Tang Smoke and other names that POP!

6 Jul


I love bizarre band names. Tang Smoke, Low Hanging Fruit, Half Man Half Biscuit — the wackier the better.

Unfortunately if you’re a marketer, you can’t always go with the “Wackier the Better” plan if you’re developing a name for a product or tag line.

Sam Horn, author of the book POP! (an acronym which stands for Purposeful, Original and Pithy) provides some great suggestions on how to arrive at the “perfect pitch, title and tagline for anything.” She has many effective techniques in her book but the foundation is most often based around her W9 Form and Core Words.

The W9 form is made up of nine “W” questions you need to ask yourself to get started:

W1: What am I offering?

W2: What problem does my idea or offering solve?

W3: Why is it worth trying and buying?

W4: Who is my target audience?

W5: Who am I and what are my credentials?

W6: Who are my competitors and how am I different from them?

W7: What resistance or objections will people have to this?

W8: What is the purpose of the pitch?

W9: When, where and how do I want people to take action?

Answering these questions will help accomplish the first “P” in POP! — Purposeful.

To help with the “O” and the other “P” try writing down your list of “core words.” These are words or “descriptive phrases that articulate the essence of your offering.” For example, if you’re a BBQ restaurant you might choose core words and phrases such as: meaty, fall-off-the-bone, slow-smoked, family recipe, award-winning or dry rub. Then, look for ways to twist, update, rhyme or combine your core words into a POP!-worthy name or slogan.

Another naming strategy to keep in mind caters more to how most people search for products or services — online. If you’re marketing a Web site, you may be better off naming your site how people would search for it online. This strategy will help you index higher on the search engines. For example if you’re all about things to do in Tampa Bay, resist the temptation to go for clever and go with: tampabay.com/things-to-do which is what the team at the Tampa Bay Times did with good results.

If it seems like all the good names are gone, you could coin your own like Google or Verizon, however be prepared to put a lot of money behind it to plant it in the consumers mind, or create the world’s most dominant online search tool.

Search Tool…now there’s a decent band name. 

For more marketing chatter and a place to trade wacky band names, real and imagined, follow me on Twitter @kdoreilly


One Response to “Tang Smoke and other names that POP!”

  1. Anton English - Internet Marketing July 9, 2012 at 11:16 am #

    Actually I like the idea of “search tool” for a band name. Or, you could start your own brand of flashlights and call them “search tool”.

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