There must be an infinite number of possible names for someone tasked with re-branding a motel, yet on a recent trip to Iowa City to interview an amazing pool of law students, I captured some photos of what has been — for as long as I can remember — a Motel 6, and is now all “trade-dressed” up as a Super 7, within plain sight of the Super 8, just down the street.

Trademark types, would you have cleared the name and/or look and feel of the Super 7 signage?

It all brings back wonderful memories of a very popular short and sweet blast from the past (with no less than thirteen comments, but whose counting?): Counting By Numbers, or Stripes? A Likelihood of Confusion Tale.

So, what is the fascination with single digit motel names anyway? What do our distinguished professional naming consultants and other creative friends think about the art of motel naming?

Are all the “super” ones already taken, or is the single digit feature a requirement for super-ness?

And, if the motel is owned by Stan, does he need a new plan?

  • Apparently, neither Motel 6 nor Super 8 foresaw inflation in lodging rates. Motel 6’s name was inspired by its initial $6/night rate and Super 8 by its rate of $8.88 a night…but who am I to criticize? The founders of each undoubtedly made more money that I ever will (when adjusted for inflation anyway).