Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Have an X-treme X-mas

What better holiday than Xmas to capitalize on the "X" craze?

Not a terrible way of branding, but it only works if you actually pronounce Xmas like "eks-mas"... it sounds somewhat out of place in a formal setting.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Nobody Duz It Better

Here's an oldie from 1951:


Monday, November 26, 2007

There goes that stray X again...


First Sxoop, now Blosxom.

Adding X's at the beginning or end of the word is so passé ("xtreme!" this and that), so let's throw them right in the middle of the word! Note that it's Blosxom not Bloxsom, the latter would be more easily pronounced.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Should've chosen a Byetta name...

Contrary to what one might think, this name rhymes with "beta" rather than "better", despite the double t's.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Crooks & Cons

Crooks: It's an unfortunately named city in South Dakota, isn't that bad enough?

To make matters even worse, look at the name of an accounting firm located there:

Crooks Accounting.

Q: Who would do business with them?

A: How about the manufacturer Con Labs?

Sunday, November 4, 2007

To Finity and beyond

Finit Solutions

"Finit" is a common mispronunciation of finite. Most of us encounter the word infinite before seeing finite (think math class), and assume that you can remove the in- prefix and keep the same pronunciation.

In addition, the name sounds limiting, like there are only a finite amount of solutions available.

Friday, October 26, 2007

I found a wee for cheap!

Nintendo Wee

Hmmm, a DVD player named Wee... and it uses the same typeface as "Wii"!

But wait, there's more! For just $25 more, we'll throw in the Weemote:


Nothing beats asking for a wee plus extra weemotes for under $100! Bonus: place the wee underneath your wii so you can say you have a wee-wii!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Xnergetically confusing


This name seems poor on two counts: the "X-" prefix is way overused by now, and it also has ambiguous pronunciation.

Take off the "X" and we're left with the dangling "-Nergy". This can be related to that awful NRG ("energy") abbreviation (wow, just spell the letters N-R-G and it sounds like energy! the letters themselves don't stand for anything)

Is it supposed to be pronounced "X - Energy" or just "X Nergy"? To further complicate things, which syllable is stressed?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

This name grades itself!

Red F Marketing

That's what you get for naming your company.

Small note: It actually represents Redefining the Future, but how many people will pick up on that?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

You've got some renewin' to do

Renew In

(no pic available yet)

This is yet another product in the long line of HeadOn spinoffs (Active On and Prefer On to name a few more). First of all, do we really need ANOTHER spin-off product of Head On? Secondly, the name makes no sense. Renew in what? Thirdly, it's painful to hear the guy on the commercial try too hard to be hip and pronounce it like "renewin'".

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Open cutivation?


That's not a spelling error, it's really called Cutivate, not cultivate. It's a medication designed to relieve inflammatory skin conditions. Why it's a pun of "cultivate" is beyond me.

This pun doesn't work too well either:
It's as bad as the "scar zone" name; with "cut" in the name, you certainly don't want to emphasize the spreading of them!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Playing wee?


Moowee is a service that lets you watch internet movies on TV. Why would they name it such? It's an obvious play on "movie", using a w sound instead of v, but changing the spelling quite a bit. Also, it lets you play movies on your Wii (!) which doesn't make the name totally useless.

As the Name Awards blog says... this name is cow piss!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Watch your typeface...

Take a look at the magazine cover below:

Its full title is CLM "College Lifestyle Magazine", but running the letters together like that only serves to make the middle look like a certain vowel.

To take this even further, look what the title of their photo section is called:

CLM shots.

Given the target demographic, do you really think that this is purely coincidental?

Friday, September 14, 2007

x² + 2xy + y² = ?


This name isn't *bad* per se, it's just one of the stranger names out there. Certainly more creative than e-this and i-that and -r suffixing.

Friday, September 7, 2007

No Sxoop for you!


Just looking at the name is headache-inducing. How can you possibly pronounce a name starting with that consonant cluster (Sx-) ?

I guess you can take the X as silent, and pronounce it as "soup" or "zoop."

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Are their products bottom-grade?


Hynix, is this some weird variation on Unix? No, it's a semiconductor company.

You gotta wonder if the quality lives up to (or should I say, down to?) their name.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Just a quickie, please!

