Sam Horn’s POP! book

The votes are in. We have our winners.

Here are the most intriguing business names, book titles and NURDS (New Words) for 2011  as submitted by our POP! and Intrigue Agency tribe.

Thanks for your nominations and votes.

The purpose of the POP! Hall of Fame is to showcase
and celebrate the power of creative messaging.

You can have a fantastic product, service, idea or organization –
but if it doesn’t have an interesting name that gets your target
customers’ eyebrows up – it may never see the light of day.

So, here’s to our winners for understanding that POP!ing out of your pack is the first step to catapulting viability, visibility and profitability.

1. A.W Shuck’s: If you’re walking the streets of Charleston, SC, wondering where to eat, this clever name for a seafood-raw oyster restaurant just might elicit a smile and motivate you to walk in their door and give them your dining dollars.

http://a-w-shucks.com/

2. Merry-Okee: How do you expand the multi-million dollar Elf on a Shelf brand? By introducing a Karaoke sing-along book with mike for Christmas.

http://www.amazon.com/Hallmark-Merry-Okee-With-Songbook/dp/B005PZGATA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1325532770&sr=8-1

3. YOUmanity: Want to warm up a “cold” corporation? Follow Aviva’s example and launch a mission to “bring humanity back to insurance and put people before policies.” Then, set up an interactive chain of kindness and honor participants with awards and media attention.

http://www.avivausa.com/portal/site/avivausa/content/home/youmanity

4. Masstige: This Half-and-Half Word (a POP! technique for creating a first-of-its-kind phrase by combining two aspects of your idea – i.e., Diabesity) is a new term for merging mass market retail with prestige appeal – such as Mossimo at Target which has made this discount retailer hip and generated millions in revenue.

http://www.target.com/s/p/Mossimo+Supply+Co+Owl+Animal+Hat+Brown/+/A+13592371

5. There Is No Dog: The shelves are groaning with dog books. So, how do you get your book to break out instead of blend in? Use a POP! technique called Don’t Repeat Cliche’s – Re-arrange Cliches to make sure your book stands out from the crowd instead of getting lost in the crowd.

http://www.amazon.com/There-No-Dog-Meg-Rosoff/dp/0399257640/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1325523388&sr=1-1

6. CanWich: I can always count on Dave Barry’s Annual Gift Guide for a POP! Hall of Famer. Previous winners have been Daddle (a strap-on saddle so toddlers can take a horsy-back ride on their dad without falling off) and Smittens (co-joined mittens so lovers can walk in the snow and keep their fingers warm.)

What’s a Canwich? Half can, half sandwich so those messy peanut-butter jelly sandwiches are portable. http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/12/04/2529844/candwich-sandwich-in-a-can.html

7. Mashable’s Top 10 Funniest Auto-Correct Text Mistakes:

Trust me – if you don’t laugh out loud at the “OOOPS” texts on this list, check for a pulse.

http://mashable.com/2011/12/05/damn-you-auto-correct-funniest-text/#view_as_one_page-gallery_box3339

And if you’re an entrepreneur, author, speaker, business owner, non-profit leader or management/marketing consultant and don’t have your own annual Top 10 list, why not??)

8. Tweet Seats: Had a chance to keynote the National Arts Marketing Project convention – and all the buzz was about venue owners finally realizing that providing seats in the back of the theater for people who want to Tweet about the play, concert or dance production they’re experiencing is a “rising tide raising all boats” opportunity to scale their virtual audience and promote their productions … for free.

http://artsmarketing.org/conference/announcement/2011/live-namp-conference

9. TIEcoon.  What else would you call a shop that sells mens neckties in NYC’s Penn Station …traveling mecca of stockbrokers, Wall Street types and corporate suits? 

10. Zmug: The always brilliant Monica Hesse of The Washington Post reported about the Zumba craze and the “smug, golden glow look the 12 million Zumba fans are often infused with.” So, what did she do? She crafted a clever headline and NURD (New Word) that helped her article POP! off the page.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/zumbad-a-fitness-craze-can-lead-quickly-to-the-er/2011/12/02/gIQA1vmUdO_story.html

Want your product, service, idea or organization to POP! out of its pack?

First, it’s got to pass The Eybrow Test® (my next book – available next month.)

Does its title, name, headline or description get people’s eyebrows up in the first 60 seconds?

If so, good for you. That means it broke through their preoccupation and intrigued them enough for them to give you their valuable mind and time.

What do you care about?

If you want other people to care about it; give it a first-of-its-kind phrase or compelling, 60 second-or-less description to increase its likelihood of success.

What are your favorite POP! brands, business names, book titles and NURDS?

Submit examples of creative messages that pass The E.Y.E.B.R.O.W. Test® – and they just may get featured in one of our upcoming That’s Intriguing blogs, Facebook posts, Tweets or next year’s POP! Hall of Fame.

Their Brand Name is Nonsensical

“The soul never thinks without a mental picture.” – Aristotle

Brand names that don’t make sense are off-putting. If your name consists of a string of letters that are meaningful only to you, it’ll be tough to grasp and ever tougher to relate to. And if people can’t relate to your company or product name, why would they want it?

My master mind buddy, Marilynn Mobley, Senior Vice President of Edelman, the #1 rated PR agency in the United States, told me about a startling study that was done with preschoolers that illustrates the power of making your brand name visual. Researchers asked these youngsters what sounds barn-yard animals make.

When asked, “What sound do sheep make?” they said, “Baa.”

When asked, “What sound do cows make?” they said, “Moo.”

When asked, “What sound do ducks make?” the kids said, “AFLAC!”

Wow. That’s branding.

AFLAC, the huge insurance giant, had a branding challenge. People were reluctant to entrust ALFAC with something as important as their life insurance because they didn’t know what the name “stood for.”

So, in an effort to make their name more “relatable,” they asked themselves, “What does AFLAC sound like, look like in the real world?” Well, with a little stretch, it looks and sounds like a duck who quacks. This was the genesis of their popular ads featuring a lovable duck quacking “AFLAC.”

GEICO (Government Employees Insurance Company) achieved a similar success by using a friendly gecko as their visual icon and “spokesperson” (spokes-lizard?)

It’s a mistake to keep a brand name consumers don’t understand, relate to or want. Follow AFLAC and GEICO’s example and create a visual identiy people associate with you so they “get the picture.”

Connect your company’s name to something in the concrete world people can touch, feel, see, smell or taste. As soon as you do, something obscure becomes clear. Instead of going “Huh?!” people will say, “Oh, I see now” or “I get it.” And when they get it, chances are you’ll get their business.