Friday, December 12, 2008

Vote For the Worst Brand Name of 2008

All year long we compile the biggest brand name "Head Scratchers" in our blog. Now you can vote for the worst one and help induct it into the Eat My Words Name Shame Hall of Fame. Based on criteria from the Eat My Words SMILE & SCRATCH name evaluation test, here are what we consider to be the top ten offenders that we've discovered this year:

Airphoria - a new "airline experience"

Authonomy - post your manuscript online

Chumby - a newfangled Linux-based gadget

Cuil - a not so cool search engine name

Cranergy - Ocean Spray's latest trainwreck

Naymz - a professional "reputation network"

Salesify - the new name for SalesBuild

Shryk - online banking platform

Traackr - social networking popularity site

VivaKy - integrated digital media universe

Please vote for the worst here. (Write in candidates welcome.) We'll announce the winner in our blog in late-January. The company behind the winning name will receive a big pink trophy, courtesy of Eat My Words. (We're still waiting for our thank you note from last year's winner, Xobni.) NOTE: Feel free to post this in your blog and spread the word around.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Bad to the Xohm

One of our favorite really really bad names and contender for 2008's Eat My Words Name Shame Hall of Fame, XOHM, has met an early death. We previously ranted about this abomination as being wrong in so many many ways back in March and our opinion has not improved.Xohm2

The merger with Clearwire has provided an opportunity to euthanize XOHM with the announcement that the new name will be "Clear". Sources at Clearwire have said that present XOHM customers will not experience any impact from the merger other than not having to say or read the name XOHM ever again.

We're not saying Clear is the best name ever, especially with the trite tagline "Let's be clear", that goes along with it, but at least it does not provoke our gag reflex.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Love at first sight doesn't just happen on eHarmony.

Imagine never having to spend a dime on advertising or PR because your brand name was so magnetic that people were instantly drawn to it. And your name was so infectious, your customers were excited to tell other people and generate buzz for you. We've seen this happen over and over again with names we create. The frozen yogurt franchise we named Spoon Me. The commercial cleaning company we named Eat My Dust. The iPod clock radio we named Moondance. The laundromat we named Stuff a Sock In It. The ice cream store we named Frigid. The home cleaning robot we named Neato. The charity reward program we named Angel Points. The dips for kids we named Monkey Dunks. And of course our own name, Eat My Words.

How likable is your own brand name?
Do people smile when they hear it?
Do they say, "I wish I thought of that!"
Do they say, "I can't believe that name wasn't taken!"
Do they say, "My friend was just talking about that!"
Do they ask, "Where can I buy the t-shirt?"

If you answered "yes" to any of the above, you're in great shape (and chances are, you are an Eat My Words client).

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

NameTag®, You’re Not It

E1228856003We are always amused by our competitors when they glorify their naming processes as “proprietary” methodology and come up with mumbo jumbo voodoo jive to describe what’s behind the curtain. Sometimes all that behind the curtain is empty space. Let us say it again:

Everyone names things the same way, but some just do it better than others. When you can stand by your names proudly, you don’t need falderal to sell your names.

Which brings us to worldwide brand strategy, naming firm and falderal experts, NameTag® International, Inc.

Nametag Logo Nametag unforgetable

( who claims their names are…)

Here is their International mumbo jumbo voodoo jive:

“Our proprietary Idiotics™ Ideonics™ process encompasses BrandVision™, strategic ideation, trademark assessment, brand testing and brand rollout assistance.”

Falderal to English translation:

Our process, that is like everyone else’s, involves thinking up names, checking for conflicts, testing it and stuff then pretend that we came up with great names (although we won’t tell you that part). Then, in our downtime, we sit around and think up junk like Ideonics™, BrandVision™ and:

InSight Research, which breaks down into four distinct options for your brand research needs:

· 4Sight™ provides our clients with rapid market indicators of the viability of their brand name.

· EquiTest™ measures the brand equity of an existing name.

· WorldTest™ serves as an international brand inference testing procedure providing a preliminary, global linguistic analysis in languages specified by the client.

