Today’s blog contains something for all my 11,000 Brilliant Readers:
1. Advertising pros will find a piece on the marketing of Pop Rocks as it relates to a current assignment of mine, The Art of Naming a New Product
2. Read about real products with awful names like Soup for Sluts and Child Shredded Meat in The 10 Worst, Most Disgusting Product Names I Didn’t Come Up With
3. Then, there’s a serious guest blog on How to Fill Out a Profile for Online Dating. It’s good advice for anyone of any dating age, 20-80
4. Finally, there a link to a blog called BoomSpeak that I think Baby Boomers will really enjoy. Oh, what a coincidence! They’re featuring a guest blog I wrote on 10 Spectacular Ways to Fail. Who knew?
The Art of Naming a New Product
Currently, I’m working on a freelance project naming a product. Product naming is one of my favorite assignments, but it’s not so easy to come up with a name that’s creative, strategic and memorable. And one that can withstand the torturous run through the obstacle course called Client Approval.
Beware the Lawyers!
What is even harder is selling that name to your client. There’s a good chance she’s never picked a name she could live with for the rest of that product’s life cycle.
When I present a new product name, I tell my clients not to make a decision that day on whether or not they like the name. Instead, they have to duplicate market condition. Live with the name for a while, the way a consumer would.
That’s because product names need to stand the test of time. Do you think the first time consumers heard Google or Yahoo, they thought, “What a great name for a company?”
STAN: I did.
HARRIET: You did what?
STAN: The first time I heard the names Google and Yahoo, I thought, “What great names for a search company and an Internet browser.
HARRIET: Really? That’s amazing!
STAN: Not really, I was lying. I was practicing because I want to be in advertising one day.
HARRIET GIVES STAN A QUIZZICAL, BUT DISTURBED LOOK.
STAN: But if I’m really good at lying, I’ll be a politician.
HARRIET: And that’s all it takes to be in politics.
STAN: Oh, hell no, you’ve gotta be able to fake sincerity, too.
HARRIET: Well, Stan, you’d be a great politician. You don’t give a damn about anyone else and you’re a two-faced liar, too.
STAN: See, Harriet, I knew you’d see my good side.
The Pop Rocks Phenomenon
Back in the early 70s, I was a Copywriter for Benton & Bowles, one of the classic ad agencies often mentioned on Mad Men. My client, General Foods, had a problem with a candy they were making, Pop Rocks, the candy-coated “rocks” that exploded, in a good heady way and flew all over your mouth.
It was a trip through time and space without any acid flashbacks!
STAN: Goldstein’s a damn liar. I bet they never sold 3 billion packs of Pop Rocks..
HARRIET: I don’t know, Stan. That seems reasonable. There were 226,545,895 people living in the US in 1980.
HARRIET: Since sales were 13 packs per capita, over 2 billion, 944 million, five hundred thousand people bought Pop Rocks.
STAN: See, I told you it was no three billion!
But the problem was that Pop Rocks sold so fast, we couldn’t make enough of it to satisfy the demand even with 12 machines working 24 hours a day. So General Foods made a product out of the residue that was left over during the manufacture of Pop Rocks and we called it Space Dust.
General Foods worried that Space Dust was a heady experience associated with drug use and the latter part of the name, Dust, might make consumers think the venerable General Food was condoning recreational drug use. By kids, no less.
So when we were asked to rename Space Dust, General Foods lawyers gave us a long list of words we couldn’t use because they carried a drug connotation.
These included: pot, smoke, tight, cookies, Lucy, flash, cheer, blotter, fly, ganja, snow bud, Buddha, blow, Charlie, speed, whiz, buzz, zero, skank, coke, resin, herb, dope, Mary Jane, crystal, bennies, mollies, benz, ups, shroom, footballs, blue angels, yellow jackets, crack, flake, nose candy, powder, horse, jones, mojo, scag, smack, dots, cubes, sunshine, boo, bush, doobie, kif, tea, muggles, beans, buttons, hog, elephant, and peace.
I would havc remembered more names we couldn’t use, but after all, it was the 70s.
By the way, we ended up changing Space Dust to Cosmic Candy.
The 10 Worst, Most Disturbing Product Names I Didn’t Come Up With
Speaking of product names, here are some of the worst product names I found on the Internet. Some are unfortunate translations from other languages. And others are just in really poor taste.
WARNING: Ask the kids to leave the room. Some of these names are pretty off-color.
STAN: What’s Golberg mean when he says off-color.
HARRIET: You know, disgusting, like some of the things you usually say.
STAN: Oh yeah, thanks. Now I know what you mean.
The 10 Most Disgusting Product Names I Did Not Come Up With
How to Fill Out a Profile for Online Dating (or LinkedIn!)
I was impressed with a very unusual young woman I met at a Speed Networking event run by Jewish Vocational Services of New Jersey At this Speed Networking event, you meet 30 people individually in 60 minutes with the hope they may be able to help you or you may be able to help them find a job or freelance work or make a potentially important business connection.
What makes the young woman I met, Sara Greenhouse, so unusual is that she’s intelligent and she’s a Jersey girl. Who knew?
