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Quick question… what’s the most important aspect of a brand?
A lot of people think it’s the logo but I would argue that the name of your business, online course, product or service is the most important aspect of your brand. Yet people fumble and fail SO badly in this area that it’s almost comical!
So, today I’m sharing the 10 worst product names I’ve seen recently and if there’s ever any doubt about why it’s important to think very carefully about the names you choose, you’ll have no doubt in your mind after you read this 🙂
Worst Product Name #1: Soylent
Soylent is becoming a well-known meal replacement drink for Silicon Valley coders and generally people who are super busy and don’t have time to sit down and have a full meal.
With Soylent, all you have to do is pop the bottle open, chug it and you get to drink some soy protein and all kinds of good stuff.
So why is Soylent such a bad name?
Well it comes from a movie called Soylent Green from 1973. The movie’s about a post-apocalyptic world where everybody lives in this gigantic bubble and all they have to eat is Soylent Green. But at the very end of the movie, you find out Soylent Green is NOT made out of what you think…
It’s actually made out of… people. Yep, actual human beings!
I’m sure the folks over at Soylent meant it as a joke but any name that suggests a type of food or drink is made out of human beings? That’s not the best choice!
Think about it… you take a sip of Soylent and you’re a cannibal.
I don’t think I want to drink it. How about you? Let me know in the comments 🙂
Worst Product Name #2: Coffee Bukkake
So, worst product name #2 goes to Coffee Bukkake. Now I’m almost embarrassed to share this one but Ainslee who’s my millennial marketing assistant chose this and she knows things that I don’t know 🙂
Apparently Bukkake is a form of Japanese porn that’s — let’s just call it — wet and the slogan says, “Go ahead… get some in your mouth!”
So, this is another cultural appropriation product name trying to make porn sound like something you want to drink.
Is it in good taste? Is it in bad taste? Share your thoughts in the comments
I can tell you for sure that this one’s definitely a big, fat NO on my list!
Worst Product Name #3: Nads Brazilian Bikini Wax
Next on the list we have Nads Brazilian Bikini Wax and when you look up “nads” in the Urban Dictionary, you’ll find that it’s actually a part of the male anatomy (hint: it’s not the part you immediately think of, it’s the other part :-))
Bikini wax is obviously a feminine product so my guess is the people who made this product have no idea what nads actually means.
Here’s the thing…
When you’re naming your product, you want to make sure it doesn’t mean something weird in another language because some of the worst brands are the ones that don’t translate from one language to another.
And let me just say when you look it up, you’ll be surprised at what some of the most common brand names mean in other languages!
So, do yourself a favor and do some research before you decide on a name 🙂
Worst Product Name #4: We Got Nuts
Onto #4… We Got Nuts. These guys sell wasabi peas.
Something you need to know about branding…
Cute names don’t sell… not for long, anyway. It’s way better to be clear than cute.
So get clear and make sure your customer either knows what she’s buying or focus on a promise in the name.
Cute names might make people smile once, but are they going to go out and buy “We Got Nuts” week after week? I know I’m not!
Worst Product Name #5: Monkey Gland Sauce
Yeah, you read that right.
Monkey gland sauce is actually barbeque sauce and no it’s not made out of monkey (thank goodness)…
I know it’s a common tradition to name hot sauce and barbecue sauce all kinds of crazy things but this is going a bit too far!
Most people are not going to want to put “monkey gland sauce” on their food.
Good rule of thumb…
If you’re naming a restaurant or any kind of food product — something people are putting into their mouths or on their bodies — try not to name it something gross or disgusting or weird because nobody’s going to want to go near it.
And you’ll end up losing customers.
Worst Product Name #6: Poop Like a Champion
We’re on to #6… and it’s Poop Like a Champion.
This is an ultra-high fiber cereal brand and it says on the box, “It’s not made to taste great. It’s made to work great.”
But how many of us want “Poop Like a Champion” in our cabinet… especially when there’s a guest in the house?