· VeriTest™ addresses global research and is designed to assist clients with name assessment and final name candidate viability

Yikes. Nothing new there.

Here is what you get with Ideonics™ et al ; Everything from Amazara to Zintrepid, with STŌK, Sorian, Aerius, Cognis and Teligen in between.

They say:

Nametag unforgetable

We Say:

Nametag unmemorable

Eat My Words creates truly unforgettable names like Spoon Me frozen yogurt, Cake Financial, Frigid ice cream, BackBeat ear buds and iPod clock radio we named Moondance. We can do the same for you….and we promise never to say falderal ever again.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

What’s The Worst Band Name, Like, Ever?

What’s The Worst Band Name, Like, Ever?

Posted Fri Nov 21, 2008 3:16pm PST by Martin Aston in The MOJO Blog

Puddle Of Mudd? Toad The Wet Sprocket? Or one of those terrible emo groups called things like Car Parked Selfishly or Boy Raised By Chimps? Martin Aston referees MOJO's Terrible Band Name Smackdown.

What's in a band name? An explanation, a badge, a cri de coeur? A window, perhaps, onto an artist's soul. Those most cherished of acts have a name indivisible from their DNA--The Velvet Underground, Led Zeppelin, The New York Dolls, The Smiths, The Clash. I only mention this because I was recently sent an EP from Surrey emo band, You Me At Six--arguably as pointless a band name as it gets. It made me think of Manic Street Preachers Nicky Wire's rant against mimsy shoegazers Slowdive--"worse than Hitler," he opined.

Lazy art can get to you like that. Now, I know there can only be one Beatles, one Mercury Rev, one ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead. But with the entire lexicon at their fingertips, You Me At Six is clearly not a band name that looks to the stars. Unlike, say, the enlightening They Came From The Stars, I Saw Them--themselves victims of Crappy Band Name hate blogs I encountered while researching this monograph.

Shoegaze was defined by its one-word band names--Blur, Lush, Ride, Spin. Repetitive, yes, but you can see the intention: to mirror the music's gauzy textures. At the other end of the bluster spectrum, emo band names extol the art of saying nothing, importantly: Christie Front Drive, Bring Me The Horizon, Hot Water Music, Dogs Die In Hot Cars--make up your own shameful version at The Emo Band Name Generator.

At least an inexcusable name can be constructive. I know without hearing a note that I'll never enjoy Scouting For Girls or The Pigeon Detectives. A flick through a gig guide last week turned up the following bands that I can happily avoid--Apples For Everyone, Nothing Rhymes With Orange, Bill Posters Will Be Band, My Tiger My Timing.

Chronic monikers can also be intriguing. Had I not known indie feys Grab Grab The Haddock, winners of BBC Radio #1's Worst Band Name poll of 2003, I'd have wondered what music deserved such risible baggage. Runners-up were Spandau Ballet, which expertly nailed New Romantic pretension, while the fact Crispy Ambulance came third also shows how the crux of a great name escapes some folk.

I haven't even begun to recount the horrors of the goth/industrial scene (hi, Anaal Nathrakh! you are named after a spell uttered by the wizard Merlin in John Boorman's 1981 film Excalibur that means "serpent's breath"). But it's not only rock; rap has its share of name shame. Calling yourself after a cotton bud, Q-Tip? Chali 2na, what were you thinking?

News just in: Nickel Eye is the solo project of The Strokes' bassist Nikolai Fraiture. From names sunk by puns to those calculated to annoy (Does It Offend You, Yeah?) and unintentionally induce yawns (sorry, The Milk & Honey Band), there are many reasons to get riled. I haven't decided which category the following fit into, but I know, on a cranky day, they're worse than Hitler: Puddle Of Mudd. Cherry Poppin' Daddies. Baboon Torture Division. Enuff Z'Nuff. Bowling For Soup. Dysfunkshun Junkshun. Mr Mister. Toad The Wet Sprocket. Crazy Town. The Hobbits Of The Shire. Keane. Come share some healthy anger and let MOJO know your worst.