“You’re either breaking out or blending in. And blending in’s for Cuisinarts.” – Sam Horn

Every year I pick the top brand names, taglines, book titles and trends that caught our attention and helped their idea, invention or organization stand out and get noticed . . . for all the right reasons.

The point? If you want to succeed, you need to stand out.

And one of the best ways to stand out is create a catchy phrase that builds buzz by turning everyone who sees it or hears it into a word-of-mouth ambassador who repeats it to others.

All of the phrases below showcase POP! techniques that are included in my book POP! which has been sold around the world (China, Europe, South America, etc.)

POP! Create the Perfect Pitch, Title and Tagline for Anything

Hailed as one of the best business books of the year

If you have a cause, creation or company you care about – buy a copy of POP! and work through the 25 exercises that show how to coin a NURD (New Word) that helps your priority project POP! out of its pack.

1. Random Hacks of Kindness: Kudos to this worldwide gathering of tech types collaborating for the common good, and thanks to Nicholas Skytland of NASA for bringing this to my attention.

2. Stuffocating: This NURD (New Word) was coined by TV station TLC for their one hour special on the stifling impact of w-a-y too much stuff. (Not that I can relate.)

3. MEtailing: I want it and I want it my way. This online trend of letting people customize their own clothes, shoes and other products is a runaway (runway?) success.

4. Jeggings: Part jeans – part leggings. This Half & Half Word helped this product generate $180 million in sales, proving that NURDS are more than word play; they’re bottom line profits.

5. Info-besity: We live in a society stuffed with information yet we’re starving for insights.

6. Refudiate: Republican Sarah Palin’s “malaPOPism” received national media attention in which she was tweaked for her tweet where she mixed up (or did she?) “refute” and “repudiate.”

7. SHEconomy: Smart companies understand the power of the purse and are targeting this multi-billion dollar demographic. Props also to Marilynn Tanner Mobley’s BoomerHer.

8. Snowmageddon: What do you call it when 30 inches of snow are dumped on Washington DC and cause a weather apocalypse? An excellent example of Alphabetizing.

9. You Had Me at Woof: Julie Klam’s book shows how “riffing off” pop culture can provide an unexpected twist to a familiar phrase. The result? A smile and a sale.

10. SerenDestiny: I admit it. I’m partial to this since it’s the title of my next book. It’s based on the premise that leading the life we’re born to live is no accident (serendipity); it’s intentional.

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Sam Horn’s POP! Create the Perfect Pitch, Title and Tagline for Anything (Perigee, Penguin ’09) introduces 25 techniques for creating compelling buisness communications and innovative, memorable messaging.

POP! has been featured on MSNBC, BusinessWeek.com and in NY Times and Sam’s presentations on this topic have received raves from Cisco, EO, National Speakers Association, ASAE, etc.

Check the more than fifty 5 Star ratings on Amazon.com from readers who sing its praises and describe how it’s helped them generate trademark-able titles and taglines, profitable business names and winning presentations that have closed deals and catapulted income.

A client asked me on Friday, “What are the purposes behind choosing a book title that works – for all the right reasons?”

I told her, “Good question. There are 7 things we’re going for with our non-ficiton book title. A winning business or self-help book title and sub-title should:

1. Stop people in their tracks and grab their attention because it doesn’t blend in with all the other books on the shelves.

2. Address a problem you’re facing, a need you have, or a benefit you want.

3. Contain strategically selected key words that bring your title up high in online search so people “googling” that subject find your book annd website.

4. Promise real-world, actionable deliverables – what readers will stop, start or do differently as a result of reading your book.

This is why many sub-titles have metrics in them. When readers see 7 Steps, 12 Keys, 30 Days, 10 Ways; they conclude the book will give them replicable recommendations and tangible results.

5. Tease or engage readers with a NURD (new word), provocative concept or visual allusion that gets their eyebrows up and causes them to reach for the book as they think, “Hmmm, that’s interesting, I want to know more”

Think Freakonomics and Blue Ocean Strategy.

6. Feature alliteration or rhyme so the title rolls off the tongue and stays in the mind.

You can test the memorability of your title any time you want, for free. Just tell people your title and ask them to repeat it. If they can’t repeat it; they didn’t get it. And if they didn’t get it; you won’t get the sales, clients or media.

And yes, alliteration and rhyme can be annoying if overdone so run your title by your brain trust first to make sure it’s not cutesy or an over-the-top eye-roller.

7. Contain no superfluous words. As Strunk and White said, “Every word must tell.”

In fact, you may have noticed a trend in business books these days.

Many feature a one word verb.

Drive by Dan Pink

Blink by Malcolm Gladwell

Switch by Chip and Dan Heath

Nudge – Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein

Sway – Ori and Rom Brafman

Roar by Kevin Daum

POP! – Sam Horn (had to throw that in)

Linchpin – Seth Godin

When you do this right, like Seth Godin did with Tribes and Malcolm Gladwell did with The Tipping Point, you coin a NURD (New Word) or an iconic cultural phrase that everyone adopts when talking about that issue and it becomes part of our vernacular.

This makes your book an evergreen because people become your word-of-mouth advertisers and keep you and your topic topc-of-mind.

As someone who has helped thousands of people craft the right title for their book, I know there is an art and science to titles and sub-titles.

In my next blog, I’ll share 3 examples of brilliant non-fiction titles and sub-titles that are paying off, big-time, for their authors and publishers.

I welcome your recommendations and submissions. What’s your favorite non-fiction title and why?