“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.

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.

“Are you standing out from the crowd – or getting lost in the crowd?” – Sam Horn, author of POP!

It’s that time of year again:-)

Time to pick the most intriguing business names, marketing slogans, ad campaigns and book titles that stood out and helped their company or cause get noticed, remembered, bought and/or funded.

The point? If you want to succeed, you need to POP! out of your pack.

And one of the best ways to POP! out is create a NURD (New Word or first-of-its-kind phrase) that gets everyone’s eyebrows up and turns them into a word-of-mouth ambassador who takes you viral.

What’s your favorite NURD (New Word) from 2011?

Nominate it by Dec. 10.

Current Quotes - Sam Horn

Take your message to the next level


If your entry is selected for our 2011 POP! Hall of Fame; you’ll receive a prize … your choice of the audio version or paperback version of my new book Current Quotes: Intriguing Quotes from Today’s Top Icons, Innovators and influeners.

What’s different about Current Quotes? You have to be ALIVE to be included.

Here at the Intrigue Institute, we like John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Winston Churchill and Eleanor Roosevelt as much as the next person.

However, as soon as most people hear, “I have a dream …” or “The only thing we have to fear …” their eyes roll.

It’s not that profound quotes from those respected thought leaders aren’t true; they’re just not new.

The purpose of POP! is to break through busy people’s preoccupation and “been there, heard that” skepticism and get their favorable attention.

Submit the brand, book, product or program title or tagline that got your favorable attention this year – and help it get even more of the attention it deserves.

As our gift to you for submitting an entry, we’ll email you the 20 Most Intriguing Quotes from 2011 to get YOUR eyebrows up. Now, that’s a win-win-win.

To jump-start your thinking, here are our favorite entries so far plus a few winners from previous years.

1. YOumanity: A creative corporate campaign by Aviva Life Insurance that proves companies can contribute via a “rising tide that raises all boats” outreach.

2. Snuba: It’s half SNorkel and half ScUBA. It’s SNUBA, a multi-million dollar sport that shows there ARE new things under the sun.

3. Info-besity. We’re stuffed with information and starving for insight.

4. Random Hacks of Kindness: A worldwide gathering of tech types who collaborate for the common good.

5. Stuffocating: This NURD was coined by TV channel TLC for a program on the stifling impact of w-a-y too much stuff.

6. MEtailing: Customers use these online options to customize their purchases.

7. Jeggings: Part jeans – part leggings. This innovative product generated $180 M in sales, proving that POP! is more than clever word play; it helps produce bottom line profits.

8. Snowmageddon: What it’s called when 30 inches of snow gets dumped on Wash DC. An excellent example of an Alphabetized Word (1 of 25 techniques for creating your own NURD in POP! – which has been featured on MSNBC, BusinessWeek.com and in NY Times)

9. See Something, Say Something: Want your campaign to stay top of mind instead of be out-of-sight, out-of-mind? Put your tagline in a beat that makes it easy to repeat.

10. Yappy Hour: A Virginia Holiday Inn scaled its visibility and profitability by coining this clever name for their Friday night petworking alternative to the bark park.

So, what’s YOUR nomination for our 2011 POP! Hall of Fame?

Submit it to us at Sam@SamHorn.com by Dec. 10 with “2011 POP! Hall of Fame” in the subject line and we’ll send you the 20 Most Intriguing Quotes from 2011 just for taking the time to nominate it.

We look forward to seeing your entry.

“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.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

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.

One of my favorite things to do at the end of every year is to comprise Top Ten lists.

I created the POP! Hall of Fame to celebrate ideas, events, individuals and organizations that POP! out each year . . . for all the right reasons.

Previous winners include:

* Snuba (A new industry was created with this “had us at hello” name for a sport that’s half snorkel – half scuba )

* Yappy Hour (a first-of-its-kind pet-working opportunity for dogs and their owners helped this Holiday Inn in Alexandria, VA gererate buzz and profits )

* Weeding by Example (13-year old Jack McShane’s campaign to clean up New Orleans’ City Park following Katrina received national media attention because of its attention-grabbing, smile-inducing name)

* Diabesity (Dr. Francine Kaufman positioned herself as the go-to topic expert by naming this cultural phenomenon)

* Java Jacket (Jay Sorenson turned a “cardboard insulating sleeve” into a multi-million dollar business with this fun-to-say, easy-to-remember name)

What idea, brand, business name, marketing slogan, ad campaign or non-profit motto got your attention this year . . . for all the right reasons?

Submit your nominations here on the blog or directly to us at Sam@SamHorn.com by Dec. 21.

If your recommendation makes our list, you get an autographed copy of POP! And just for taking the time to submit a suggestion, we’ll send you the 2009 list when it’s ready.