand appears poised to offer a comprehensive lifestyle experience. There's also talk surrounding the potential inclusion of content on its website, with expectations of articles and features that align with Meghan's past, such as The Tig.

Before, Meghan Markle was known for her work on her blog, The Tig, which she operated from 2014 to 2017. The Tig showcased Meghan's interests in food, travel, fashion, and beauty, often blending lifestyle advice with personal anecdotes and reflections. While The Tig may have closed its doors in 2017, it left behind a legacy of content that provides insight into Meghan's preferences and style. Reflecting on The Tig's content, it becomes evident that Meghan's interests gravitate towards topics like snuggling her dog and enjoying craft cocktails rather than traditional domestic pursuits. Her writing style on The Tig was characterized by a casual, conversational tone peppered with life lessons and cultural references. Despite occasional cringeworthy moments, Meghan's ability to blend personal anecdotes with lifestyle advice garnered a dedicated following.

However, her choice of brand name quickly became a topic of discussion among royal watchers and branding experts. Critics, including the Royal News Network, criticized the name for being excessively long and lacking in memorability.

Despite the criticism, experts acknowledge that the brand's association with Meghan Markle could still drive sales, albeit not necessarily because of the name itself. While the name American Riviera Orchard nods to Meghan Markle's home in Montecito, California, branding experts question whether this connection is clear enough to resonate with consumers. Laurel Sutton noted that, until researching the name, she was unaware of Santa Barbara's nickname as "the American Riviera," suggesting that the association may not be obvious to all consumers. Additionally, the inclusion of "Orchard" in the name raises questions about the brand's focus and whether it aligns with Meghan and Harry's interests or ownership of an apple orchard.

Critics also raise concerns about the name's potential geographic limitations, as tying the brand to a specific location could hinder its expansion into other markets or product categories. Despite these concerns, experts believe that the brand's high profile could mitigate any restrictions imposed by its name.

One of the most common criticisms of American Riviera Orchard is its length, with experts and internet critics alike noting that it is challenging to remember and pronounce correctly. Branding experts agree that the name American Riviera Orchard may not effectively communicate the brand's identity or resonate with consumers. Suggestions for improvement include selecting a more personal name that reflects Meghan Markle's values or experiences, rather than focusing solely on geographic associations.

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