In & Out Lube....

In & Out Lube
Conveniently located right next to your neighborhood Kum & Go!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Taking advantage of you everyday.

Advantage Funeral and Cremation Services.

This is named in pretty bad taste if you think about it. :(

Monday, August 13, 2007

What are you Ejasent to?

And the winner of the bastardized spelling award goes to....



Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Beware the awkward silent letters.


Fauxto name

How do you pronounce Fauxto?

fox-two? foe-two? Oh, it's just pronounced "photo".

While I'm pretty sure that the pronunciation of faux is well known (as in faux pas), it's that "to" sticking out at the end that will throw people off.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Curb your en-Thoof-iasm

Thoof! Just hit my head on the table thinking about this name...

Yeah, I know almost everybody's talked about how bad this name is, but it just has to be mentioned here. Weird names like Yahoo and Google could work, but Thoof is just a nonsense syllable. The name can't be verbed well; if the site does become popular (it looks like a site in the style of digg/del.icio.us), you won't hear people saying "Thoof this!" or "If you like our story, please Thoof us!"

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Suffering a Learnia?

Learnia name

The -a or -ia suffix is normally an attractive one, but someone must have overlooked the negative connotations here!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Yep, that's a real product name

Nads for men hair removal
Nads hair removal... for men.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Whoops, a faux pas in advertising!

Here's an advertising faux pas:

SUV rollover ad

Rollover? For an SUV ad, that doesn't mix too well...

Monday, July 9, 2007

Let's cram as many things as possible into one word!

I don't think this slogan is in use any longer, but it just has to be mentioned once again:



Translation: It is supposed to be a mashup of "Better, Simpler, Easier"

How's that for "completely forgettable"?

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Maybe it's better to just spell it the right way.

Kum And Go
Kum & Go

Makes perfect sense for a convenience store, doesn't it? The name conjures up images of people entering and leaving the store at a fast pace.

One problem: look at the spelling!
What were they thinking when they came (sorry for the pun!) up with that name?

Maybe they should partner up with Dirty Dicks :)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

You forgot to mention your company name.

An ad seen on TV: Tuesday morning, sale 50% to 80% off!

Tuesday morning

But where, you might wonder? There is no mention of a store or company name.

I was actually puzzled by this. Further research shows that the actual name of the company is "Tuesday Morning"! How's that for confusing your customers?

Friday, June 15, 2007

Interlude: domains, google, and child naming

Naming at its most ridiculous: Would you name your child based on the availability of the domain name? How about on how google-able it is? UGH....

Because it's never too early to optimize.....

Here's the WSJ story on it: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB117856222924394753.html

Why does everything have to be monetized these days?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Say WA? More from the bad slogan department.

say wa

This is pretty bad for a state slogan. It plays off the fact that one shouldn't pronounce state abbreviations, but you have to in this case!

Fun fact: 18 months and 32 marketing people were wasted in coming up with this slogan.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

What were they thinking?

dirty dicks

Dirty Dicks crab house. Would you really want to eat at a place called Dirty Dicks?

Sunday, June 3, 2007

But in what language?

skechers shoe

Bad slogan alert

Skechers: We put the 'S' in action. What the hell?

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

5ive alive!

More number-in-name craziness, this time it makes even less sense to use the number in the name.

Introducing.... 5ive. Yes, 5ive, that is not a typo. How would you say it? "Five-ive" I guess. When you named these, you could have just stopped at the number 5. But noooo, you had to continue and add the meaningless "ive" to the name.

Here are some examples:

A board game:

A movie:

And even a freaking boy band, of all things in the world to have this horrible name:

In each of these cases, THE 5 LOOKS NOTHING LIKE AN F!

At least the 3 has some resemblance to an E, as seen in the previous post.

In this situation, it isn't even leet speak; I don't know why someone would drop the first letter of "five" and replace it with a "5". Why not just drop the whole word and use the number by itself?

Friday, May 25, 2007

Replacing letters with numbers

Here are some names which have their letters replaced by numbers. This isn't new at all, it is just cashing in on the leetspeak phenomenon (or "l33t" if you prefer).

