Thursday, April 30, 2009

We wrote the book on naming books.

Imagine our surprise when we looked on Amazon a few weeks ago and saw that the book we titled Solemate was ranked #29 on their best seller list and #1 under books on "Depression." (Nothing depressing about that!) Author Lauren Mackler came to Eat My Words at the eleventh hour, needing an arresting book title for her new book about "mastering the art of aloneness." Our team tackled the assignment, submitting catchy titles including, Dancing With Myself, Table For One, and Good Enough for Garbo. The winning title, "Solemate" says it all. And readers clearly love it. Babs on Amazon gave it five stars and said, "...who can resist that clever title."

A best-seller in the UK as well, Solemate is about mastering the art of aloneness. But it's not about being alone. It's a book for people who want to enhance the quality of their lives by improving their relationships with themselves and with others. Download an excerpt or order the book here.

What do you call "Yelp for pet owners?:

Doggone it, "Yelp" would be the perfect name, but it was taken. So we came up with Breed Trust (and got on GoDaddy for $9.95). When you see the Breed Trust decal in a window of a pet service provider or on their website, you know that it is a business you can trust because, as our taglines says, it's Owner Recommended. Pet Approved. In addition to user ratings and reviews of local pet businesses, the Breed Trust website will include info on dog and cat breeds, pet travel, and the "Gossip Hound News Browser," featuring pet news (yes, you can lap up more about Bo!), user reviews of pet-themed books, movies, and TV shows (e.g. I Love Lassie), pet care advice, and of course an online pet store, because pets don't drive. We'll yap about it when it launches, but if you want to be the first to know, sign up here.

Announcing a fresh new name for Second Chance Coffee: I HAVE A BEAN

When some people thought the name Second Chance Coffee implied that the beans were recycled, the founders knew it was time for a name change. The name Second Chance stemmed from the mission of the company - to help ex-offenders help themselves by providing gainful post-prison employment, job training and a community of acceptance. The company positively impacts the spiritual, social and economic condition of their employees, their families and the communities in which they live. All that and they make what many people say is the smoothest cup of coffee they have ever tasted. (It's so smooth, most of their customers drink it black.) Second Chance wanted us to create a memorable name that they could monetize, like we had done for frozen yogurt franchise Spoon Me and the chain of laundromats we named Stuff a Sock in It. After reviewing dozens of names, the top contenders were narrowed down to Happy Joe Lucky, I Dream of Coffee, Thank God It's Coffee, and I Have a Bean. We felt that I Have a Bean made the biggest emotional connection and had the strongest potential to make our client rich through the sale of t-shirts, mugs and coffee canisters. The client agreed. The tagline we created, "Inspired Coffee" helps set the tone that the company is inspiring people to live better lives. We are thrilled with the package design, which was created by Carrie Dufour and her talented team at Sloat Design. We snatched up for $9.95 and the site and brand officially launch on June 1st. Until then, follow them on Twitter, at I Have a Bean.

Out of our minds for Brain Thaw

Ex-Microsoft guy John Grispon came to Eat My Words for a cool name and tagline for his new marketing consulting company. Since John helps people put "ideas into action," we named his company Brain Thaw. We love John and it's not just because on the side he's a dreamy print model and was George Clooney's stand-in on the new flick Up In The Air. Well, okay, that might have something to do with it.

Tweet My Words (before someone nabs your name)

Hurry and register your name on Twitter before someone else hijacks it and tweets your words. It's free to sign up and takes all of 17 seconds. Even if you don't have the foggiest idea of what Twitter is or how you could possibly use it to get business, do yourself an enormous favor and secure your brand name (and personal name) on Twitter right now before someone else takes it. You can figure out how to use it later. Unlike domain names, Twitter names (e.g. eatmywords, spoonme, ihaveabean, monalisastyle, fusionlaw, halogenguides) don't cost a dime and are snap to get. I was a Twitterphobe until we got a client, Cha Chang, who "tweeted" a question about needing a naming firm and got a "tweet" back from one of her "followers," who referred her to Eat My Words. Cha-Ching! Since then, I've used Twitter a few times a week to blast out 140-character-or-less business updates, links to blog posts, and informal surveys. You can do the same and more... tweet special offers, ask your customers for feedback, and let them know about new products. Here's how some of our clients are using Twitter to engage their customers. Click on their name to see their Twitter page and postings...
Spoon Me "Tweet your favorite Spoon Me combo!"
I Have a Bean "We have a lease! We hope to be roasting by the week of May 9th"
Solemate "Solemate is now #4 for Movers and Shakers on Kindle!"
Fusion Law "Cal-COBRA Employers Get a Break"
Eat My Dust "On beautiful days and nights like these, don't forget 2 open the windows and shut the A/C (or heat) to save energy and increase air quality."