She ventured that she’d written advice for how to withstand the 2014 mating ritual known as online dating. Since online dating isn’t that different that what 260 million people do on the top business network, LinkedIn, I asked Sara if she’d like to offer some of her online dating advice right here on 10 Minutes of Brilliance.
After all, online dating and growing your business and reputation on LinkedIn are all about First Impressions.
When Sara is not offering sage advice for online dating, she runs Generate Buzz, LLC, a site born out of Sara’s strong desire to creatively help very small businesses and non-profits who don’t have the time, money, or know-how to promote themselves, through writing, editing, and photography.
Here’s Sara’s guest blog on Online Dating Do’s:
Online Dating Do’s: 12 Ways to Make A Good First Impression
1. Be Self-Aware: Make sure you’re ready. (Ex. no preoccupation w/ your ex, no chance you’ll get back together, etc.) Before you even sit down to write, do some soul searching. Clearly identify who you are and what you can offer to a partner and a relationship. Establish your wants and needs, understanding the difference between the two. Start thinking of qualities that best describe your personality and those of the person you’re seeking. Then, write in a stream of consciousness fashion. Work on content first, and do the revisions later.
2. Establish Goal(s): Clearly define what qualities you want in a partner and relationship. Indicate if it means you’re open to possibilities or simply admitting that you’re not totally sure yet. These will change over time, so continue to re-assess and update as needed. (Ex. you may want something casual at first, then later discover you’re ready for something serious.)
3. Manage Your Expectations: You’re not perfect, and neither is your prospective date, so don’t expect perfection. If you do, it’ll just end in disappointment for each of you.
4. Make a Good First Impression: This is like making a sales pitch, so give it your best effort. Write at least a solid paragraph of several sentences.
5. Understand the Difference Between Confidence & Modesty: This is much easier said than done, and probably the most difficult part of writing the profile. Your goal should be to come across as self-assured but humble.
6. Be Consistent: There’s nothing more confusing or frustrating, than a profile description that’s contradictory or doesn’t match the photos. No one will respect a hypocrite. Remember that consistency = credibility!
7. Prove Yourself: Anyone can say he or she has a certain trait, but it must be proven in order to be believed. (Ex. if you think you’re family-oriented, instead of simply saying so, give examples of what you enjoy doing together: holidays, events, trips, etc.) Remember to show, not just tell!
8. Stand Out: After reading some profiles, they all begin to sound the same, so avoid clichés, and make it as interesting, honest, & relatible as possible. (Ex. make a brief, harmless joke, even using “j/k”, so it’s more likely to be interpreted as such.)
9. Be Clear & Concise: Give someone enough details about you that they’ll want to know more. (Ex. If you’re active, mention how so, whether it’s weights, running, etc. This demonstrates that you care about your appearance and health, which are both very desirable traits.) No one bothers reading a profile if it’s too long, nor will he or she take you as seriously if it’s too brief.
10. Be Timely & Relevant: Update your profile as you’re able. (Ex. list or describe topics about which you’re passionate, such as: current events, music, sports, etc.) Those keywords are an easy way for someone to see if he or she would be compatible w/ you.
11. Watch Your Language: Use proper grammar, spelling, & punctuation. Viewers need to feel they can relate to you, so speak to them, not at them. Consider having a friend review it. Having thoughtful, complete sentences makes it easier to read and you will appear more intelligent. Even if you think you’re a great writer, be sure to use spell check and grammar check. You may want to consider a thesaurus if you find yourself being a tad repetitive. (Ex. “I like to…” vs “sometimes I’ll…”)
12. Be Open-Minded: You’ll never know until and unless you put yourself out there. Try to give people the benefit of the doubt, unless you have good reason not to. Everyone has his or her own unique accomplishments, values, and faults. We are human after all.
BEST OF LUCK IN YOUR SEARCH!
© 2014 GENERATE BUZZ, LLC
Check out Sara’s Dont’s for Online Dating and lots of other advice on making a great first impression. Are you too old to date? You’re not dead? Then you’re not. And visit AARP’s Dating Site or Our Time, other sites for Oldies but Goodies.
Boom Speak: Your Whole Life Is in Front of You
You’ve gotta love a blog for Baby Boomers that advises that demographic group with the positive manta “You’ve Got Your Whole Life Ahead of You.” These guys are smart. What Boomer would want to read BoomSpeak if they led with their other choice for a Boomers’ slogan: “Face it. You’re gonna die sometime SOON and there will be no more dinner specials at 4 PM!”
BoomSpeak covers Fiction, Travel, Arts and Photos and the current Essay written by Yours Truly!
STAN: They have an essay that I wrote? Sounds great.
No Stan, they have a blog that I wrote: 10 Spectacular Ways to Fail.
STAN: Oh, that doesn’t sound very interesting. I’d advise your Readers to forget it. Not waste their time. It would be better spent in traffic. Or getting root canal.
Whatever Stan, but they’ve got lots of other interesting things for Boomers or for anyone who plans to get that old one day. Anyway, check out BoomSpeak. It’s written by a friend of mine, Jay Harrison.
Well, that’s all for today, Brilliant Readers. I hope to post another blog soon. Maybe in two-three weeks. As soon as I think of something Brilliant to say.
STAN: Which could be never.
STAN: No problem, Goldman.