“The best way to corner a niche is to create a niche.  And the best way to create a niche is to … coin your own word.” – Sam Horn

Encountered a couple of early entries for the 2012 POP! Hall of Fame … and thought I’d share them to kick-start your  thinking about what newly-coined  NURDS (New Words) you’d like to submit for this year’s contest.

Previous winners have included:

*  Diabesity:  Dr. Francine Kaufman’s term for the epidemic of Type 2 Diabetes that is triggered by obesity.

*  Snuba:  It’s half snorkel and half scuba … and it’s a new multi-million dollar industry.

*  Freakonomincs:  Are you going to run right out and buy the latest tome on economics?  Probably not.  But authors Dubner and Levy turned their concept into an international brand – movies, media appearances, blogs, 6-figure consulting contracts – by giving it a first-of-its-kind name that appealed to the masses.

*  A.W. Shucks:  What else would you call an oyster bar in Charleston, SC?

*  Yappy Hour:  The Holiday Inn in Alexandria, VA has received millions of dollars of free press due to its innovative Friday night “petworking” opportunities for dogs.

*   YOUmanity:  Aviva came up with the ideal name for their “chain of kindness” philantrhopy campaign

*  Geek2Geek.com:  Think Match.com for pocket protector types.  As one personal ad proclaimed, “Tall, dork and handsome.”

*  SerenDestiny®:  Okay, I admit it, I’m partial to this one because it’s the title of my next book.  And like Tongue Fu!®, I’ve been able to trademark SerenDestiny® which means it can be merchandised and monetized … in perpetuity.

*  Java Jacket:  You can’t build a business around an un-prounounceable name.  So Jay Sorenson gave those “cardboard insulating sleeves” you put around your cup of coffee an easy-to-say-and-remember name.

*  Revenew:  Just met the founder of this start-up in NYC at the WOIS Summit.  You’ve heard of Spell Check?  This is a fantastic example of a POP! technique called Spell Chuck.  Chuck the normal spelling of a word and come up with your own.  Brilliant.

*Tiecoon:  This shop in NYC’s Penn Station – which sells neckties to Wall Street financiers – stopped me in my tracks and motivated me to snap a photo.  Which is the point.  If it’d been named Jack’s ties, I would have walked on by and not even noticed it.   Does your store name have people at hello?

Now, in case you’re thinking, “Okay, these are clever names.  Big whoop.”

Please understand … NURDS aren’t petty; they’re profitable.

This is not wordplay…this is wordcash.

ALL of these names have helped their products, businesses or services STAND OUT and get noticed, remembered … and rich.

Several of these names have generated millions in revenue for their owners.

In fact, as Jay Sorenson, originator of Java Jackets says, “Customers who meant to call my competitors actually end up calling me …because they can’t remember my competitors’ names.”

So, what first-of-its-kind business, book, product, store names have you seen this year?  What intriguing NURD popped out and got your attention?

Submit your entry by email to Sam@IntrigueAgency.com for the 2012 POP! Hall of Fame contest … and send a photo if you’d like. 

We’ll post the best NURDS 0n our blog and on our Facebook page. 

Winning entries who make the final Top 10 Winners in the 2012 POP! Hall of Fame get a free copy of POP!  … or your choice of any of our  books.

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“Go ahead. Make my spray.” – Mr. Clean

It’s almost that time again.

Time to select the top ten names or slogans from this past year that passed the Eyebrow Test with flying colors. These names join winners from past years which include Java Jacket, Diabesity, Weeding By Example, Freakonomics and Eats, Shoots & Leaves.

“What’s the Eyebrow Test?” you ask. It’s what happens when we hear or see something intriguing. Our eyebrows go UP as if to say, “That’s interesting. Tell me more.”

Congrats to these individuals and organizations for coining these catchy sound-bites that caught and kept our favorable attention – the goal of all communication.

Bamelot: This is the name the New York Post has given the incoming administration. It’s what we call in POP! a Half-and-Half Word – a fused version of two words that coins a new name or phrase.

Scads: Those little scam ads (another Half-and-Half Word) that show up when surfing online. A clever ad in USA Today sponsored by the Alliance Against Bait & Click suggests you practice “safe search” and ignore these deceptive ads with their made-up claims to trick you into buying stuff that ought to be free.

Isn’t It Their Turn to Pick Up the Check? This book by Jeanne Hemming and Leonard Schwarz from Free Press demonstrates the power of POP!ing a question to engage interest and pique curiosity – and the power of saying what people are thinking to win buy in.

Buyology: You’ve heard of Spell Check? This is an example of Spell Chuck where you riff of a common word and create a brand new word you can trademark (thereby creating a business empire with the power to generate revenue in perpetuity). What would you call the science of how and why we buy? How about BUYology? Kudos to author Martin Lindstrom for this fantastic book title.

Check back Dec. 20 for the rest of the POP! Hall of Fame — and it’s not too late to submit your nominations.

Have you seen or heard a business name or slogan that made your eyebrows go UP?

Send it to me at info@SamHorn.com in by Dec. 18 and it may be included in the final top ten list. If it is, you get an autographed copy of POP! and the POP! CD! with innovative ways to create attention-grabbing pitches, titles and taglines to get your priority project noticed and remembered . . . for all the right reasons.