Please let us know when you sign up. And be sure to follow us at eatmywords.

To learn how B2B marketers are using Twitter, read this excellent article.

Friday, April 10, 2009

I must confess that truuconfessions is a truuly dreadful name.

Picture 3
Regular Kitchen Sink contributor Robin Wolaner of TeeBeeDee tipped us off to this truuly dreadful name, truuconfessions, which was clearly the result of someone thinking they were being clever by snagging the domain name for $9.95 on GoDaddy. (The correct spelling, is parked - why not just pony up the money and save yourselves the nightmare of having to say, "That's 'true' with two u's and no e" every time they tell someone the name. Painfuul.) Too bad the name is so bad as truuconfessions provides hours of fun... Here are some confessions I found under different categories:

Military Wife: I shop too much while my husband is gone. (Posted by "anonymous")

Office: If you say "cool beany weenies" one more time I'm going to staple your mouth shut. Your 40 years old, come on! (Posted by "anonymous")

Mom: It drives me crazy when childless people say "I love my dogs like I would love my kid". How do you know? You don't have a kid off which to base that statement. (Posted by "anonymous")

Bride: I want to kill my MOH! She insisted I try false eyelashes on my wedding day and I foolishly listened to her and had a woman I'd never met come over to put them on. It was such a disaster - I had glue all over my eyelids and I looked like a transvestite with clumpy black long FAKE lashes!!!! (Posted by "anonymous")

Wife: My husband is pissed at me for not making the kids mow the lawn before he came home from work. (Posted by "anonymous")

Obama O's Cereal "Hope In Every Bowl"

Just caught this on Twitter. (Thanks Edith!)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Hail to the Obama Ch-Ch-Chia Pet

Mik spotted this latest product to cash-in on the Obama name...

From the website:

Can you grow one? YES YOU CAN.

Easy to do... Fun to Grow.
Full growth 1-2 weeks
Reuse your Chia indefinitely


  • Chia Obama handmade planter
  • Chia Seed packet for 3 plantings
  • Convenient Drip Tray
  • Planting and care instruction sheet

Monday, April 6, 2009

Marketing gurus re-name pollack to boost sales... and call it COLIN

Thanks to Kitchen Sink fan Igal Gabbay for alerting us to the latest naming disaster from the nitwit Brits...

Marketing gurus re-name pollack to boost sales... and call it COLIN
from the salacious tabloid, The Daily Mail
By Sean Poulter
06th April 2009

When the marketing experts at Sainsbury's sat down to the task of trying to boost sales of pollack, they had a brainwave.

'Let's give it a new name,' they said.

Many months and meetings later, the name was chosen - Colin.

Colin (pronounced Col-an) is what the French, who actually can't get enough of Britain's pollack, call the fish once it has been cooked.

It is an interesting choice of name and one which the British shopper may struggle to come to terms with.

Sainsbury's said the exercise is designed to make British consumers add pollack to their shopping list as an alternative to threatened species such as cod.

There is a feeling that the current name is as ugly as the bug-eyed fish itself, while it seems a number of shoppers are wary about asking for pollack.

Read the entire article here...

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Brooklyn Restaurant’s Name Hits a Sour Note

Published: April 3, 2009

To the list of lofty names that glamorize the city’s fried chicken stands, like Crown, Royal and Kennedy, one Brooklyn restaurant owner decided to add another: Obama.

From the restaurant’s perspective, the name change grew out of pride in the new president and a keen sense of commerce. From other perspectives, it was tone-deaf at best, and racist at worst. When the restaurant, Royal Fried Chicken on Rutland Road in Brownsville, changed its name last week to Obama Fried Chicken, the reaction was swift.

