Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Spotted Dick!

What lucky naming firm got paid $100K to come up with this one? (Yes, it's real. I spotted it at my local Safeway last week.) From Wikipedia: Spotted Dick is a steamed pudding, containing dried fruits, usually currants. The dessert is especially popular in the United Kingdom, usually served either with custard or with butter and brown sugar. Spotted refers to the currants (which resemble spots) and dick may be a corruption of the word dough. It is also known as Spotted Dog, Plum Duff, Figgy Dowdy, as well as Plum Bolster, and Spotted Richard.

The Joy of Lex - more juicy details

As some of you know, our snarky friends at Igor invited me to join them to be filmed for a new documentary for the Discovery Channel, The Joy of Lex. The Hollywood film crew, who camped out for a few days at the Eat My Words client crash pad, told us to watch for it this Fall. In the meantime, I found a description of it online:

The Joy of Lex
A show about words and the people who use them.
Billions of people use words, and so do some apes. (Alexandra's note - huh?) Each and every word has its own story, about how it was created, shaped and changed by the generations who've used it. Every word has a secret life of its own; words are constantly in flux, being lost, found, picked apart, abused, overused, relished and relinquished. The Joy of Lex will explore the surprising stories, passions, obsessions, misunderstandings, humor and sometimes shocking characters associated with words. This two-hour special will focus on the two greatest movements in the world of word "ebb" and "flow." (Why doesn't it focus on the two greatest naming firms, Eat My Words and Igor?) As with all of our TV appearances, I'll let you know when the show airs.

A long overdue book: The No Asshole Rule

Another juicy business book that I couldn't put down on my recent vacation was The No Asshole Rule by Bob Sutton. Where was this book when I worked for ad agency tyrants and needed Christmas gifts for them? One of the reasons I started Eat My Words was so that I wouldn't have to work with nasty people, so I didn't read the book to learn about "building a civilized workplace and surviving one that isn't," however, if that's unfortunately what you need to do, this is a great book. I read it because I couldn't resist the title and I wanted the comfort of knowing that I wasn't the only person to ever work for a certified jerk. The book is full of real-life stories and the author has a juicy blog that he updates with reader stories and funny reactions to the book. BTW, as namers, we give the name of the book an A+ for unexpectedness, memorability and all of the word of mouth it will generate.

What the mel?

Who came up with this doosey? (Probably the same person who invented the word "doosey.") (Thanks to our web designer, Skott Reader of Monkey Girl Graphics, for sending this our way.)

Enlightening new business book: Made to Stick

You know a business book is good when you are compelled to read it on vacation. And that's just what I did recently when I went to the Sea of Cortez and couldn't put down Made to Stick by brothers Chip and Dan Heath (who by the way were each nice enough to personally respond to my fan mail). Citing fascinating real world examples – from how the Jared campaign for Subway became a huge hit to how NBA couches engineered an unforgettable experience to make the dangers of AIDS hit home with players – the book dives into the six key qualities that make an idea "sticky"... simplicity, unexpectedness, concreteness, credibility, emotional, and stories. Made to Stick articulates so much of what Eat My Words believes about what makes a name powerful and memorable. For instance, here's how the name Cake that we came up with for a new financial services company maps back to the 6 sticky traits:
  • Simplicity - it's a short, easy to spell word with layers of meaning
  • Unexpectedness - a fun, original name for a stuffy industry
  • Concreteness - it's easy to remember because we've heard it before
  • Credibility - the official company name is Cake Financial, which gives it credibility
  • Emotional - the name Cake is connected to birthdays, weddings, and parties - everyone loves Cake
  • Stories - there's story behind the name (and it's not the last name of the owner of the company)
There are so many inspiring examples and lightbulb moments in the book. Let me know when you finish it so we can talk about the awesome exercise on page 52, which sheds light on why the women's energy drink we named Bloom is a much more memorable name than Enviga (which BTW we think you might need a perscription for). And if you're jonesin' for more sticky ideas, check out the Made to Stick blog.

Monday, May 21, 2007

New Eat My Words website launched!

After months in development, the all-new new Eat My Words website is up. Check it out at

Friday, May 11, 2007

New client: Sydney Opera House

We just finished a top secret naming gig for the prestigious Sydney Opera House. When it's over and the fat lady sings, we'll let you know all about it. But until then, our lips are sealed. Here's a photo of one of the friends I made when I spent a year down under.