Portmanteaus are words that combine two words to “carry” the meaning of both. The term comes from the French word for suitcase, an object that you carry things in. In the way that suitcases can carry multiple things, portmanteaus are words that carry more than one meaning. And that is the origin of the famous dog food, Beneful.
It is important for products to choose words that send signals. In the case of Beneful dog food, that is exactly what its creators have done. Beneful is a portmanteau of “beneficial” and full. That is to say, Beneful means full of goodness, and Beneful pet food is just that. When consumers purchase Beneful, they get food that focuses on the health and nutrition of their pets. It carries with it many ingredients that caring pet owners will appreciate.
Beneful is a natural word whose meaning can be easily understood. Even though it is a portmanteau, it evokes specific connotations that jump out to regular people. Its similarity to both “beneficial” and “wonderful” immediately tell pet owners with little confusion that they are buying the best pet food. This stands as a leading example of pet food marketing, signaling consumers, as well as minimizing confusion.
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