Why Is There A Maven For Ev­ery­thing Now?

The word cer­tainly isn’t new, but why does it sud­denly seem to be crop­ping up ev­ery­where?

Forward Magazine - - Contents - By Michael Kaminer

Is Yid­dish the new black for mar­keters? “Maven,” mean­ing “ex­pert, con­nois­seur, or author­ity,” is emerg­ing as one of the hottest brand names of 2018. A ho­tel, a smart­phone, a streetwear line and a pri­vate wine club have all adopted “maven” as a moniker this year.

Of course, “maven” is a piece of the ma­maloshen, the mother tongue, that pen­e­trated the main­stream long ago, like “schlep,” “chutz­pah“or “kvetch.” Why the maven wave now?

“Brand names are al­ways a re­flec­tion of the cul­ture’s cur­rent psy­chol­ogy,” mused Shawn Amos, Los An­ge­les-based part­ner and chief cre­ative of­fi­cer of the brand­ing firm Hud­son Cut­ler. ”‘Maven’ re­ally speaks to what we’re want­ing at the mo­ment, doesn’t it? Which of us isn’t hun­ger­ing for some ex­per­tise right now? A maven has deep knowl­edge and un­der­stand­ing, which seems in short sup­ply. It also has gen­der flu­id­ness. A maven could be any size, shape or sex.“

Me­lanie Welsh, cre­ative di­rec­tor of the New York com­mu­ni­ca­tions firm The Door, agrees. “Col­lec­tively, we’re grap­pling with the no­tion of ex­per­tise: Who can be an ex­pert? How and when is ex­per­tise val­ued? Is ex­per­tise al­ways ben­e­fi­cial, or can it be a hin­drance at times? With so many ques­tions, it makes per­fect sense that we’re look­ing for new words to help us nav­i­gate this shift­ing land­scape, and latch­ing on to ones that put us on solid ground,” she said.

To help you be­come a maven on Mavens, here’s a primer on the hottest new brands:

KURT HOFF­MAN

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