Mocha chocolata ya ya

mmixDescriptive product names are at their absolute worst when they mislead and confuse. A particularly sour example is Mocha Mix, a non-dairy creamer that is… not mocha (chocolate + coffee) flavored. Mocha Mix is plain non-dairy creamer, meant to taste like plain cream. It is a product that will dissapoint coffee lovers who thought they were buying a non-dairy mocha flavored cream substitute and will be passed over by those looking for a non-flavored non-dairy cream substitute.

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125k per word

From the Baltimore Business Journal:

Though they weren’t invited to “Get In On It” themselves, many Baltimore advertising experts are keen on the city’s new slogan to be unveiled on Wednesday at the Hippodrome.

“Get In On It” is the city’s new tagline developed by San Francisco’s Landor Associates on behalf of the Baltimore Area Convention and Visitors Association. The nine-month, $500,000 branding campaign was met with resistance from some members of the Baltimore advertising community who thought a local agency ought to have been selected to craft the campaign.

Though some advertising executives said that a hasty reading of the tagline might make it easily confused with an invitation to “Get It On,” many thought the slogan was provocative.

Yes, “Get it on” would have been provocative, but then the slogan would have cost 167k per word, which was more than Baltimore had budgeted.

Blandor Says Blandor the Imponderable: “B’more!, B’more!, B’more!, B’more!, B’more!, B’more!, B’more!, B’more!, B’more!, B’more!, B’more!, B’more!, B’more!, B’more!, B’more!, B’more!, B’more!, B’more!, B’more!, B’more!, B’more!, B’more!, B’more!, B’more!, B’more!, B’more!”

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BlackBerry moves beyond Crackberry

RIM’s BlackBerry has found another perch in the vernacular:

It’s sometimes called “Blackberry thumb,” that pain in the hands and fingers caused by sending too many text messages on tiny keyboard. The source of the pain might be new, but it’s just a different version of an old ailment, repetitive stress injury.

Repetitive motion syndrome on a Treo is still referred to as “hairy Palm”.

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Guam V. GUAM

There is a large land mass called GUAM, but it shouldn’t be confused with the island of Guam. GUAM is not Guam, that little 212 square mile Unincorporated Territory of the United States parked comfortably at 13.48 degrees North, 144.45 degrees East. The other GUAM is an alliance between Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova.

GUAM is ready for a name change, but not because it is aware of the other Guam. They simply want to be able to add new nation members without continually changing their name. From Moldova.org:

As the Moldovan authorities believe, the regional alliance of Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova can be called Commonwealth for European Choice for Democracy and Economic Development. On May 22, Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin introduced to GUAM member countries’ presidents Moldova’s proposal on changing the organization’s name, a REGNUM correspondent reports.

“I am sure, the new level, which our organization gets up to, claims for a more pragmatic and responsible attitude towards its name. In accordance with the draft charter, our organization is open for new candid and interested members, which means that the GUAM abbreviation is not appropriate by now,” Vladimir Voronin stressed. He noted that preserving the old name would put limits on external potential of the new subject of the international law, and in the name proposed by Moldova, “priorities are defined clearer, its openness and continuity of the consolidated policy are demonstrated in a more vivid way.”

Except now the acronym for “Commonwealth for European Choice for Democracy and Economic Development” will be CECDRC, which everyone will shorthand as CEDRIC. It would be catchy, sure. But if relevancy is what they want, how about “Commonwealth for European Democracy and Economic Development”, or CEDED? Certainly a proponent of democracy named Vlad must have some sense of the ironic.

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A change of voice

In an effort to become hugely popular and mainstream, we are taking a crack at changing the style and substance of this blog. Here goes:

Remember when Kennedy challenged NASA to put a man on the moon? They did it in less than a decade. NASA was remarkable. Your business needs to be like NASA was. Your business needs to be remarkable. Do something remarkable. Be remarkable. Remember how Xerox changed the business world when they introduced the copying machine.? That was remarkable. Be like Xerox was. FedEx is a remarkable company. Be like FedEx, be…

Too vague, obvious and unactionable? Yeah, you’re right. Screw it.

Wish we hadn’t already shaved our heads.

