Announcing the worst brand name of 2010…

Posted by Alexandra Watkins on February 4, 2011

Putting the “wow” in bad spelling and impossible pronunciation, is Shwowp, Eat My Words’ Head Scratcher of the Year Winner for the worst brand name of 2010.

It was a heated competition with other contenders including Retardex Toothpaste (need we say more), Morongo Casino (where ‘morons go’ to gamble?), and iSwipe (say it out loud). But after many sleepless nights, cupcake bribes and consulting with the show’s producers, the hands-down winner was Shwowp.

Shwoop (oops, Shwowp), is actually a cool service – it helps shwowppers get a grip on their online shwowpping history. (Something that we here at Eat My Words need to help manage our shoe shwowpping obsession.) We suspect this name was the result of a drunken Scrabble game.

TIP: Just because a domain name is available on GoDaddy for $9.95 does not mean that is what you should name your company.

Showop (oops, we did it again) is ridiculously hard to spell and pronounced differently by everyone we asked. Check out our Google search results when we tried to find it under “Shwoop”…
Did you mean: shoop
Did you mean: shop
Showing results for shooby doo wop
Showing results for shoo wop. Search instead for showowop
Showing results for shwowp. Search instead for showowp

Finally! After all that guesswork and brain wracking we were too exhausted to continue. This name not only makes our head spin, it severely violates the Eat My Words SMILE & SCRATCH name evaluation test:

SMILE – the 5 qualities of a powerful name
Simple – easy-to-understand – No
Meaningful – customers “get it” – No, they get a headache
Imagery – creates a mental picture – Not a good one
Legs – wordplay opportunities – No, total dead end
Emotional – entertains, engages, etc. – No, “enrages” is not an emotion you want to evoke, especially from Eat My Words

SCRATCH it off the list if it has any of these 7 deal-breakers
Spelling-challenged – Absolutely!
Copycat – similar to competitor’s names – Totally – ShamWow!
Random – disconnected from the brand – Uh…
Annoying – hidden meaning, forced – Forced like a train wreck
Tame – flat, uninspired, boring – We think so
Curse of Knowledge – only insiders get it – Does anybody get it?
Hard-to-pronounce – With spit-up in your mouth, yes

TIP: Every time you have to spell, pronounce or explain your name to someone, you are essentially apologizing for it, which weakens and devalues your brand.

As a gesture of goodwill, Shwowp will be awarded a pink and gold Head Scratcher of the Year trophy, from the nice people at Eat My Words. (We’re also happy to give them some free name consulting should they decide to shwowp for a new name.)

Special props go to Robin Wolaner our #1 Name Scout, for sending us this submission. Robin’s always on the hunt for Head Scratchers and is a frequent contributor to our Facebook fan page. She’s also responsible for submitting last year’s winner – Speecees – an unfortunately named baby clothing company.

TIP: your brand name should not rhyme with “feces.”

This year, Robin was awarded a Have a Nice Day bouquet of flowers (because her name always makes us smile) and a genuine Head Scratcher massager, which we just popped in the mail this morning. (Creepy guy not included.)

Please continue to send us bad names for our 2011 Head Scratcher contest. And if you’re naming a business and want to make sure your own brand name doesn’t appear here next year, go here to see if your name sucks.

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