“Community leaders came. They told us we have to change the name,” said Mohammad Jabbar, 33, the manager. “They said if you don’t change it they will take action.”

It was the latest outbreak of commercial enthusiasm for President Obama and his family. An Illinois company tried to sell dolls that looked like the president’s daughters, and a Brooklyn brewery, Sixpoint Craft Ales, named a beer Hop Obama in honor of the community organizer in chief.

A few minutes’ drive from Obama Fried Chicken, Obama Beauty Supply opened its doors several months ago. Its owner, Mohammed Seraji, said he was inspired by his children’s enthusiasm for the president, along with Mr. Obama’s popularity in the neighborhood. A Michelle Obama wig he sells, for $49.99, is emerging as a popular item.

A White House spokesman, Ben LaBolt, said in an e-mail message, “The White House has a longstanding policy of disapproving uses of the president’s name and likeness for commercial purposes.”

At the restaurant, Mr. Jabbar, who said he had been a lawyer and university instructor in his native Bangladesh before moving here in January, has, apart from serving food, become Obama Fried Chicken’s spokesman. The owner, he said, did not wish to speak to reporters.

Explaining the decision to rename the restaurant, Mr. Jabbar said that not only was the owner fond of President Obama but that the entire neighborhood also “loved” him.

“From this love, everything is happening,” Mr. Jabbar said, weary from all the attention.

There were support and derision for the unnamed owner along Rutland Road, where most every store hangs a picture of the president, and where, on a rainy Friday, passers-by took cellphone pictures of the rebranded fried chicken stand.

Chantel Harewood, 18, a college student who grew up in the neighborhood, ordered food from Mr. Jabbar and said she liked the new name. “Why not? It’s history,” she said. “All these stereotypes. People got to relax.”

However, Mr. Jabbar said that the restaurant was bowing to the pressure, and that it would be renamed Popular Fried Chicken by the weekend. Ms. Harewood did not think much of the new name. “That’s so blah, predictable, typical,” she said. The current name, she added, gave her “pride.”

In the Au Monde Chic barbershop, where Mr. Obama’s portrait hung on a back wall, Alnord Benoit cut a customer’s hair and called the name change “disrespectful.”

“Did he get permission from Obama?” Mr. Benoit asked.

In a nearby computer store, the manager, Earl Dennis, jokingly said he should rename his place Obama’s Computer Store. “It’s publicity,” Mr. Dennis said. Of the chicken restaurant, he said, “I’m not eating there.”

Competition might have played some role in the new name. Crown Fried Chicken is across the street, owned by Osman Mohibi, 47, an Afghan immigrant. He keeps pictures of Mr. Obama and Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. taped to the plexiglass divider by the cash register.

Mr. Mohibi said his competitor’s misstep was winning new customers for Crown Fried Chicken. “He used the name,” Mr. Mohibi said of the owner. “He used black people.”

Kevin McCall, one of the community organizers who confronted Obama Fried Chicken’s owner, said he received calls from residents disturbed by the sign, and quickly contacted the owner to tell him it was “very offensive to African-Americans.”

The owner told him it would be taken down the next day, Mr. McCall said. When it was not, he contacted the owner again. “I said we would be out there having a rally,” Mr. McCall said.

City Councilman Charles Barron, who was also involved in the effort to change the name, said it was possible that the owner was simply trying to exploit the president’s name. “Fried chicken, watermelon and minstrels are part of the racist stereotyping of black people in America,” he said. “It’s outrageous. You have to be sensitive and knowledgeable.”

At the store on Friday afternoon, Mr. Jabbar served ice cream to teenagers and chicken wings to regulars. He said he did not really understand the pressure to bring down the sign, since everyone who came in the store seemed to like the idea. And he was concerned about what would happen if the community advocates returned.

“I’m new to this country,” he said. “I don’t really know what they could do.”

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Someone should be jailed for this frightful name: Child Predator Hands

Thanks to Lenny Raymond for tipping us of to this frightening name:
From the product description...
Predators are hunters who look for trophies of other dangerous species for sport such as humans and other aliens. This latex Predator Hands costume product has metal look gauntlets and knife details. Add this to your child's Predator Mask for a great movie look!

I don't think we'll see these on Oprah's O-list anytime soon.