It’s absolutely not what I want to tell everyone I’m having for breakfast and it’s not the way I want to start my day in the morning 🙂
So, I’m giving this one, 2 thumbs down!
Worst Product Name #7: Hose Hooker
We’re at lucky #7 and it’s the Hose Hooker.
So, what the heck is that? A hose hooker is a hands-free hose that lets you water your garden, wash your dog, clean your garage or whatever without having to constantly bend over and pick up your hose again and again.
But I’m not sure if the folks at Hose Hooker realize what other people think when they hear that name.
Not something (or someone!) you want to keep around, so it absolutely belongs on our Worst Product Name list.
Worst Product Name #8: Quick Dude Shower Wipes
Quick Dude Shower Wipes is for stinky men who don’t have time to shower.
So, this product is from a couple of guys sitting around after the gym who used some baby wipes on their armpits and other parts.
Then, they’re like, “This works great. Let’s manufacture it and call it Quick Dude Shower Wipes!”
Now this might work great as long as you’re in college or living in a dorm room or a frat house but when you get married, I think your wife wants you to take a real shower.
So Quick Dude Shower Wipes… definitely NOT a great product name!
Worst Product Name #9: Ripple Milk
Ripple Milk comes in at #9 and it doesn’t sound all that bad (even though it doesn’t sound all that good either), but when you really look at the bottle what does the name look like?
I see nipple with an “n” not ripple and once you see it you just can’t unsee it, right?
And I don’t know about you but I’m in my 40s and I don’t want to drink nipple milk so this one gets a no!
Worst Product Name #10: Keap
We’re down the final “worst product name” and this one belongs to the software company previously known as Infusionsoft. They rebranded recently and now they’re called Keap.
That sounds like a frickin’ menstrual cup to me!
So why would a tech company go from Infusionsoft to Keap?
Maybe they don’t want to be known as “confusionsoft” anymore and thought Keap was something you can’t make fun of but I’m going to make fun of Keap a whole lot more than I made fun of Infusionsoft!
The truth is rebranding for the sake of rebranding isn’t good unless you find a name that’s going to be way better than the one that you had before.
So, I hope you’re starting to see how important a name is and I want you to think closely and deeply about what you name your business, product or service.
Remember clear is better than clever and you want to make sure your product does not look or sound like anything other than what you intend it to be.
It’s also important to check against words in the Urban Dictionary or in any other language because you don’t want to be stuck with a name that’s weird or unsuitable… or just plain dumb!
And if you’d like to get your hands on a powerful 3-step formula TOP brands use to name their best-selling products, programs and services, check out my The Simple 3-Step Naming Formula For Naming Your Online Course (it’s free!)
Now, I’d love to hear from you…
What are some of the worst business, product or service names you’ve seen and what are some of the best?
Share in the comments… I’d love to know!
Love it? Hate it? Let me know...
How about the brand for hair gel that we have here in Ecuador: Moco de Gorila! (gorilla snot)…
That’s your wife in action! xoxo
What the heck is a ‘menstrual cup’. My menopausal brain cannot fathom.
My farm name is Flying Q, and many of my clients call the farm “the Q”. However, I have recently learned there is a right wing group calling themselves “The Q”! My mission is to let everyone know we are “Flying Q”! Even after nearly 20 years with a great name you still have to pay attention to what is ‘out there’!
Thank you for the heads up!!
And wonderful information!
LOL! Thanks for sharing these. I do remember a long time ago watching an infomercial about Nad’s, and it is actually named after the girl that came up with the product, (Natalie). So, I don’t think it was based on the male anatomy.
At a 100 yen store in Japan I came across a line of lotions with natural ingredients. The English names like “cucumber pack” and “aloe pack” were already bad enough. But the worst was the typo on the honey-colored one. It was labeled “horny pack”!
Here is another worst product name, Siemens
Lol…that’s a good one.