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.

“Remember, you’re a lot more interested in what you have to say than anyone else is.” –
Andy Rooney

Are you going into a meeting today to introduce an idea, request funding or propose a program?

Did you know its success depends on whether you get people’s eyebrows up in the first 60 seconds?

Sam Horn eyebrow test

Sam Horn's The Eyebrow Test®


People at many meetings are either jockeying to get THEIR idea heard – or they’re bored, distracted or just waiting for the meeting to be over so they can go back to work on the UPO’s (Unidentified Piled Objects) stacking up on their desk.

The good news is, you can test in advance whether your idea is going to get any traction.

Just ask a colleague for 60 seconds of their time.

Explain your idea/proposal/request to them . . . using the exact same 60 second opening you’ll use in the meeting.

Now, watch their eyebrows.

If their eyebrows are knit or furrowed, they’re puzzled. They didn’t get it.

And if they didn”t get it, you won’t get it.

Because confused people don’t ask for clarificaiton and they don’t say yes.

You want their eyebrows to go UP. That means they’re intrigued. They want to know more.

That means you just got your idea or request in their mental door.

If what you’re pitching gets their eyebrows up, good for you. That means, “Game’s on.”

If it doesn’t, back to the drawing board.

Or, as comedian George Carlin said, “What did we go back to before there were drawing boards?”

Want specific ways to win buy-in to what you’re proposing?

Email us at Sam@SamHorn.com with The Eyebrow Test® in the subject heading and we’ll send you three ways to get people’s eyebrows up in the first 60 seconds.

Or, purchase a copy of POP!

It has 25 innovative ways to create communication that quickly captures favorable attention from your target customers, investors and decision-makers, has been featured on MSNBC and in the NY Times and Washington Post. Sam’s keynote with these techniques has won raves from convention audiences around the world.

And subscribe to this blog if you’d like additional ways to craft intriguing openings that pass The Eyebrow Test® so people are motivated to give you their valuable time, mind and dime.

Guy Kawasaki . . . Genius in Action,

By Sam Horn, The Intrigue Expert

 “It’s not enough to be the best at what you do; you must be perceived to be the only one who does what you do.” – Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead

I’m always keeping my antenna up for people who are one-of-a-kind at what they do.

I had the privilege of seeing one in action last week.

As The Intrigue Expert and a communication strategist for the past 25 years; I’ve seen and given thousands of presentations. (Really).

So, when I say Guy Kawasaki’s keynote at the Invent Your Future conference in Silicon Valley was one of the best presentations I’ve ever experienced, that’s saying something.

I was compelled to take notes because it’s a privilege to watch a master in action.

I shared my observations with Guy afterwards and am sharing them here so you can learn from his shining example and adopt/adapt some of his approaches so you can enchant (and intrigue) your future audiences.

Here’s why Guy’s keynote Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds and Action was a perfect 10.

Everyone was drawn in (and enchanted) -sam horn

Everyone was drawn in (and enchanted)

Please note: I’ve distilled this debrief of his brilliant presentations into three blog posts. Check back the next couple days to read and reap additional techniques.

      1.   Guy had us at hello.

“You’ve got to be a good date for the reader.” – Kurt Vonnegut

No perfunctory opening remarks. That would have been predictable and predictable is boring.

Guy pleasantly surprised everyone by starting with an amusing riff about how most speakers run long and no one’s ever angry at a speaker for ending early so he was going to jump right into things.

Guy knows people are BBB – (Busy, Bored or Been there-heard that) and that we make up our minds in the first 60 seconds whether someone is worth our valuable time, mind and dime.

He earned our good will in the first few minutes by being a “good date” and by kicking off with humor vs. the old-fashioned “Tell ‘em what you’re going to tell ‘em approach ” which would have had us reaching for our smart phones.

Bestselling author Elmore Leonard gave a keynote at the Maui Writers Conference (which I emceed for 17 years.) During the Q & A, a participant asked, “Why are your books so popular?” “Dutch” smiled and said, “I try to leave out the parts people skip.”

Guy was instantly popular because he left out the parts people skip.

      2.    Guy engaged our head and heart – our left and right brain – with facts and feelings.

“I never developed a plan for where I was going. I just counted on one interesting job segueing into the next. I let the universe do its work.” – Bernadette Peters

Any extreme is unhealthy. Many speakers (think engineers, IT professionals, physicians, professors, etc.) focus primarily on data, theories and facts. This makes for a lopsided speech because it’s long on logic but short on interest.

Other presenters (think motivational speakers) share inspiring stories but there’s no “meat” – no tangible takeaways we can apply to reap real-world results.

Guy was a sublime balance of head and heart. He let us know from the get-go he’d distilled his presentation into ten insights and 45 minutes.

People love top ten lists because it indicates you’ve done the homework for us and edited the superfluous, which means we’ll be hearing only the most salient points, the best of the best.

Anxiety is defined in two words: “not knowing.” If we don’t know how long this is going to take or the format, we may resent the speaker because, in a way, they’re keeping us in the dark and holding us hostage.

Covering 10 points (or 7 steps or 6 keys or whatever) in a specified amount of time builds pace and momentum and keeps a speaker on track because you don’t have time to ramble. Logical left-brainers think “Oh, good. This is clearly going to be bottom-line and a good use of my time because it’s measurable and replicable.”

Furthermore, a 10 point plan provides one of the quickest organizational constructs known to humankind because it provides an easy-to-understand-and-follow pattern. Listeners feel they’re in “the Allstate Plan” (they’re in good hands) and feel well-led as one interesting point segues into the next.

