If you or anyone you know has purchased a sofa, occasional chair, dining room table, faucet, townhome, or casket in the past 10 years, chances are you or they have encountered a model named ‘The Madison’. Just what is the attraction to naming products after the Fourth U.S. President, James Madison? It could be because of his concise legal genius. He was in fact the principal architect of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights; why not honor this exceptional American by naming a fine pewter lamp after him?
James Madison had a rather contentious rivalry with Alexander Hamilton during America’s formative years, something about free milk and a cow I suppose. That rivalry ended when Aaron Burr got all ‘Oh, no you di’int’ and shot Hamilton in an infamous duel. Yet for Alexander Hamilton’s premature demise, there is limited product naming for him. Sure, you’ll find an occasional ‘Hamilton’ leather sectional, but nowhere near the scale of your average, everyday ‘Madison’ merchandise. You certainly will never see an Aaron Burr handbag from Dooney and Bourke.
Therefore, the explanation for all things ‘Madison’ is baffling. Most naming in honor of great Americans traditionally falls under your typical boulevard, avenue, high school, college, military vessel or insurance company. James Madison has had all of that and more. Even his wife, Dolley, has a line of baked goods named after her (and who wouldn’t mind being remembered with Donut Gems and Zingers, huh?). This is the power of a classic name; ‘Madison’ screams quality, durability and dare I say it, one good lookin’ ceiling fan.
Thankfully, because of all the tradition and style that the name ‘Madison’ evokes, some products will seem inappropriate to incorporate the name ‘Madison’, such as Madison Hemorrhoidal Ointment or Madison Bedroom Groove Cream.
Picture a happily married couple out shopping for a new bedroom armoire, “As a matter of fact, we’ll take the Madison”.
Picture an office interior specialist searching for the perfect desk, “As a matter of fact, I’ll take the Madison”.
Picture an outdoorsman hoping to track down his dream fishing rod, “As a matter of fact, I’ll take the Madison”.
Now picture a baby shower, as the invited guests swarm around the soon-to-be mom for the name of the new baby, “Well, if it’s a girl, we’re going to name her …”