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Why URGE can win

All hate mail from Mac freaks regarding this post should take two things into consideration. First, we at Igor are Mac freaks as well, at home and at work. We do, however, have the obligatory ratty PC’s in the backroom, which we reluctantly fire up when working on a Windows only project. Second, we were paid a boatload of money to name URGE. On to the meat.

The combination of the branding muscle of MTV and the content they alone own and continue to create, may finally take a big bite out of Apple. Until now, all music services offered the same content. Apple succeeded by being the only one to integrate software + music store + hardware (iPod). Not anymore. Now there is a competitor to all three parts of this process, plus great proprietary content, and that is likely to begin the shift of hardware players, even iPods, toward commodity status.

Out of the ashes of commoditization of digital media, MTV and Microsoft are poised to create a strong brand that rises above the level of mere commodity. In other words, URGE will succeed by becoming bigger than the goods and services it offers.

Yes, Microsoft + cool is probably the toughest sell on the planet, which is one reason this scenario so fascinating.

But most intriguing is the idea that the culture of music is about to be de-commoditized, to be once again more interesting than the device it is played on.

Which is how should be. And how it was, back in the day. Way back, when there was music on MTV.

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Calling all cell phone companies

How come cell phones only “remember” the last ten calls you made and the last ten you received? How hard could it be for one lone visionary in the cell phone business to realize that many people make more than ten calls an hour? Could someone offer the option of retrieving the last twenty calls? The last one thousand calls? Anybody?

MTV + Microsoft = URGE

Didn’t Igor name URGE? Indeed we did. Then how come we have been silent since Monday, since the day it was announced the curiously named URGE would finally go live on this Wednesday, the 17th? We had a meeting. It was agreed that we wouldn’t shoot our download prematurely. Not this time, not until there was a live URGE site to link to…

Really, this happens to lots of other blogs? Well, this has been building up for over a year, so, you know. Just go easy on the “micro soft” jokes. We’ve heard ‘em all.

At lest you forget, the Norwegians are not like us. They have different urges.

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Tilting the conversation…

…in the wrong direction. The new low linolenic soy and canola oils on the market bring some serious health benefits to the table, as well as some debate. First up, Dow’s entry, Natreon:

Developed by Dow AgroSciences LLC, Natreon canola oil is a naturally-stable alternative to partially hydrogenated oils used in commercial food applications. Natreon is now readily available to restaurants, food service and food manufacturers. Virtually trans fat-free and low in saturated fat, its use can substantially improve the nutrition profile of food products by reducing both trans fat and saturated fat.

And Vistive, from Monsanto:

Monsanto’s leading soybean breeders and research scientists have worked for more than a decade to develop VISTIVE soybeans, which Preete said not only provide yield parity with leading soybean varieties but also maintain outstanding agronomic benefits.

“We are very excited to give growers the opportunity to earn a premium on VISTIVE soybeans without sacrificing performance,” said Preete, who announced the commercialization of the new low-linolenic soybeans at the 2004 Farm Progress Show. “Growers don’t have to trade off yield and agronomics for this premium opportunity.” For 2005, VISTIVE soybeans will be available in Monsanto’s Asgrow®brand.

VISTIVE soybeans, which will have the Roundup Ready® trait, contain less than 3% linolenic acid, compared to 8% for traditional soybeans, resulting in a more stable soybean oil, with a better flavor profile, and less need for hydrogenation. Because soybeans with less linolenic acid reduce or eliminate the need for partial hydrogenation, trans fats in processed soybean oil can be reduced or eliminated.

Both seeds are Roundup Ready, meaning they are resistant to the herbicide Roundup. The idea is that the herbicide will kill everything in a field, except for the genetically engineered seeds and the resulting crop. Both Vistive and Natreon are technically classified as non-GMO, but for many, the debate is open.

As the trend toward and the debate over GMO foods heats up, neither Dow nor Monsanto are doing themselves a favor by giving their products names that make them sound like they were created in a lab. Natreon in particular sounds as if it were yanked off of the periodic table, while Vistive sounds like a pharmaceutical drug.

