New products and services are continually being created on the basis of a combination of customer knowledge, technical innovation and a desire to gain increased market share. The naming process comes later and seeks to capture the essence of the product or service as determined by this market analysis. The name tells the potential customer that this is the product or service for them and their specific needs.

But, in Singapore, the process has been uniquely reversed. The managing director of a media company became bemused by the most common reactions he received when offering to buy a drink.

Noting also that one response corresponded to a word that was very prevalent in the vocabulary of the local youth, he realised that it already possessed the attributes of familiarity and hipness which are so often the goals of the naming process.

With admirable audacity he decided to create a product around the name and he succeeded. So now, in Singapore, if you ask someone what they’d like to drink and they reply say “anything” or “whatever”, you don’t have to feel frustrated, you just buy them a can of Anything or Whatever.

Gimmicky you think? Maybe, but first month sales of 3.5 million cans suggest otherwise