Better yet, Guy balanced rhetoric (words) with photos (senses) throughout his presentation. Everyone was drawn in (and enchanted) because he “peopled his points.” His beautifully produced slides featured intellectually satisfying ideas, visually stunning images and named individuals which produced a holistic sense of symmetry. Well done!

      3.    Guy condensed his concepts into one-of-a-kind sound bites.

“    Remember, you’re more interested in what you have to say than anyone else.” – Andy Rooney, 60 Minutes

“Invoke reciprocity”.

“Conduct a ‘Premortum.”

“Incur a Debt.”

“Frame Thy Competition.”

“Separate the Believers.”

These are just a few of Guy’s featured sound-bites (and chapter titles).

How could you NOT want to know more?

Guy got his ideas in our mental front door because he was not content to be common.

Instead of lazily sharing platitudes and clichés (“Make it a win-win. It’s all about team.”), he coined first-of-their-kind phrases that got our eyebrows up.

(Side note: What’s The Eyebrow Test? It is a technique described in my book POP! that gives you a way to test how compelling your communication is . . anywhere, anytime . . . in 5 seconds . . . for free.

Eyebrow Test? It is a technique described in my book POP!

The goal is to get their eyebrows UP

You don’t have to convene a focus group and spend thousands of dollars to determine whether your idea is commercially-viable.

Simply tell someone your main point (or your elevator speech, business name, book title, the first 60 seconds of your pitch/presentation, or the first paragraph of your marketing copy) . . . and watch their eyebrows.

If their eyebrows knit or furrow, it means they’re confused. They didn’t get it. And if they didn’t get it, you won’t get it.

The goal is to get their eyebrows UP.

Try it right now. Lift your eyebrows. Do you feel intrigued? Curious? Like you want to know more?

THAT’s your goal as a communicator – to get the eyebrows up of busy, distracted decision-makers because it means you just got your message in their mental door.)

Guy’s succinct sound-bites made his content POP! Because no matter how many books we’ve read or seminars we’ve attended, we’d never heard this before.

Comedian Jonathan Winters said, “I have a photographic memory. I just haven’t developed it yet. By developing original take-aways and NURDS (new words like Premortum), Guy made his content memorable and sticky.

Unique sound-bites give his content a long tail of influence. People love “the next new thing” and are more likely to share freshly-phrased ideas around the water-cooler – which means they’ll become Guy’s tribe and take his work viral by becoming his voluntary word-of-mouth ambassadors.

Phrases like “invoke reciprocity” are also monetizable and merchandisable.

People will pay for refrigerator magnets (or coffee mugs or t-shirts) with catchy phrases like this. This keeps you and your proprietary ideas “in sight-in-mind” with your target customers which gives your material even longer legs. It’s all good.

Check the next blog to discover more ways Guy demonstrated
platform brilliance.

What fun it was being interviewed today (from Geneva) on CBC’s Margin of Error by respected pollster and radio host Bruce Cameron.

The subject of the interview was how focus groups can assist companies in selecting words that help their products and services break out (vs. blend in . . . because blending in is for Cuisinarts, not for companies.)

Bruce’s first question was, “What’s an example of a name that helped a business break out?”

I told him, “One of my favorite examples is the name Sergey Brin and Larry Page selected for their new-fangled invention – an online search engine.

We take their creation for granted now and use it daily without even thinking about it.

But in the beginning, their carefully coined name was all-important because people had no frame of reference for their just-developed internet directory. If they gave it a technical, difficult-to-pronounce name . . . people might conclude it would be difficult to use and avoid it.

So, instead of giving it an intimidating, scientific-sounding name, they gave it an easy-and-fun-to-say name . . . Google.

This was a genius move. Google is a strategic ROI on multiple levels. It is:

* taken from the math term googol, which is the number 1 followed by 100 zeros which represents the trillions of usages they envisioned for their search service.

* a simple, yet playful word which gives the impression their process will be simple, yet playful to use.

* easy to repeat. When people can easily repeat your business name, they’re more likely to remember it and repeat it to others, thereby becoming your word-of-mouth advertisers. Brilliant.”

Bruce asked, “So what should we ask a focus group when coining a name for a new business, product or service name?”

“Well, first, I’ve got good news for you.

You don’t really have to spend thousands of dollars on convening expensive, time-consuming focus groups. You can find out in 5 seconds . . for free . . . whether you have a strategically ROI name that will POP!”

Bruce asked, “How’s that?”

“First, tell a target customer your proposed name and ask them to repeat it.

If they struggle to pronounce your name and can’t repeat it; it’s back to the drawing board.

(Or, as comedian George Carlin was fond of saying, ‘Before there were drawing boards; what did we go back to?) It’s almost impossible to build a business around an unpronouncable name.

Next, watch their eyebrows. If their eyebrows knit or furrow; it means they didn’t get it.

And if your target customers don’t get your name – you won’t get their business. You won’t get their account, support, loyalty or funding. Because confused people don’t ask for clarification – they just move on. Names that cause consternation cost you potential sales and customers.

What you want is for people’s eyebrows to go UP. That means they’re intrigued. Curious. They want to know more. That means you’ve got your idea, invention or organization in their mental door.”
Bruce asked, “What do you call this?”

“The Eybrow Test . . . and it’s the most effective, least expensive focus group you can form.”

Thanks again to Bruce Cameron (who also hosts ROI – Return on Insight – on CBC). http://www.return-on-insight.ca/bio-bruce-cameron I’m already looking forward to our next interview.