Tolls on the Interweb

Today’s Baltimore Sun brings us a disturbing report that the Internet may no longer provide a level playing field for the Davids and Goliaths of the business world, or for information of any kind:

This is news to most people because the major news media have not actively pursued the story. Yet both the House and Senate commerce committees are promoting new rules governing the manner by which most Americans receive the Web. Congressional passage of new rules is widely anticipated, as is President Bush’s signature. Once this happens, the Internet will change before your eyes.

The proposed House legislation, the Communications Opportunity, Promotion and Enhancement Act (COPE), offers no protections for “network neutrality.”

Currently, your Internet provider does not voluntarily censor the Web as it enters your home. This levels the playing field between the tiniest blog and the most popular Web site.

Yet the big telecom companies want to alter this dynamic. AT&T and Verizon have publicly discussed their plans to divide the information superhighway into separate fast and slow lanes. Web sites and services willing to pay a toll will be channeled through the fast lane, while all others will be bottled up in the slower lanes. COPE, and similar telecom legislation offered in the Senate, does nothing to protect the consumer from this transformation of the Internet.

The telecoms are frustrated that commercial Web sites reap unlimited profits while those providing entry to your home for these companies are prevented from fully cashing in. If the new telecom regulations pass without safeguarding net neutrality, the big telecom companies will be able to prioritize the Web for you. They will be free to decide which Web sites get to your computer faster and which ones may take longer – or may not even show up at all.

Full article here

Hey, Igor actually named something again

The latest Igor named entity is called Mojo. Go figure. From TV Week:

Mojo will debut June 18 on iN Demand’s hi-def linear channel INHD. Unlike male-centric basic cable network Spike TV, Mojo will target more upscale viewers-playing GQ to Spike’s Maxim.

“We’ve done a lot of research [since] we launched INHD in 2003. There are a lot of affluent men out there who have bought an extensive home entertainment set-those are our customers,” said Robert Jacobson, president and CEO of iN Demand Networks. “Mojo is dedicated to being an exhilarating resource for men who live accomplished and adventurous lives. This is a chance to better connect with an ongoing basis with the active, affluent male.”

Programming will include nine new series. The order adds significantly to iN Demand’s current slate of originals, which is dominated by the company’s programming for its Howard Stern On Demand channel.

Though INHD is available in only about 4 million homes, most of the programming will also be made available via video-on-demand to the 25 million digital cable subscribers who can order iN Demand Network’s standard-definition programming.

The new shows, all half-hours unless otherwise noted, include:

  • “Taste”: A travel series hosted by comedian Zane Lamprey, who searches the world and participates in local drinking customs (eight episodes).
  • “Beer Nutz”: Visiting some of America’s beer-making centers to learn the history and traditions of the cities and their breweries (eight episodes).
  • “After Hours With Daniel”: Chef Daniel Boulud hosts a look into the community of top New York chefs as they prepare late-night dinners at several top eateries (eight episodes).
  • “Decades” and “London Live!”: Two concert series of varying length. The former features classic artists (10 episodes), the latter top United Kingdom acts (20 episodes).
  • “Doctor Danger”: NBC news correspondent Dr. Bob Arnot seeks out exotic and dangerous locations around the world.
  • “Fueled”: An inside look at the Pontiac GTO’s debut at The Rolex 24 at Daytona, a 24-hour endurance race (six episodes).
  • “Technical Difficulties”: “The Amazing Race” meets high technology as teams compete in a scavenger hunt involving the mastery of tech toys (eight episodes).
  • “Wall Street Warriors”: A documentary series that follows Wall Street traders (eight episodes).

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Evhead celebrates Cinco de Mayo

Evan Williams, co-founder and CEO of Pyra Labs, makers of Blogger, has been slumming around the internet today, searching for a warm taco. And he’s found one, a Web 3.0 taco slathered, as always, in that extra special special sauce. I think we are buying the shots tonight, as he’s probably lost his wallet by now.

A few spare parts and a good storm

If you are coming to the end of your own naming process and are having trouble choosing between a short list of leading name candidates, here are a couple of questions to ask yourself.

First, if you choose “Name A”, are you comfortable with leaving “Name B’ for a competitor to adopt as its name? If not, choose “Name B”.

Second, which name suggests the most and the best taglines, adlines and wordplay? Perform a tagline generating exercise for each of the names, as demonstrated here. This tells you which name will be the deepest well for your marketing, branding and advertising efforts.

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