Driv3r: This should be pronounced "driv-three-are", since the 3 is placed at that point in the word. If it is really "Driver 3", then put the 3 where it is supposed to be! What's the next one gonna be called? Driv4r, Driv5r, Driv6r.....

Th3 Plan: What the hell is this? "T-H-three" plan? Ohhh, it's actually the word "The", with a useless 3 instead of the letter E. Just shows you how ridiculous these names are getting.

Numb3rs: "numb-three-R-S". Okay, so it makes a little sense seeing that the show's premise is "numbers", but do you really need to drop the number in the title. Those that read about the show in newspapers and tv guide will sometimes think that the editor made a typo, seeing that the '3' key is right above the 'e'.

The more closely you look at these names, the more you realize what a mess these names really are.

I know some of you think that leet speak is cool, but just think about 10 years from now. What will we really think of these names by that time?

Monday, May 21, 2007

That's one devil of a cold!

666 cold medicine
666 cold medicine. You can't make this stuff up!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Examining the names of Web 2.0 startups: part 6 (#20-25)

This is the last (finally!) installment of the Web 2.0 name analysis, with services #20 to 25 of Business 2.0's Top 25 Web Startups.

20. ViTrue

ViTrue is a place for uploading advertisement videos of your products. When I first saw the logo, I thought the name was iTrue; I interpreted the V as just a checkmark symbol that is surrounding the I. I'm not sure on the pronunciation either: is it VY-true or VEE-true? It is probably the latter, and is named that way because V-True was taken. V is for videos I guess, the name is short and makes a little sense.
Pros: short name
Cons: pronunciation isn't obvious, confusing logo

21. SuccessFactors

SuccessFactors is a suite of Web development tools. Nothing particularly exciting about the name, it is pretty generic and not very memorable. The logo is mystifying; I'm not sure what they were going for here.
Pros: common dictionary words
Cons: generic and lengthy name

22. JanRain

JanRain allows you to access multiple sites with just one login id. Sounds convenient right? Not if there are 50 of these copycat sites promising "one login" capability. The name hardly makes sense at all! What does rain have to do with login consolidation? And why Jan? This sounds like a cleaning or laundry product. Another case of 2 random dictionary word mashups.
Pros: none
Cons: name was randomly chosen, makes no sense

23. LogoWorks

Obviously, LogoWorks is a service that designs logos. Do you see the irony here? Hopefully they can do a better job than designing their own logo!
Pros: functional name
Cons: logo doesn't imply they are high quality

24. Rearden Commerce

Rearden Commerce deals with personal assistant applications such as event planning and hotel reservations. The name is not pleasing to say, it looks like it is a compound of 2 words which are not similar.
Pros: none
Cons: does not have a pleasing sound to it

25. SimulScribe

SimulScribe converts voice mail into scannable text. Not a bad name, does pretty much what you would think it does.
Pros: name makes sense
Cons: none

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Examining the names of Web 2.0 startups: part 5 (#15-19)

This is the second to the last part of the Web 2.0 name series. We're examining the names of Web 2.0 services #15 to 19 of Business 2.0's Top 25 Web Startups.

15. Soonr

What is with web 2.0 companies dropping vowels from their names? The name is puzzling: the service allows you to access your PC from your mobile phone. Plus their headquarters are located in California, not Oklahoma as you would expect!
Pros: none
Cons: misleading name, copycat name

16. Turn

An ad service in which advertisers pay for targetted results. Not seeing how this related much to the name (perhaps one could "turn" ads into results?). A four-letter dictionary word as their domain name will certainly help them though.
Pros: name is short, common word
Cons: name isn't related to the service that much

17. + 18. Adify, Admob

Both Adify and Admob are advertising services as one would expect from the names. Not much to discuss on these names, they do what one would think they would do. Adify does have a nifty -ify suffix, which allows the name to be verbed easily.
Pros: functional names
Cons: not very original names

19. SpotRunner

SpotRunner is a service that sells premade TV ads. You can personalize those ads by giving your company name, phone number, web address, etc. This isn't a bad name at all, the name works quite well in relation to what they are offering. The name works in multiple meanings, the logo symbolizes one meaning (the dog that is running), and the service symbolizes the other (running TV advertising spots).
Pros: name makes sense over 2 meanings
Cons: nothing that bad; name can be somewhat long to type